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Getting contracts in Nigeria from Governments and big companies is not easy. But you can pull it off if you follow the due process. Why do Governments gives contracts? One of the main objectives of every responsible Government worldwide is the provision of security and good governance which is physically distributed through various government projects, infrastructural distributions, and services delivery.

The above principal responsibilities of Governments are made possible through the participation of the private sectors as main contractors and subcontractors in projects management, execution, service provision and consultancy. This is where contractors and getting contracts from Governments comes in.

Getting a contract in Nigeria is a serious business because it can make you millions of Naira overnight. In this post, I will concentrate my explanation on Government contracts. This same process you can adopt for seeking contracts with big companies.

SEE ALSO: How To Negotiate Business Contract To Your Advantage

First thing first, you need to get your company registered because all tenders to Government contracts must be through registered company. No unregistered individual bidding is allowed. You can either become a main contractor or subordinate contractor. Before company registration, you need to get specialized training and acquire some special certificate depending on your area of interests like project management, procurement, and consultancy.

Types Of Contracts From The Government And Big Companies

Major Contractors

These are mainly big companies and multi nationals. Most of the people dominating in this sector are foreign multinational companies. These category of contractors handles the major contracts in some of these areas –

  1. Civil And Building Engineering – This has to do with the major constructions such as roads, major bridges, stadium constructions, oil refineries, major government buildings, construction of dams and hydro electric power stations, etc.
  2. Technical Consultancy – These provides consultancy on variety of areas such as: Structural integrity, engineering simulation, thermal hydraulics, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), human factors, quality of materials, chemistry, corrosion, noise, engineering test rigs and trials, remote operations and inspection, measurement, laboratory analysis, etc.
  3. Supplies And Finance – This has to do with the securing and management of finance of projects. It is a critical aspect of contracts that is handled by the experts in finance management sectors.

The Subcontractors

These are the local independent contractors who handles some of the portions of the major contracts won by the major contractors. They can be classified as contractors to big companies because, the big companies get the major contracts from the Government, and in turn sub-contract some of the projects such as the supply of equipment to the subcontractors.

SEE ALSO: Understanding The Basic Elements Of Contract

These constitute the major takers of the wealth of all nations, be it in developed, less developed, developing or undeveloped economies of the world.

Eligibility Requirements For Bidders Of Contracts

Bidders on most Government contracts are to provide the following as minimum qualification requirement for the Project(s) of their choice. For bigger projects mainly reserved for the major contractors, the minimum requirements may be far deeper than this.

Statutory Requirement

(a) Evidence of Incorporation of the Company with Corporate Affairs Commission and updated Annual Returns; Article of Association; form C02; and form C07.

(b) The company must show evidence of fulfilling its Tax obligations as follows:

(i) Current Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC) for the last three (3) years ending 2014; VAT Registration Certificate; and TIN Number (Tax Identification Number).

(ii) Audited Account of the Bidding Company for the last three (3) years duly endorsed by a firm of Professional Accountants.

(iii) Evidence of financial capability (Statement of Account or Turnover) and reference letter from a reputable bank.

(c) Evidence of inclusion in the PENCOM register.

(d) Evidence of fulfillment of statutory contribution to the Industrial Training Fund (certificate of compliance).

(e) A Sworn Affidavit in line with section 6 of the Procurement Act 2007.

(f) A letter authorizing the Authority or her representative(s) to conduct Due Diligence on all the documents submitted by the company from any source with the view of confirming their genuineness or otherwise.

(g) Evidence of inclusion in the database of the respective government of Public Procurement for Federal Contractors.

Technical Requirements

(a) Evidence of work experience as the main contractor executing or having executed a minimum of four (4) projects of similar complexity, compared to the proposed work, one of which must have been within the last 3 years. Scanned copies of award letters and Interim Certificate of Valuation for on­going project, Completion Certificate and Final Maintenance Certificates where applicable are to be enclosed.

(b) Evidence of staff holding of at least four (4) relevant professionals, stating their roles, designation and experience.

(c) Evidence of possession of relevant machinery and equipment.

(d) History of company’s policy on Community Social Responsibility with evidence.

(e) Methodology of implementation for the project.

In addition, scan copies of certificates of Technical/professional staff of the company to be submitted are to be initialed, endorsed by the owner and professional seals embossed on the certificates.

The Contract Opportunities In Nigeria

Every year, billions of dollars are being spent on various development and maintenance projects across the country. Some are huge while some are small, small enough to accommodate indigenous small company players. For example, any contractual project from N70million and below is left for indigenous small companies to handle.

SEE ALSO: Two Major Mistakes To Avoid When Entering A Contract

Contractors in Nigeria are never in short supply of clients. What you need to work on first is your qualification, once you have the qualifications and ready to start small, there are countless of places in government where you can seek for and get contracts.

There are 774 Local Governments in Nigeria.
36 State Governments and Abuja (Federal Capital Territory).

The Federal Government

26 Federal Ministries
315 Federal MDAs.
The Armed Forces, Police and Paramilitary Organizations such as the Nigerian Customs and Immigration services.

Key Ministries such as finance, defence, works and housing and education which command preferential status in government attention.
For instance, the education ministry has the highest numbers of PDAs as listed below:
9 Departments
36 Universities
20 Colleges of Education
11 Polytechnics
52 Federal Colleges
16 Specialized Colleges

Other Sectors Of The Economy Where Contracts Abounds

The states have in excess of 900 MDAs while each of the 774 LGAs has average of (6) departments with the total figure in excess of 7,000!

The various Government agencies as mentioned above are the main suppliers of contracts to contractors, suppliers and even workers. Getting acquainted with them is the first step to getting contract patronage from them. Still there are other sectors of the economy that holds the key for your contractor career.

The oil-rich Nigerian economy, long caught in political instability, corruption, and poor macroeconomic management, is undergoing substantial reform under the new administration. Petroleum is the leading mineral produced in Nigeria as you and I know. Petroleum provides about 95% of foreign exchange earnings which where the majority of government revenues comes from. Other minerals extracted from the natural deposit in the country soils include tin, iron ore, coal, limestone, columbite, lead, zinc, and gold.

SEE ALSO: How To Participate In The Nigeria Oil And Gas Sector

Industries in Nigeria includes the processing of agricultural products and minerals, and the manufacture of textiles, construction materials, footware, chemicals, fertilizer, and steel. Fishing and forestry are also important to the economy, and there is small commercial shipbuilding and repair sector in the country too. The largely subsistence agricultural sector has failed to keep up with rapid population growth of Nigeria, and Nigeria, once a large net exporter of food, now rely on importation of food to feed its population.

As these sectors strive to revive, there comes with countless of contracts opportunities for smart entrepreneurs to tap from. All you need is to reposition yourself now. There is massive wealth taking opportunity in contracts in the Nigerian economy.

How To Start Getting Contracts In Nigeria

Start building your portfolio now. I have seen a women who started by just supplying sands and granite to construction companies gain so much experience and connections that later land her own major contract worth billions of Naira. Nothing is small when it comes to gathering experiences. Not until you handle a big contract before you document it as part of your experience. Something as small as handling the digging of a foundation of a building is enough to enter into your company portfolio.

Set up your company today  and register it in an area you thing you want to get and handle contracts in future and begin to acquire experiences now. Get as much training as you possible and always be in the know.

For those who are already qualified, You can start by applying for contracts in companies. To begin the process of bidding for and winning contracts in big companies, here are the steps to follow:-

1. Research The Company

Research companies within your market area that may need or regularly contract for the services you offer. Find contact information for all the area business buildings, contact their facilities manager and list the ones that contract office cleaning services if that is the service you provide, for example.

2. Call The Procurement Manager

Contact the procurement manager for each of the companies you qualified as potential contractor. Ask if they currently have or will have in the future, any need to contract for your company’s service offering. Ask if they maintain a list of potential contractors that they would forward a request for a contract bid when they need to obtain services. Request that they include your company on the list.

3. Request Detailed Information

Request an information packet detailing the company’s procurement process and bid requirements. Complete and submit the supplier capability forms included in the packet they send. Include whatever supporting documentation you may need to verify your business history, capacity, financial viability, and the product or service you provide. Understand that the content of the forms may vary depending on the industry or service you provide, so if your company contracts for office cleaning and window washing the packets you receive may look slightly different.

4. Read The Request For Bid Proposal

Read thoroughly the Request for Bid Proposal, that you receive from prospective businesses. Know that these proposals will be detailed and failure to understand what the proposal is requiring can derail your chances at a successful bid. Go through the request line-by-line to identify what work needs to be done, in what time frame, and within what limits or restrictions your company might have to work.

5. Start Your Bid Process

Begin your bid submission with a summary of your company and qualifications and why you should win the contract. State how you intend to complete the job being contracted. Submit any paperwork requested by the Request for Bid Proposal, ensuring that forms are complete, correct and signed. Include a listing of key personnel and subcontractors (if any) and their qualifications. Detail how you will meet the requirements of the Request for Bid Proposal in the sequence that those requirements are requested. Include additional documentation, such as proof of insurance or certifications, as needed.

6. Calculate Your Bid

Calculate your bid to include your overhead costs–labor, supplies, and equipment usage for example–and your profit margin. Anticipate the estimated bid of your competition but you shouldn’t try to bid so low that the contract is no longer profitable for your business.

TIPS: Unlike government contracts, being the lowest bidder doesn’t always win the contract. Instead try to present the most attractive bid on a business Request for Bid Proposal. This means presenting the best quality and turnaround at the most reasonable price.

If your company wins the business bidding process, you will likely have the opportunity to continue negotiation with the procurement manager of the bidding firm. Expect to set the final pricing and terms at this final negotiating phase of the business bidding process.

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  • Bassey Essien March 31, 2016

    I am interested in setting up these businesses and I would be grateful if you could give rough estimates that would be required in their set up:
    1) Fruit Juice Business
    2) Internet Cafe with and without Computer Business
    3) Viewing and Gaming Centre Business

    Thank you.
    Bassey Essien

  • Yibe Haggai April 20, 2016

    This tips will actually help a lot in pursuing my dream business.

    • DR E BROWN April 30, 2016

      at Haggai its just a matter oif you understanding your dream settings okay i will help you to actualize your dream my number is

      • smithkollince March 15, 2017

        how about searching for a business partner in Nigeria ?

        • patrick September 23, 2017

          I have a cleaning services company in Nigeria but the issue is that clients are not forth coming. I opened this company with the intention of eradicating , reducing crimes and other social vices among the youths. The youths constitute the majority of my workers. They are so eager to work but the job are not coming as expected. I pray , i will get a good contract job from Government in order to keep these youths occupied with something good. PATJENI GLOBAL SERVICES LIMITED…

  • ehis May 1, 2016

    I’m interested in setting up a private university with programmes in medicine ,engineering, management and law. I have acquired 1500 hectares of land…. pls, can I get an estimated cost and list of facilities needed like hostels, labs, e.t.c with their individual costs, thanks

    • Oreoluwa Dabi May 20, 2016

      Hello @ Ehis! What you typed in three lines is a bit complex and interesting. Costing building facilities is dependent on several factors. I’ll advice you to get in touch with an industry expert. Again, you will need to do a realistic market research to make your dreams a reality. All the best.

  • JoE May 6, 2016

    This is quite educating. Tnx

  • Esther May 30, 2016

    I would like to get into contract business of supplying toiletries, fruit juice, bottle water and stationeries to hotels and companies. What do I need to do. I have got a registered company already, just needed to know what I have got to do next and his I could search for companies to bid the contract. Thanks

  • Akhibi Alfred Ehijie May 31, 2016

    Thank you for this digest wrt to contracts in Nigeria. I am a building services consultant and I have been involved in contract management. Also I have a registered company and a handful of skillful workforce. Could you please assist me with ‘COMPANIES’ I will get contracts from.

    Thanks a bunch

  • ohuru abdulhamid July 11, 2016

    Please list all the documents required to obtain an industrial training fund certificate by a corporate firm

  • Ogunpitan Sholafunmi. July 26, 2016

    Good day,i have a mission of exporting seam seed beans to an asia country and also supply to some chiness and indian hotels in Nigeria,pls how can i go about it sir?

  • DELFUNZ July 27, 2016

    Good morning, I’m building contractor with Registered Business Name, most requirement for companies need certificate of incorporation,article if memorandum. I havecompany profile,3 years audited account,…there is project I bidded for and have been award but request for bank guarantee or insurance bond .the insurance company is requesting for this. What should i do?

  • firstimpressionprint February 28, 2017

    good day, please im a printer by profession and i have already register my company and we have been doing good so please can you get me your email address? i need to ask you something personal God bless

  • ck August 15, 2017

    Thanks for the guide,

  • Robert August 24, 2017

    You have been very generous with your analysis and it is very helpful. Thank you for this post and good luck to you too in your future endeavour.


  • kunlele September 13, 2017

    I have registered my company years back but couldn’t use it because of financial problem can I get a partner or consultant who can help put it to use for a period of a year or two? so as to gain more experience before I continue from where they stop

  • Brother Felix Okafor. September 15, 2017

    Thanks a million times for sharing your wealth Of experience to people like us, the helpless and needy. It gladens my heart to read from your solution articles or writeups. Having stolen some glances, I think I have found the very topic that appeals to my interest on how to pursue government contracts amongst others. Pls, I need your email address, whatsapp portal, so I can relate with you in details of other things bothering me, that I your counseling. God bless you.

  • chinonso November 22, 2017

    Pls I have registered company and specialized on supplies…. Oiltool, electrical, electronics, household items, pls kindly refer me to companies were I can bid fr contacts to supply

  • Amos January 11, 2018

    Thank you very much. This is a useful information. I have struggling to generate contracts for my organization. I am so happy happy to come across this information. Many Thanks.

  • Olayiwola Bayo March 6, 2018

    Thanks for the info, but am a building engineer, and no work fort coming what to i do, and I want to do farming business no money how do i get money to do it
    Thank you

  • thanks for sharing this with me. I appreciate

  • Owonla June 11, 2018

    Thanks so much for this you just motivated me .I’m planning to go into building and constructions company. I have the experience and I also have a lot of professionals in the field but all I need is a strategy on how I can make this company big and get contract like you just mention

  • Agbo July 9, 2018

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  • Lekan August 13, 2018

    Your content is very educative. Thanks so much.
    Am a civil engineer of over 10 years construction experience. I also have a registered construction company. Could you possibly link me up with some projects, either government or private clients. Am willing to start small.

  • Aliyu Murtala December 26, 2018

    I am so happy to land at the right destination of information.

    First, i will like to appreciate your hard work, thank you so much for this awesome and well explain clear information.

    Sir, I have a registered Printing and Publishing company with experience staff that can handle any complex printing job.
    Having read the information above, I have so much believe that my company would play a vital role in printing and publishing contract in Nigeria.

    Please, how do i go and where can i get to source for printing contract in Local Government, State, Private Companies or Federal level?

    Thank you so much and God bless.

    A.M Smart

  • Fresko February 1, 2019

    Good bless you sir.

  • unity dadugobo March 11, 2019

    As a student how do I write a proposal for the construction of road from it initial stage into which I will finally lay the pavement?

  • Moses Taiwo March 15, 2019

    Good writ up. many thanks

  • dare mikel April 4, 2019

    i have a pure herbal medicine company(nothing spiritual). we offer treatment for cancer, stroke, diabetes and hypertension. help me and help people with this conditions. remhealth on facebook 08067562634

  • Nwokoro chinedum September 15, 2019

    I am a trained building technologist,with 7years in construction management, we also do finishes such as house painting, Tyrolean,wall screeding, and paint production and allied products. Supply and apply: Contact us on whatsap: 07061613884, or call 08037379857 .we do major contracts and subcontract ready to partner and render our services. Engr chinedum

  • Syed Shabbir Ali Meerza September 22, 2019

    This is Sayyed from India firstly I would give my regards to all in government organization..
    Respected Sir.
    I have a wonderful businesses purposel for your
    Country in Nigeria….I have frnds there they complain about electricity problem there .
    I am here to provide you a Solar Panlen for Electricity supply these will help people live their tension free life and it’s Eco friendly.
    Waiting for ur reply

  • Betiku Samuel Dotun October 13, 2019

    Hello sir i am a plumber can you help me please ?,because am in need of your help to get a contract please thanks

  • God’spower June 26, 2020

    My name is God’spower i deal on ceiling installations, dry wall partition, screeding…

  • Promise owubokiri July 13, 2020

    Good morning , I want to register as a vendor in oil and gas companys like total, NLG, Mobil and the rest of them. I have a register company but don’t have their websites. Thanks

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