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The Biggest Employment Industries in Nigeria

If you’re searching for a new career direction or would like to improve your earning potential, it’s a good idea to start your search by looking at growing and robust industries. Here are Nigeria’s top industries that power the economy and provide the best jobs for the population across different career stages.

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In Nigeria, it’s possible to get a good salary in any sector but some industries offer lucrative salary and exceptional benefits more than others. So, which Nigerian industries are the best to work for? Which sector has the most job openings? How can a job seeker improve his or her chances of getting into one of these industries? These questions and many more will be answered in this article.

In this guide, you will discover what the biggest employing industries in Nigeria are, and what future job opportunities you can have in these industries if you study certain courses in the university or acquire certain skills. These industries are ranked based on workers’ reviews, corporate cultures, conducive workplaces, work-life balance, and excellent salary structures and benefits, among other factors.

Also, we’ve included links to some of our online courses alongside each industry for people who want to equip themselves with the right skills and certification.

Oil and Gas Industry

What is Oil and Gas?

Also known as the petroleum industry, the oil and gas industry involves the processes of exploring and, extracting hydrocarbons, and refining and selling them as petroleum products. Accounting for almost 70% of total revenue to the government, the oil and gas industry is one of the best and most sought-after employment sectors in Nigeria.

With more than 40 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, Nigeria is the largest oil producer in Africa and many job seekers dream of launching and securing a career, not just landing a job in its oil and gas industry. Employers within this industry are willing to invest in transformative programs and evolve, as well as pushing the boundaries of innovation to make their workplaces better for their employees.

Choosing a career in the Oil and Gas Industry

The Nigerian oil and gas industry is a big sector that offers exciting career opportunities for both technical and non-technical professionals. Some of the diverse career paths that can be found in the petroleum industry include drilling engineering, energy engineering, petroleum engineering, geology, geochemistry, mud logging, petroleum economics, and much more. Some of the biggest players and employers of labor in the Nigerian oil and gas industry include Shell, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited, Total, and more.

Get acquainted with the petroleum industry and discover how you can start a career in the sector with these courses.

>> Explore our collection of online engineering degrees

Explore Geology Courses

Agriculture Industry

What is Agriculture?

Agriculture in Nigeria is the practice of cultivating the lands and rearing livestock for food and commercial purposes. According to a World Bank survey, the agriculture sector is the largest employer of labor and income-generating activity in Nigeria.

The majority of people in the Nigerian agriculture industry mainly produce and process cash crops such as cocoa, peanuts, cotton, palm oil, corn, rice, sorghum, millet, cassava, yams, rubber, and more. They also raise animals like cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, and fish for their commercial values.

Even though Nigeria is highly dependent on its oil and gas industry, agriculture still generates a significant portion of its revenue, providing 25% of its gross domestic product (GDP) and accounting for about 70% of its labor force. Agriculture is an important contributor to the lives of all Nigerians. It feeds them and helps grow the economy.

Choosing a Career in the Agriculture Industry

A career in agriculture and farm jobs in Nigeria are both fulfilling and very lucrative. Working conditions in the Nigerian agriculture industry can vary from being in a farm growing crops commercially to working as an agricultural engineer for equipment and machinery manufacturers. 

Gain a better understanding of the agriculture sector with these courses.

Explore Agriculture Courses

Banking Industry

What Is Banking?

Banking is the business activity of accepting deposits, issuing loans, and providing financial transactions to individuals and entities. Despite its economic challenges, Nigeria has a robust banking industry that contributes 2.5% of its GDP and currently employs more than 100,000 workers.

A major bank consolidation exercise was carried out by the Central Bank of Nigeria in 2005 to position the Nigerian banking sector for socio-economic growth. The exercise, which saw the number of banks reduced from 100 to fewer than 30 has significantly improved the performance of the banking industry. Since the consolidation, bank staff strength has grown remarkably and a lot of financial institutions have improved the quality of their assets.

Choosing a Career in the Banking Industry

If you are interested in money management and have an understanding of financial transaction processes, then choosing a career in banking could be a smart move. Being one of the biggest employers of labor in the country, a lot of Nigerian graduates take up jobs in the banking sector. Most bankers in Nigeria have at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field.

Learn more about the world of banking with these courses.

>> Explore our collection of online accounting degrees

Healthcare Industry

What is Healthcare?

Healthcare is the practice of providing organised medical care to improve the well-being of individuals or a community. The healthcare sector is one of the fastest-growing industries in Nigeria. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Nigeria has one of the largest human resources for health in Africa. However, the health workforce density is estimated at 1 medical doctor per 2753 population, placing an overwhelming burden on the healthcare system.

A lot of Nigerians aspire to launch their successful careers in the lucrative healthcare sector. From blue-collar professional roles to administrative roles, to white-collar professionals like doctors and nurses, skilled talents are in high demand in the Nigerian healthcare sector.

Choosing a Career in the Healthcare Industry

The roles that are in demand in the Nigerian healthcare sector span a variety of fields. Regardless of where your professional strength lies, you can put your skills to good use in the healthcare sector. With about 74,000 doctors and just above 180,000 registered nurses, the Nigerian healthcare sector needs more professionals. Even though it takes long years of education and hard work to become a professional in the health sector, the rewards are well worth it.

Discover the world of healthcare and take the first steps towards starting your career with these courses.

Explore Healthcare and Medicine Courses

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Industry

What is ICT?

ICT involves using devices, networking infrastructure and components, software applications, and systems to interact digitally. ICT professionals support, design, and create electronic information systems using the Internet, wireless networks, cell phones, and other mediums. The ICT sector also remains one of the fastest-growing in Nigeria and professionals of all stripes are hired all the time. 

As an important non-oil economic growth driver, the ICT sector contributed 13.04% to Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019. The digital world in Nigeria is an evolving sector that has empowered a lot of citizens economically and the industry regulators are putting more effort towards increasing broadband penetration to improve ICT’s contribution to the nation’s economic growth. Airtel, Globacom, 9mobile, and MTN are some of the top telecommunications companies in Nigeria.

Choosing a Career in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Industry

As digital technology continues to disrupt the traditional ways business of doing business in Nigeria, career opportunities abound in the sector for professionals in a wide variety of fields within the industry. Some of the top job titles that are most in-demand within the Nigerian ICT industry include software engineering, telecommunications engineering, network engineering, project management, sales representatives, customer care representatives, and more.

Discover how to write computer codes and learn other important skills, and take your first steps towards starting a career in the ICT world with these courses.

Explore Software Engineering Courses

>> Explore our range of online software engineering degrees

Entertainment Industry

What is Entertainment?

Entertainment involves creating activities that provide amusement and give pleasure. The entertainment industry in Nigeria has blossomed over the last few years and enjoyed impressive global recognition. The Nigerian Film Industry (Nollywood), the major player in the entertainment sector is globally recognised as the second largest film producer in the world. The entertainment Industry through the works of Nollywood is one of the key drivers of Nigeria’s economic growth, contributing about 1% to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) annually.

In 2013 actress and producer, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde was recognised as one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people, alongside Michele Obama, Beyonce, Kate Middleton, and the Chinese tennis star, Li Na. Also, Nigerian singer, Burna Boy earned himself a Grammy nomination in 2019 as a result of his great contributions to the Nigerian entertainment industry. The multilingual nature of Nigeria is one of the reasons for the massive success of the entertainment industry as films are acted and produced in English, Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, and other local languages.

Choosing a Career in the Entertainment Industry

With more than 1 million people currently employed in it, the entertainment industry is rated the second largest employer of labor in Nigeria after agriculture. Most of the actors, producers, and directors earn payout and salaries that are much higher than the national average. Even though there are millions of people already working in the Nigerian entertainment industry, there are rooms for more. An innate creative ability and an outgoing personality can help you succeed in the Nigerian entertainment industry.

Discover the world of entertainment and how you can start your career with these courses.

Explore Creative Arts Courses

Utility Industry

What is Utility?

The utility industry is the sector that provides basic services and maintains infrastructures for economic and social growth. The utility industry in Nigeria, which encompasses companies that generate and distribute electricity and water has exhibited moderate and largely steady growth in the last 6 years. The dominant force in the utility industry is the power sector, which currently generates just above 12,500 MW of electricity to power the nation’s economy.

Electricity demand in Nigeria has increased organically due to the increasing population and industrialisation. The current power generation capacity of Nigeria is much lower than what the population needs, living about 20 million households without electricity.

Choosing a Career in the Utility Industry

Even though the Nigerian power sector is underperforming, it currently employs thousands of people, making it one of the biggest employers of labor in Nigeria. There are various electricity generation and distribution companies that employ job seekers in Nigeria. The state water corporations also employ thousands of people. There are rooms for electrical engineers, technicians, human resource experts, accountants, and much more in this sector.

Take your first steps into the utility industry with these courses.

Electrical Engineering Course

Explore Human Resources Courses

Real Estate Industry

What is Real Estate?

Real estate is an entity consisting of lands and buildings. The real estate sector is the 5th biggest contributor to Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) and one of the largest employers of labor in the country. The real estate market contributed about 6.4% percent of the nation’s GDP in the second quarter of 2019. Over the years the real estate sector in Nigeria has struggled to maintain steady growth despite its immense potentials.

The industry contracted by 2.31% in 2019 but efforts are being made to maximise its full potential to the benefits of the nation. Despite the challenges in this sector, thousands of real estate companies spring up all over the country annually and they offer job channels for Nigeria’s teeming unemployed persons.

Choosing a Career in the Real Estate Industry

The Nigerian real estate market is expanding fast, and due to its versatility, there are many options for individuals to have great careers and businesses to make profits. The real estate sector offers different ways to make money and a wide variety of career paths including real estate management, property management, land acquisition, architecture, real estate legal services, construction, and more.

Discover the world of real estate with this course.

Real Estate Course

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