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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
NIGERIA: 1994 COUNTRY REPORT ON ECONOMIC POLICY AND TRADE PRACTICES
BUREAU OF ECONOMIC AND BUSINESS AFFAIRS





                             NIGERIA

                     Key Economic Indicators
       (Millions of U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted) 1/


                                    1992      1993     1994 2/

Income, Production and Employment:

Real GDP (1984 prices)             5,632     4,542      N/A
Real GDP Growth (pct.) 3/          -0.41     -0.19      N/A
GDP (at current prices)           31,793    37,023      N/A
By Sector:  (1984 prices)
  Agriculture                      2,131     1,730      N/A
  Energy/Water                       775       588      N/A
  Manufacturing                      475       385      N/A
  Construction                       107        85      N/A
  Rents                              145       115      N/A
  Financial Services                 490       396      N/A
  Other Services                     956       772      N/A
  Government/Health/Education        553       470      N/A
  Net Exports of Goods & Services    N/A       N/A      N/A
Real Per Capita GDP ($US) 3/       618.9     488.4      N/A
Labor Force (millions)              42.8       N/A      N/A
Unemployment Rate (pct.) 4/          3.2       3.4      N/A

Money and Prices:

Money Supply (M2)                  7,386     8,843    9,534
Base Interest Rate (pct.)           25.7      27.0     21.0
Personal Savings Rate (pct.)        15.5      16.4     12.0
Retail Inflation (pct.)             46.0      57.2      N/A
Wholesale Inflation (pct.)           N/A       N/A      N/A
Consumer Price Index               478.4     751.9    985.9
Exchange Rate (USD/Naira):
  Official (annual average)         0.06      0.04     0.05
  Parallel                          0.05      0.02     0.02

Balance of Payments and Trade:

Total Exports (FOB) 5/            11,886     9,923      N/A
  Exports to U.S.                  5,074     5,301    3,970
Total Imports (CIF) 5/             7,204     6,665      N/A
  Imports from U.S.                1,001       891      524
Aid from U.S.                         17        23      N/A
Aid from Other Countries             N/A       N/A      N/A
External Public Debt              27,500    28,700      N/A
Debt Service Payments              2,700     1,600      N/A
Gold and Foreign Exch. Reserves      799       806      N/A
Trade Balance 5/                   4,682     3,258      N/A
  Trade Balance with U.S.          4,073     4,410    3,446


N/A--Not available
1/ All dollar figures are based on official exchange rates and
in some places reflect exchange rate fluctuations and not
internationally recognized development assessments.
2/ 1994 figures are estimates based on January-June data.
3/ In constant 1984 Naira, GDP grew 3.6 and 2.9 percent in 1992
and 1993, while GDP per capita in current dollars was $349 and
$398 for those years.
4/ CBN figure; Embassy estimates 28 percent unemployment.
5/ Merchandise trade.



1.  General Policy Framework

    Nigeria is Africa's most populous nation and the United
States' fifth largest oil supplier.  It offers investors a
low-cost labor pool, abundant natural resources, and the second
largest market in sub-Saharan Africa.  Nigeria's crucial
petroleum sector provides the government with over 95 percent
of all foreign exchange earnings and about 75 percent of
budgetary revenue.  Agriculture, which accounts for nearly 40
percent of GDP and employs about two-thirds of the labor force,
is dominated by small-scale subsistence farming.

    After a period of relative fiscal austerity in the late
1980's, the Nigerian government has run budget deficits
exceeding seven percent of GDP since 1990.  Proposals to reduce
the deficit include reducing large government fuel price
subsidies (the official price of gasoline was equivalent to
about 55 U.S. cents per gallon in October 1994), shelving a
number of government projects which are of doubtful economic
value, and reducing leakages from government income due to
corruption.

    Over the last several years, monetary policy has been
driven by the need to accommodate the government's budget
deficit and a desire to reduce the inflationary impact of the
budget deficit on the economy.  Deficits at the federal level
have been financed primarily by borrowing from the Central Bank
of Nigeria (CBN), which held 83 percent of the government's
domestic debt at the end of 1992.  Since the Central Bank
monetizes much of the deficit, budgetary shortfalls have a
direct impact on the money supply and on price levels, which
have risen rapidly in recent years.

    In conjunction with his 1994 budget announcement, head of
state General Sani Abacha announced the abandonment of most
1986 Structural Adjustment Program reforms, and instituted
tight government control over key economic variables.  The new
measures include:  fixing the value of the naira at 21.99 per
dollar; instituting strict and comprehensive foreign exchange
and import controls; eliminating the legal parallel foreign
exchange market; and setting caps on interest rates chargeable
on loans and deposits/savings accounts.

    The new economic policy regime created by these measures
has already had far reaching and damaging effects on the
Nigerian economy.  Not only have these measures discouraged
investment in Nigeria, but companies already present find it
increasingly difficult to operate profitably, while official
statistics show nonoil exports down sharply.


2.  Exchange Rate Policy

    In the first quarter of 1994, Nigeria changed its foreign
exchange regime back to the highly controlled system in force
prior to the structural adjustment reforms in the late 1980's. 
The legal parallel foreign exchange market, which operated
through licensed exchange bureaus, was abolished, and the
official interbank foreign exchange market (IFEM), operated by
the Central Bank, became the only authorized source of foreign
currency in Nigeria for companies and individuals.  At the
mid-year budget review, bureaux de change were reauthorised to
conduct limited foreign exchange transactions at the official
rate plus ten percent.  The official exchange rate has been
held at 21.99 naira/dollar since April 1993, but the parallel
rate had climbed to over 70 naira to the dollar by October 1994.

    While there are no restrictions on imports of hard currency
into Nigeria, foreigners are obliged to declare such holdings
upon arrival, and must maintain records of naira purchases from
authorized banks in Nigeria in order to take their remaining
foreign currency out of the country.  The 1994 regime for
allocating hard currency at the IFEM is sharply limiting
official remittances.  Only 250 million dollars was allocated
in the 1994 budget to the so called invisibles account
(including remittances for services and other nonmerchandise
transfers).  This amount can largely be absorbed in meeting
remittance needs of the international airlines alone.  The
result has been a de facto clampdown on the repatriation of
corporate profits.


3.  Structural Policies

    As stated in the December 1989 circular, "Industrial Policy
of Nigeria," the government maintains a system of tax
incentives to foster the development of particular industries,
to encourage firms to locate in economically disadvantaged
areas, to promote research and development in Nigeria, and to
favor the use of domestic labor and raw materials.  The
Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Act of 1971 provides
incentives to "pioneer" industries, that is, industries deemed
beneficial to Nigeria's economic development.  Companies given
"pioneer" status may enjoy a nonrenewable tax holiday of five
years, or seven years if the pioneer industry is located in an
economically disadvantaged area.

    In December 1989 the government liberalized the Nigerian
Enterprises Promotion Decree to allow 100 percent foreign
equity ownership of Nigerian businesses in certain cases.  The
rule applies to new investments only and is not retroactive. 
The government also allowed foreign firms to invest in the 40
lines of business normally reserved for 100 percent Nigerian
ownership if they invest a minimum of 20 million naira (about
$900,000 at the current official exchange rate).  Reserved
sectors include:  advertising and public relations, commercial
transportation, travel services, and most of the wholesale and
retail trade.  The list of reserved sectors is one factor that
has prevented the conclusion of a bilateral investment treaty
between Nigeria and the United States.  Banking, insurance,
petroleum prospecting, and mining continue in almost all cases
to require 60 percent Nigerian ownership.


4.  Debt Management Policies

    Nigeria's foreiqn debt ballooned from $13 billion in 1981
to $24 billion in 1986, when sharply lower oil revenues and
continued high import levels created large balance of payments
deficits.  By the end of 1993, total external debt (not
including arrears) had reached $28.7 billion, more than
Nigeria's entire GDP.  Debt service due is projected to be four
to five billion dollars annually for the next several years.

    In January 1992, in an effort to reduce its external stock
of debt, the Nigerian government concluded an agreement with
the London Club which gave commercial banks a menu of options
from which to choose in reducing Nigeria's commercial debt. 
The menu included debt buy-backs (at 40 cents on the dollar),
new money bonds, and collateralized par bonds.  As a result of
the agreement, Nigeria was able to reduce its external debt by
$3.9 billion, but the accumulation of arrears on other debt
since that time has brought external debt back to previous
levels.  Including arrears, official foreign obligations
exceeded $30 billion as of October 1994.

    During the period 1986 to early 1992, Nigeria reached three
standby agreements with the IMF.  The most recent agreement was
approved in January 1991 and expired in April 1992.  Talks with
the IMF since then have failed to result in a new agreement.

    Nigeria's most recent rescheduling agreement with the Paris
Club expired at the same time as its standby agreement with the
IMF, and debt repayment obligations have grown significantly. 
Nigeria's record on debt repayment, meanwhile, has also
deteriorated.  In 1992, Nigeria made debt service payments of
$2.7 billion, against interest and principal payment
obligations of $5 billion.  Faced with similar obligations in
1993, external debt service payments were only $1.6 billion and
the budgeted debt service payments for 1994 are $1.8 billion.


5.  Significant Barriers to U.S. Exports

    Nigeria abolished all import licensing requirements and cut
its list of banned imports in 1986.  As of October 1994, the
importation of approximately 20 different items is banned,
principally agricultural items and textiles.  These bans were
initially implemented to restore Nigeria's agricultural sector
and to conserve foreign exchange.  Although the bans are
compromised by widespread smuggling, the reduced availability
of grains has raised prices for both banned commodities and
locally produced substitutes.

    U.S. products are also hampered by high tariffs as
follows:  sorghum, 100 percent; cigarettes, 200 percent;
cotton, 60 percent; wheat, previously banned and now taxed at
10 percent; and passenger vehicles, from 30 to 100 percent. 
Other import restrictions apply to aircraft and ocean-going
vessels.  Guidelines mandate that all imported aircraft and
ocean-going vessels shall be inspected by a government
authorized inspection agent. In addition, performance bonds and
offshore guarantees must be arranged before down payments or
subsequent payments are authorized by the Ministry of Finance.

    Nigeria requires that an international inspection service
certify the price, quantity and quality before shipment for all
private sector imports.  All containerized shipments
irrespective of value and all goods exported to Nigeria with a
cost, insurance, and freight (CIF) value greater than $1,000
are subject to preshipment inspection.

    An expatriate quota system is in place, and government
approval is required for residency permits for expatriates
occupying positions in local companies.  The number of
expatriate positions approved is dependent on the level of
capital investment, with additional expatriate positions
considered on a case by case basis.  In the past, this system
has caused relatively few problems, but in 1994 U.S. firms
reported increasing difficulties in securing and renewing the
necessary permits.

    Nigeria generally uses an open tender system for awarding
government contracts, and foreign companies incorporated in
Nigeria receive national treatment.  Approximately five percent
of all government procurement contracts are awarded to U.S.
companies.  Nigeria is not a signatory to the General Agreement
on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) Government Procurement Code.


6.  Export Subsidy Policies

    In 1976, the government established the Nigerian Export
Promotion Council (NEPC) to encourage development of nonoil
exports from Nigeria.  The council administers various
incentive programs including a duty drawback program, the
Export Development Fund, tax relief and capital assets
depreciation allowances, and a foreign currency retention
program.  The duty drawback or manufacturing-in-bond program is
designed to allow the duty free importation of raw materials to
produce goods for export, contingent on the issuance of a
bank-guaranteed bond.  The performance bond is discharged upon
evidence of exportation and repatriation of foreign exchange. 
Though meant to promote industry and exportation, these schemes
have been burdened by inefficient administration, confusion,
and corruption, causing difficulty and, in some cases, losses
to those manufacturers and exporters who opted to use them.

    The NEPC also administers the Export Expansion Program, a
fund which provides grants to exporters of manufactured and
semi-manufactured products.  Grants are awarded on the basis of
the value of goods exported, and the only requirement for
participation is that the export proceeds be repatriated to
Nigeria.  Though the grant amounts are small, ranging from two
to five percent of total export value, they appear to be
subsidies as designated by GATT, and may violate GATT rules.


7.  Protection of U.S. Intellectual Property

    Nigeria is a signatory to the Universal Copyright
Convention (UCC) and the Paris Convention.  In 1993, Nigeria
became a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization
(WIPO).  Cases involving infringement of non-Nigerian
copyrights have been successfully prosecuted in Nigeria, 
but enforcement of existing laws remains weak, particularly in
the patent and trademark areas.  Despite active participation
in international conventions and the apparent interest of the
government in intellectual property rights issues, little has
been done to stop the widespread production and sale of pirated
tapes, videos, computer software and books in Nigeria.

    The Patents and Design Decree of 1970 governs the
registration of patents.  Once conferred, a patent gives the
patentee the exclusive right to make, import, sell, or use the
products or apply the process.  The Trade Marks Act of 1965
governs the registration of trademarks.  Registering a
trademark gives its holder the exclusive right to use the
registered mark for a particular good or class of goods.

    The Copyright Decree of 1988, based on WIPO standards and
U.S. copyright law, currently makes counterfeiting, exporting,
importing, reproducing, exhibiting, performing, or selling any
work without the permission of the copyright owner a criminal
offense.  Progress on enforcing the 1988 law has been slow. The
expense and length of time necessary to pursue a copyright
infringement case to its conclusion are detriments to the
prosecution of such cases.

    In the past, few companies have bothered to secure
trademark or patent protection in Nigeria because it is
generally considered ineffective.  Losses from poor
intellectual property rights protection are substantial,
although the exact cost is difficult to estimate.  The majority
of the sound recordings sold in Nigeria are pirated copies and
the entire video industry is based on the sale and rental of
pirated tapes.  Satellite signal piracy is also common.


8.  Worker Rights

    a.  The Right of Association

    Nigerian workers, except members of the armed forces and
employees designated essential by the government, may join
trade unions.  Essential employees include, firefighters,
police, employees of the Central Bank, the security printers
(printers of currency, passports, and government forms) and
customs and excise staff.  However, unlike many other countries
with Essential Services Acts, utilities, the national airline,
public sector enterprises and the post office are not
considered essential services, are unionized, and may strike. 
In May 1993 the government promulgated the Teaching Essential
Services Decree, declaring education an essential service and
calling for the dismissal of teachers who participate in a
strike longer than one week in duration.  Attempts to enforce
the decree proved unworkable, and it was subsequently
withdrawn.  Under Nigerian labor law, any nonagricultural
enterprise which has more than 50 employees is obliged to
recognize trade unions and must pay dues or deduct a checkoff
for employees who are members.

    The government has decreed a single central labor body, the
National Labor Congress (NLC), and deregistered other unions. 
On August 24, 1994 the government dismissed the executives of
the NLC, and the two leading petroleum sector unions and 
appointed "administrators" to run them.  It has attempted to
prevent withholding dues from oil industry union members'
paychecks.

    b.  The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

    The labor laws of Nigeria permit the right to organize and
the right to bargain collectively between management and trade
unions.  Collective bargaining is, in fact, common in many
sectors of the economy.  Nigerian labor law further protects
workers against retaliation by employers for labor activity
through an independent arm of the judiciary, the Nigerian
Industrial Court, which handles complaints of antiunion
discrimination.  The NLC has complained, however, that the
judicial system's slow handling of labor cases constitutes a
denial of redress to those with legitimate complaints.  The
government retains broad authority over labor matters, and can
intervene forcefully in labor disputes which it feels
contravene its essential political or economic programs.

    c.  Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

    Nigeria's 1989 Constitution prohibits forced or compulsory
labor, and this prohibition is generally observed.  However, on
August 24, 1994 the government promulgated the State Security
(Detention of Persons Amendment) Decree, number 11.  This
supercedes an earlier decree which allowed persons to be
detained for successive periods of six weeks without charge and
now allows for persons to be detained for periods of up to
three months without charge.  The International Labor
Organization (ILO) has noted that with the 1989 Constitution
suspended and Decree 11 in effect, Nigeria may not be able to
enforce the ILO convention against forced labor in the absence
of constitutional guarantees.

    d.  Minimum Age of Employment of Children

    Nigeria's 1974 Labor Decree prohibits employment of
children under 15 years of age in commerce and industry and
restricts other child labor to home-based agricultural or
domestic work.  The law further stipulates that no person under
the age of 16 may be required to work for longer than four
consecutive hours or permitted to work for more than eight
hours in one day.  The Labor Decree allows the apprenticeship
of youths age 13 to 15 under specific conditions. 
Apprenticeship exists in a wide range of crafts, trades, and
state enterprises.  Service of apprentices over the age of 15
is not specifically regulated by the government.  Primary
education is compulsory in Nigeria though the law is only
sporadically enforced, particularly in rural areas where most
Nigerians reside.

    e.  Acceptable Conditions of Work

    Nigeria's 1974 Labor Decree established a 40-hour workweek,
prescribed two to four weeks of annual leave, and set a minimum
wage.  The last government review of the minimum wage,
undertaken in 1991, raised the monthly minimum wage from 250
naira ($11.36) to 450 naira ($20.45).  Nigerian labor law
stipulates that workers are to be paid extra for hours worked
over the legal limit.  The code also states that workers who 
work on Sundays and statutory public holidays must be paid a
full day's pay in addition to their normal wages.  There is no
law prohibiting excessive compulsory overtime.  A 1974 labor
decree contains general health and safety provisions. 
Employers must compensate injured workers and dependent
survivors of those killed in industrial accidents.

    f.  Rights in Sectors with U.S. Investment

    Worker rights in petroleum, chemicals and related products,
primary and fabricated metals, machinery, electric and
electronic equipment, transportation equipment, and other
manufacturing sectors are not significantly different from
those in other major sectors of the economy.



  Extent of U.S. Investment in Selected Industries.--U.S. Direct
Investment Position Abroad on an Historical Cost Basis--1993

                    (Millions of U.S. dollars)
                                                                
              Category                          Amount          

Petroleum                                             (1)
Total Manufacturing                                    50
  Food & Kindred Products                   (1)
  Chemicals and Allied Products              15
  Metals, Primary & Fabricated                2
  Machinery, except Electrical                0
  Electric & Electronic Equipment             2
  Transportation Equipment                  (1)
  Other Manufacturing                         1
Wholesale Trade                                       (1)
Banking                                               (1)
Finance and Insurance                                   2
Services                                                5
Other Industries                                        0
TOTAL ALL INDUSTRIES                                  527      

(1) Suppressed to avoid disclosing data of individual companies
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis

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