Using an Agent or Distributor in Nigeria

A Hot Tip about Sales Representative in Nigeria

Last updated: 23 Feb 2011

Doing business in Nigeria, as in many developing markets, requires preparation and an effort to understand the country’s business practices, cultural nuances and complex trade channels consisting of formal and informal market segments. At times, this can overwhelm even the most experienced exporter. To assist U.S. suppliers and manufacturers, the U.S. Commercial Service in Nigeria (CS Nigeria) maintains a reliable client management system known as NUSA (Networking with United States of America). NUSA offers a unique service and a database of over 3000 verified local companies to U.S. firms wishing to access the Nigerian market. The integrity of the system provides the confidence U.S. exporters need to engage potential agents, distributor and partners.


To learn more about the products and services offered by CS Nigeria such as the NUSA program, international company profile (ICP), the international partner search (IPS)


Using an agent or distributor is advisable for U.S. companies wishing to penetrate the Nigerian market. However, the agreement with any Nigerian business partner, whether a representative, agent or distributor, should address whether the arrangement is exclusive or non-exclusive, the territory to be covered, and the length of the association, among other issues.


Through U.S. Export Assistant Centers , CS Nigeria can assist U.S. exporters in finding legitimate local companies as partners, agents or distributors. To learn more about CS Nigeria business facilitation services, programs and products


U.S. exporters should note that it is customary for Nigerian firms to insist on a factory visit and pre-shipment inspection to confirm the status of an equipment purchase before it is containerized for shipment to Nigeria. A factory visit and pre-shipment inspection are precautionary measures to prevent potential technical problems and to ensure that the technical specifications on an export manifest match the information and data on the letters of credit used to purchase foreign exchange at the local banks and the forms to be used for destination inspection at Nigerian ports. Most Nigerian importers rely on credit facilities with very high interest rates and bank charges exceeding 30 percent of the principal amount to import products and to meet contract obligations. As a result, Nigerian importers become anxious when production is delayed in the United States or their deposits are held beyond a certain timeline by a U.S. exporter. Keeping your Nigerian client informed of any delays or unexpected contingencies or developments is a must to avoid misunderstandings or potential business disputes.



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Posted: 10 May 2010, last updated 23 February 2011

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