This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 6/20/2016



Unit: USD thousands











Total Market Size





Total Local Production





Total Exports





Total Imports





Imports from the U.S.





Exchange Rate:  1 USD





Total Market Size = (Total Local Production + Total Imports) – (Total Exports)
Data Sources: 
Total Local Production:  Industry contacts, Federal Ministry of Education, and National University Commission (NUC).
Total Exports:  Industry sources.
Total Imports:  Leading importers, distributors, and industry associations Imports from U.S.:  U.S. Census Bureau.
*Figures for 2016 are based on 3.8 percent GDP forecast versus 3 percent in 2015.
The Federal Government of Nigeria has designated education as a top priority sector with the highest recurrent expenditure of $1.86 billion (N369.6 billion) in its 2016 budget.  The goal of this budget is to set the path of recovery of Nigeria’s education sector which has to serve by huge population, and has been plagued inadequate and inefficient management of resources, overstretched services and infrastructure.  These have resulted in low quality of delivery, limited capacity, reduced access with potential increase in violent crime, and for foreign education with many parents sending their children abroad for quality education increased demand.  The country boasts of over 300 combined public and private higher institutions including universities, polytechnics, specialized colleges of technologies, and colleges of education.  Among these are 40 federal universities, 30 state-owned and 50 private universities, according to the National Universities Commission (NUC).  Despite this seemingly large number of institutions, their capacity falls short of demand from education-seeking population.  Based on the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) statistics, about 1.4 million students took the university entrance examination in 2015 (and 1.2 million in 2014), but only 450,000 students were admitted into these institutions.  Other qualified candidates sought admission elsewhere as the system could not accommodate them.   
The 2015 report of the Institute of International of Education (based on the U.S. Department of Commerce and Open Doors Data), indicates that 9,494 students from Nigeria were studying in the U.S. during 2014/2015 academic year.  This figure shows 19.9 percent increase from (7,921) students the previous year, which made Nigeria the 14th leading place of origin for students attending the U.S. schools.  Other destinations for Nigerian students include the U.K. (18,000 in 2014, making Nigeria the 3rd largest country), Canada, Australia, and Ghana.  In 2012, it was estimated that 1.5 million Nigerians were studying abroad, and Nigeria typically spends over $7.54 billion (N1.5 trillion) of foreign exchange on Nigerians studying in foreign universities. 
In the face of plummeting oil prices and dwindling foreign reserves, the Nigerian government in 2015 introduced stricter foreign exchange controls.   As a result, it has become generally more difficult for many businesses and consumers to meet their foreign currency needs.  For example, it takes several months for the Central Bank to remit tuition and fees to foreign institutions.  However, the Nigeria’s government is encouraging foreign investors to invest in local education and training, which have potential for growth and impact across other sectors.
In his 2016 budget speech, President Muhammadu Buhari announced that his administration will invest in developing the capacity (training) of local farmers and equipping them with required techniques, technology, and tools.  Similar investment will also be made in providing training opportunities in solid minerals and security industry sectors.  Further, the federal government plans to promote interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through cash transfer and free education.  It will invest in training of youths in career and technical education (CTE), particularly in developing their entrepreneurial skills.  To increase student retention in elementary schools, the federal government is planning on partnering with development organizations in implementing home-grown feeding program.  In addressing the persistent teacher shortage, the federal government intends to partner with State and Local Governments in recruiting and training of 500,000 unemployed graduates as teachers, who would be deployed to schools across the country.  Many states have also placed education as a priority sector in their 2016 budget with the highest allocation in recurrent expenditure.  At least 17 Northern Governors plan to spend over $150.7 million (N300 billion) in developing the education sector, particularly having found the correlation between illiteracy and insecurity (Boko Haram) in that section of the country over the past six years.
Aside from the state governments, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a part of the World Bank Group, is expanding its specialized management and skills training programs to thousands of small- and medium-sized enterprises in Nigeria. The IFC partners with banks, financial institutions, micro-finance institutions, consulting firms, private businesses, industry organizations in providing Business Edge Certified training to local trainers.  These trainers in turn train other local businesses through workshops and SME Toolkit, an online solution designed to promote business growth using modern ICT tools.  At the recent seminar organized by the Diamond Bank in Lagos, investment and financial experts identified education and training among the key industry sectors with huge investment opportunities under the economic environment, as local providers with competitive prices will reap the most benefits.

Sub-Sector Best Prospects

Education franchises (examples:   e² Young Engineers, The Growth Coach), professional and industry-specific training to support services in power generation/distribution, as well as financial services sectors.  There is significant demand for continuing education for Nigerian professionals and the academics, which make this sub-sector best prospect.


Given the rapid growth in private investment in education, laboratory equipment, books, and professional textbooks will continue to gain market position.  Industry reviews clearly show that U.S. education-based organizations should consider developing custom-made courses for evolving Nigerian industry sectors, particularly the security, aviation, environment, oil and gas, as well as financial services sectors.

Web Resources

For further information on education and training, e-mail Joseph Umoetteh, Commercial Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service, Lagos, Nigeria at:

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting

More Information

Nigeria Education Trade Development and Promotion