Discusses the legal requirements for selling to the host government, including whether the government has agreed to abide by the WTO Government Procurement Agreement or is a party to a government procurement chapter in a U.S. FTA. Specifies areas where there are opportunities.
Last Published: 8/11/2017

Many governments finance public works projects through borrowing from the Multilateral Development Banks. Please refer to “Project Financing” Section in “Trade and Project Financing” for more information. 
The Nigerian Government has made modest progress on its pledge to conduct open and competitive bidding processes for government procurement.  Public procurement reforms seek to ensure that the procurement process for public projects adheres to international standards for competitive bidding.  The Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) acts as a clearinghouse for most government contracts and monitors the implementation of projects to ensure compliance with contract terms and budgetary restrictions.  All procurement above 100 million (approximately $560,000) remains subject to review by the BPP, except for procurements by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company.
The 36 State Governments also agreed to enact the Public Procurement Act in their respective states, and 24 states have passed procurement legislation.  In the energy sector, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) energy consultants have been advising the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trader and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) regarding the incorporation of international best practices in energy procurement.  USAID is currently serving as the lead advisor for transmission procurement through TCN.  In addition, reforms at the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC) in 2015 have resulted in more transparent bid processes for procurement of services.
Foreign companies incorporated in Nigeria receive national treatment in government procurement, government tenders are published in local newspapers, and a “tenders” journal is sold at local newspaper outlets.  U.S. companies have won government contracts in several sectors.  Unfortunately, some of these companies have had trouble getting paid, often as a result of delays in the national budgetary process.
The National Petroleum Investment and Management Services (NAPIMS) agency must approve all procurement in the oil and gas sector with a value above $500,000.  Slow approval processes can significantly increase the time and resources required for a given project.
Nigeria is not a signatory to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement.
The Federal and State Governments of Nigeria buy products and services through their own "Tender Boards."  Please note this is NOT the “Tenders Committee” mentioned in fraud letters that come out of Nigeria.  Tender Boards are usually composed of senior government officials, and may include local consultants or foreign firms with representatives in Nigeria.  The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) does not buy products and services for the Nigerian Government or its agencies.  Email, fax inquiries, and business proposals purportedly emanating from the CBN on behalf of the Nigerian Government or any of its agencies should be disregarded.  The CBN has been invoked and mentioned in several cases of financial and related crimes.  The CBN warns foreign firms interested in doing business in Nigeria to be wary of business proposals and private offers that seem too good to be true.  For additional information and clarification about the nature of advance-fee fraud and other related crimes originating from Nigeria and West Africa, visit CBN’s website.  If there is any question about the legitimacy of a business deal or government tender, please contact CS Lagos to help ascertain legitimacy.  The State of Lagos Tender Board is linked in the text.
In an effort to fight official corruption and to introduce transparency and accountability into the government procurement process, the GON established an agency known as the Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence Unit, to evaluate contracts and tenders, and to ensure strict compliance with civil service procedures.  The monitoring unit is under the Presidency and reports directly to the President.  According to official reports, the unit has saved Nigeria millions of dollars in contract fees and payments associated with government tenders.  Inflation of contract values by government officials continues to be one of Nigeria’s most difficult corrupt business practices.  Culprits are supposed to be arrested and prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), but the agency continues to receive mixed reviews of its success.


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 http://export.gov/usoffices.

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Nigeria Business to Government Legislation