Expert Lists Akwa Ibom, Kano, Other Top States in Nigeria to Invest Outside Lagos

Expert Lists Akwa Ibom, Kano, Other Top States in Nigeria to Invest Outside Lagos

  • An expert has released a list of the top Nigerian states to start a thriving business apart from Lagos state
  • The investment expert said there are other states in Nigeria that investors should consider investing in, especially in Agric-Tech and other trades
  • Cheta Nwanze, the Lead Partner at SBM intelligence, revealed that Kano, Nasarawa, Port Harcourt, and Onitsha are investor havens.

According to an expert, Cheta Nwanze, the lead partner at SBM Intelligence and the head of the organisation's the research desk, Akwa Ibom, Kano, Ogun, Nasarawa, Onitsha, and Port Harcourt are places in Nigeria, apart from Lagos, that offer opportunities to investors.

Lagos State, Imo State, investment
Commercial activities in Lagos States Credit: Bloomberg / Contributor
Source: Getty Images

Opportunities in agriculture in the states

Cheta said analysts and investors often overlook the entrepreneurial activities in these states.

He said these places have good agricultural technology opportunities as people always need food.

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Nwanze stated that all states in the country offer economic opportunities, but some are more investor-friendly.

Cheta said:

"I believe in terms of infrastructure to general environment towards business, it's hard to move past Lagos as it covers the bulk of Nigeria's commercial activity.
"There is Ogun state; it enjoys proximity to Lagos. Because of that, it takes a lot of services from Lagos, as people commute to Lagos from Ogun, and the state government has put in place policies, like manufacturing."

Cheta also revealed that Kano in Northern Nigeria has a massive entrepreneurship community, especially in tech, stating that the state has become well-governed and houses a thriving tech ecosystem.

He said:

"Kano, the second largest state in terms of population and historically the commercial centre of the north has a lot of economic activities going on; people gravitate towards Kano.
"There was something we did across the country and found a lot of tech entrepreneurship happening in Kano, almost hidden away from the outside world.

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South East and South-South are investors havens

He also stated that the South East and South-South present opportunities for investors, especially Port Harcourt, Anambra, Imo, Abia, and Rivers States, which have entrepreneurial activities with good roads in the areas.

Nwanze said in an interview that Lagos and Onitsha transact about $3 billion worth of trade every year, which needs to be captured, adding that there is a collaboration between the two states and that the federal government should connect the two cities by rail.

For Akwa Ibom, Nwanze said that the state is one of the best-governed states in Nigeria since the return of democracy in 1999, and investors often overlook it despite the presence of tech entrepreneurs.

Nwanze said:

"There is Akwa Ibom, a hidden gem in Nigeria, it's a state that people tend to overlook, but they have been quietly consistent since 1999; I would go so far as saying it's the best-governed state in Nigeria since 1999 when you look at the overall picture, as they have done an excellent job taking advantage of the oil industry, and the growing infrastructure is good with a huge tech community.

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The senior partner at SBM listed other states, such as Abuja and Nasarawa, urging investors to utilise the agricultural opportunities in the areas.

28 Nigerian state governors with the highest debt in 2022, 11 leave massive arrears for successors. reported that about 28 governors leaving office in May 2023 or seeking re-election including the Minister of the Capital Territory have amassed about N5.8 trillion in sub-national debts.

The figures are based on the Debt Management Office (DMO) reports on sub-national debts.

Out of the 28 governors, 11 are eligible for re-election in March 2023.


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