Business Sectors in Nigeria That Have Defied Recession

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Businesses That Beat the Odds of Recession

Recession in Nigeria
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The economic decline that hit Nigeria in 2016 forced several businesses to either evolve or constantly swim against the tides of bankruptcy. Surprisingly, despite the recession, some business sectors not only survived the tough times but grew tremendously despite the odds.

We have compiled a total of 11 businesses that have thrived in Nigeria even in the face of recession.


Ecommerce 1
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2016 was a very busy year for e-commerce sites in Nigeria. The year witnessed the birth of new e-commerce sites that proved in the face of recession, money can be made. Most e-commerce sites channelled more resources into transforming their websites into a marketplace for merchants. As a result of this, e-commerce businesses have enjoyed tremendous growth regardless of the nation’s harsh economic realities.


Fashion in Nigeria
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Nigerians are stylish and take their fashion very seriously. This simple fact explains the popularity of fashion related businesses in Nigeria and how lucrative they are even during Nigeria’s recession. From high-flying designers with international exposure to their small-scale counterparts, fashion business in Nigeria continues to churn out new millionaires annually.

Two things that have worked well for fashion business is the penchant of Nigerians for attending social functions and the growth of the entertainment industry, which has rubbed off directly on the fashion industry.


Advertising in Nigeria
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An increasing number of Nigerian business have a fixed budget for advertising and regardless of the recession, they advertise their products and services. Here, businesses that have continued to rake in millions of naira include independent advertisers, digital marketers and advertising agencies.


Blogging in Nigeria
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Prior to the birth of the new media, the Nigerian media industry was largely limited to broadcast and print. Today, all that has changed. The popularity of blogging has seen independent bloggers and media establishments like Linda Ikeji Blog, Olori Supergal,,,,,,,, and a host of others raking in millions despite the recession.

These websites and blogs have large audiences and transform this into cash by selling advertising space. As the community of Nigeria’s internet users continues to increase, so has the lucrative business of blogging.

Tech business

Technology in Nigeria
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Nigerians have developed and won awards with Apps such as OkadaBooks, AfriNolly, BudgIT and many others.

The recession has done little to halt the growth of tech businesses in Nigeria as they continue to enjoy the spotlight and rake in million of naira. We expect even more Tech businesses to emerge in 2017. Brands like NaijaTechGuide and OgbongeBlog are currently enjoying their moments in the limelight.


Transportation in Nigeria photo
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Like many other businesses, road transportation is another business that has defied recession and the reason is simple; people have to move around. The entry of players like Uber, GoMyWay and FindMyRIde have further confirmed the fact that transportation business has not been affected negative all through the recession. There is simply no alternative to road transportation for most Nigerians, which is why it has enjoyed brisk business in the face of recession.

Food vending

Catering business in Nigeria
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Food vendors and caterers in Nigeria have recently enjoyed an interesting run. The Igwe Brothers who launched Speedmeals Mobile Kitchen in 2010 and the business has witnessed the birth of more food vendors who have enjoyed brisk business during the economic recession.

Running a successful food vending business requires the trust of customers, hygiene and timely delivery,  three areas successful catering brands have been strong in.

Hotels, restaurants and bars, which fall under the hospitality business in Nigeria are three of the most enduring in the nation’s economic history.

As a direct result of the recession, an increasing number of Nigerians can no longer afford expensive holidays outside the country. As such, they have had to restructure their vacations to places within the country, which they consider affordable. It, therefore, does not come as a surprise to find the Nigerian hospitality business enjoying steady growth.

It, therefore, explains the increase in hotel bookings and more people shifting their attention to tourist sites in Nigeria.


Education business in Nigeria
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Running a daycare, nursery, primary and secondary school has remained dominantly lucrative in the face of economic difficulty. In Nigeria, high profile private schools like Dowen College, Lekki (Lagos), Chrisland College (Lagos), Atlantic Hall (Lagos), Hillcrest School (Jos), Loyola Jesuit College (Abuja), Greensprings School (Lagos) and Whiteplains British School (Abuja) are among some of the expensive schools in the country and for them, it is business as usual even in the face of harsh economic times.


Property business in Nigeria
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As a business, real estate is prominently known for being lucrative. The recession has not changed this reputation. Properties continue to appreciate and house owners have enjoyed business, as usual, all through the recession. The only challenge investors experience is the capital needed to finance property projects as they are capital intensive by default.

Event Management/Planning

Event planning business in Nigeria

In Nigeria, weekends and festive seasons are big affairs for event managers and planners. On a weekly basis, different kinds of events are hosted by individuals and organisations. Some of these events include high-budget weddings, musical concerts, comedy shows, fashion shows, corporate events as well as exclusive parties.

Professionals in this industry have boldly submitted that there is no level of the ongoing recession that can discourage Nigerians from holding their parties.

One of the most interesting things about becoming an event planner/manager is that it allows new entrants start their business at home. As if this isn’t good enough, they can go into different aspects of planning an event, which includes catering, photography, decoration and offering the service of a disc jockey.

Social functions remain untainted by recession as Nigerians continue to enjoy their weekly parties and events.


Entertainment business in Nigeria
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The entertainment business has not waned in any way during the recession. A growing number of entertainers have become richer during the recession than they were before the recession in Nigeria.

Below is a list of Nigerian entertainers and earnings from their endorsement deals:

  • Iyanya (N245 million)
  • Psquare (N180 million)
  • D’banj (N160 million)
  • Genevieve Nnaji (Above N100 million)
  • Davido (N130 million)
  • Wizkid (Above N128.6 million)
  • Banky W (N100 million)
  • Don Jazzy (N100 million)
  • Tiwa Savage (N90 million)
  • Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde (Undisclosed)


Do you agree with our list or do you know any other business that the recession has not affected negatively?

Samod Biobaku
A Nigeria-based writer and blogger who has written and edited for top brands including The SUN, Punch, Newswatch,, Bigsam Media, Nigerian Bulletin, Swish Interativ, Hello Nigeria, National LIFE, iCampus, Jobberman and Cheki.


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