Leading Adviser in Nigeria
Adebola Sobanjo & Co is a private company established in 1980 without any foreign equity but with a turnover of $800,000 – 1 million per year. and provides a number of services including auditing, taxation & management consultancy, HR solutions and insolvency practice.
Oil is a huge part of the Nigerian economy but the government changed last year due to the general election. The new government has focussed on the economy, moving it away from oil to agriculture and the country is using that to employ more people. Also, there is high unemployment, so the crime rate is high and there is work to be done in order to improve solid minerals to be exploited, processed and exported.
There is no electricity where I am located, so this is an immediate challenge to Nigeria and it has slowed down the industry who suffer because they have to buy a generator and diesel to power it and that of course increases the cost of production. This makes internal production more expensive than external production, but having said that labour costs here in Nigeria are very low. The high cost of production is therefore a major challenge and industry are now trying to utilise the solid mineral now to be a source of income.
The new government are also trying to revive the manufacturing companies but that will require the infrastructures to begin with, but the security of the country is a key factor for example there have been kidnappings and people here in Nigeria are afraid to go from place to place.
Many of Nigeria’s young people are interested in telecommunications and the government is looking into how they can make the country more competent in this area. The country is also looking into how they can put education into a prime position, in terms of Universities and schools, so that the people can be trained in literacy and be given technical education that is relevant to the needs of the people and the industry.
The country is going through a time of reorganisation, re-education, rebuilding and revamping. Infrastructure however is one problem because the routes are very bad and we need to look into how to improve the roads and the railway. The latter is not doing very well, and the lines have very narrow gauges, so the government is trying to find a way to transport agricultural goods to the urban areas so that people can buy them.
Opportunities for overseas investors
The potential for investment from other countries is huge and the government is doing everything they can in this respect. Our company is ensuring that people are given the guidelines they need and to hold their hands to help them establish their companies without any stress. In the power sector, the government is looking for people who can partner with them or Nigerian companies. The government allows a company to come in with 30% equity or to have equity in the electricity, solid mineral and agriculture sectors for example. The government is looking not only for raw materials, but also for people.
In the telecommunications sector, Nigeria wants to have industrial city parks and the people to ensure this is done. While the opportunities for overseas investment is huge, there are so many problems that need to be solved. If they are to be solved, then there is every opportunity for this to be done as investors to come into the country.
Staying one step ahead
We have started off a number of companies, many of whom have gone on to increase in size. Some of them have established subsibdiaries in other countries and we are a member of VKR International which is an association of accountants and business advisors. We leverage our relationship with them to bring higher quality performance to our services and ulitmately our clients.
As a company, we ensure that our staff are members attend conferences and training at national and international level, to obtain knowledge of best practice, so that when we come back we are in a position to compete with our colleagues. It is good to know about innovation and what is happening in other countries, but more than that we try to ensure that client satisfaction is given a priority.
Our firm is customer centred, and we try to look at how to we can be in the position to compete and ensure that the problem of the client is owned by us. We try to solve the problem together with the client of course, so they are not alone. Our company stands for a high standard of performance, affordable prices, international best practice for example and with all these aspects combined we are different from others.
While we were preparing for the elections in 2015, the economy closed down. When the new government came in, they needed to form a new cabinet and get the new government running. So for the most part of last year, operations were very slow for this reason. But in 2016, it has been very encouraging that the new government has put back the focus back on the economy so that has been a huge opportunity for us as a company. We can therefore see that the future is very bright for Nigeria and our company. We see our company doubling in size over the next 12 months.
Adebola Sobanjo & Co
Phone: 00234 1 8042032