Expand your organization into Nigeriawith or without a Nigerian entity
The West African nation of Nigeria is a dynamic and exciting place, both culturally and economically. With its well-connected location in the heart of the continent, a massively diverse and rapidly growing population, and an active business culture, it’s no wonder that many foreign organizations are looking to Nigeria as a target for expansion.
But with all the potential Nigeria has for businesses, it can also be a difficult place to establish a presence. As a fast-growing country, the administrative procedures can be lengthy, and setting up a Nigerian entity to do business can take much longer than expected. These delays can lead to spiraling expenses and lost revenues. In addition, the country has complex business and employment laws, with some regional variations.
At New Horizons, we help businesses from all industries to expand abroad, including into Nigeria. Our professional employer organization (Nigeria PEO), employer of record, and payroll services can provide your organization with everything you need to kickstart your Nigerian operation in a matter of days, not months, even if you don’t have an established entity in Nigeria.
As the only global PEO with an in-house recruitment team, we can even take care of the sourcing, recruiting, and onboarding of your Nigerian workforce, along with all of your HR and legal compliance work. Our bespoke services can save you thousands in associated expansion costs and speed up your entry to the Nigerian market.
Why expand in Nigeria with New Horizons?
New Horizons enables your business to expand its operations into Nigeria, with or without setting up a legal subsidiary.
Employment & Labor Laws in Nigeria
Employment contracts in Nigeria
In Nigeria, it is a legal requirement to provide all employees with a formal contract of employment. Contracts should have all details of the employment, such as wage/salary, sick leave, and termination/severance terms. The official language of Nigeria is English, so contracts should generally be written in English, and you should reference the local currency of Nigerian naira.
By partnering with our Nigeria PEO, New Horizons’ team of local experts can provide assistance for drafting strong employment contracts that are compliant with local regulations.
Working hours in Nigeria
While there is no nationally regulated limit for working hours, the general working week for most jobs is around 40 hours. All work outside the standard hours should be paid at overtime rates. Both the maximum working hours and overtime pay rates may be agreed upon in individual employment contracts or collective bargaining agreements (CBAs), so can vary from industry to industry and role to role.
Public holidays in Nigeria
The following holidays are generally given to workers in Nigeria as paid leave every year. The following is an expanded list of holidays, some of which are only widely celebrated in certain regions:
New Year’s Day
Id el Kabir Holiday
Islamic New Year
World Teachers Day
Sambisa Memorial Day
Boxing Day Holiday
Nigeria vacation leave
Employees in Nigeria who have worked for at least 12 months are legally entitled to at least six days of paid annual leave. Some employers may choose to offer more, and there is a higher allowance of 12 days for workers under the age of 16.
Nigeria sick leave
Employees in Nigeria are entitled to at least 12 days of paid sick leave each year. Some employers may choose to offer more as part of their benefits packages.
Parental leave in Nigeria
Female employees in Nigeria are entitled to 12 week of paid maternity leave, with six weeks able to be taken before the birth of their child. In general, fathers are not entitled to paternity leave, but Enugu (three weeks) and Lagos (two weeks) regions do offer an allowance.
Terminations and severance in Nigeria
In Nigeria, employers and employees alike can end employment contracts at any time, similar to the ‘at-will’ system in the US. However, in practice, you should always provide a notice period and allow for some negotiations.
Employees are not legally entitled to severance payments in Nigeria.
Navigating employee terminations and handling severance packages can be complicated for companies expanding overseas for the first time. New Horizons’ Nigeria PEO can mitigate risk for foreign companies and provide guidance through this process.
Taxation in Nigeria
Employers and employees in Nigeria must contribute a certain amount towards pension schemes, with employers contributing at least 10% and employees contributing at least 8%. Most employees (anyone earning over 3,0000 nairas per year) must also pay 2.5% to the National Housing Fund.
Income tax in Nigeria follows a progressive model, with rates ranging from 7% to 24% depending on income level.
For most companies, the corporate tax rate in Nigeria is 30%.
Health coverage in Nigeria
Nigeria has a nationalized health service, so workers are covered by this and employers are not required to offer insurance. However, some organizations do choose to offer private health cover as part of their benefits packages.
Nigeria compensations & benefits
Compensation laws in Nigeria
As of 2020, the national minimum wage in Nigeria is 30,000 naira per month (based on full-time work of 40 hours per week).
Benefit management in Nigeria
Benefits packages in Nigeria may include things like health insurance, pension contributions, a company car, and so on. Establishing and running a benefits system for your Nigerian employees can be difficult as an independent organization, and you will need to be familiar with the country’s customs and labor laws, which can differ from state to state. The process can take unexpectedly long to set up, so it may be necessary to get professional advice.