The aim of every government is to work towards ensuring better living conditions for its citizens. The implication of this is that they are saddled with the responsibility of securing lives and properties, giving the citizens good education, constant power, and every other social amenity.

From the Colonial era, the government at the time thought it wise to build companies. But the argument remains in the question of whether or not the government is supposed to own companies.

While some argue that government should not own companies, others are of the opinion that companies should partly be owned by the government and partly owned by individuals.

The justification for the government not owning companies is that the efficiency of public companies is reduced; since the government doesn’t carry out proper monitoring.

But in the case where it is privately owned, the proprietor would commit time to ensure that all workers attain their maximum productivity.

In the light of the above, Nigeria has many companies in the 36 states of the federation. While some are solely owned by the government, a greater percentage are public-private partnerships (i.e. the government and individuals are shareholders).

Therefore, this article is written to highlight the government-owned companies in the country.

What is a company?

A company is an organization or group of people who share the same objective and are licensed to operate in a particular area. Some of the outstanding features of a company are:

  • The Company Stamp

This is the insignia of the company used on official documents of the company.

  • Continuity

In the eyes of the law, a company is an artificial and different entity from its owners or directors. As such, whatever condition which may lead to the absence of the directors; perhaps in a case of death does not affect the existence of the company.

  • Shareholding Transfer

According to the laws binding a company, any major shareholder in a company could decide to sell his or her share in the company either with or without the consent of other shareholders.

  • Membership

The number of members allowed to belong to a Private Liability Company is between 2 on a minimum and 50 on a maximum. In a situation where it is a Public Liability Company, the restriction is only to a minimum of seven and no specified maximum.

  • Artificial Legality

A company is considered as a legal artificial person. It can enter into various contracts and agreements, and can also sue and be sued in its own name.


Why do we need Companies?

The importance of companies include;

  • Revenue

Companies contribute a reasonable quota to the national income. This is achieved through taxation and annual returns. Therefore, the number of companies operating in a country has a positive effect on its economy.

  • Job Creation

Companies solve the problem of unemployment by creating opportunities for the teeming population of the country. In building a company from the foundation, it firstly creates jobs for unskilled workers. As the job progresses, the skilled and semi-skilled workers are later introduced to the project. Upon completion, more jobs are created and development is eventually brought to the locality of the company.


Company vs Industry

Most often, people conflict with the usage of company and Industry. Since you’ve read this article to this point, I’m happy to enlighten you on the difference between the two terms.

A company is a licensed entity consisting of individuals; who do business with a common objective, while an industry refers to an organization of many companies; usually producing the same products.


Read Also: All You Need to Know about Company Law in Nigeria


Companies in Nigeria

The government-owned companies in Nigeria include:

  • Nigerian Television Authority (NTA)

This company started in 1977, and the Nigerian government is a major shareholder in this company. It was inaugurated as the first-ever and only national television. However, this was changed in the mid-90s with the Introduction of other television stations.

NTA is the most recognized Media house where legitimate information on the happenings of the Nigerian government is broadcasted. It has its head office in Abuja (NTA 2), with other stations in various cities; out of which nine are network centers.

Although NTA has gone digital through the “Startimes” satellite dish and decoder, analog signals could still be received by televisions without a dish or decoder.

  • The Central Bank of Nigeria

The CBN is the apex bank in Nigeria. It is sometimes referred to as the banker’s bank. The CBN is fully owned by the Nigerian government. It was established in March 1958, and it is saddled with the responsibilities of being a financial advisor of the Federal Government, management of the external reserves of the country, and maintenance of a stable monetary environment.

Presently, it has its headquarters in Abuja, where it is currently headed by Mr. Godwin Emefiele; who is serving as Governor.

  • The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)

This company was established on the 1st of April, 1977. They carry out petroleum exploration and production in partnership with the various multinationals in the country. It also performs a regulatory function to these multinationals.

The headquarters of NNPC is located in Abuja, and it is headed by Mr. Mele Kyari; who serves as the General Managing Director.

The NNPC also pays tax to the Federal Government. It also contributes immensely to solving the challenges of unemployment as it has an average of 6700 staff under its employ.

  • The Nigerian Gas Company Limited

This company is a subsidiary of NNPC. It started its corporate operations in 1988. The functions of the company include; the transportation and distribution of natural gas from its place of Production (field) to customers, marketing of the natural gas and its derivatives within the ECOWAS region, development of integrated pipeline transmission network, and recommendation of policies on gas utilization to the government.

  • The Nigerian Ports Authority

This company is another source of revenue to the Federal Government. It was established in 1954 and currently has its headquarter in Marina, Lagos.

Other ports in Nigeria include; the Tincan the Port, Calabar Port, Delta Port, Rivers Port, and the Onne Port. It is currently headed by Mohamed Bello Koko; who is serving in an acting capacity as the managing director.



There are many companies owned by the Federal Government which cannot be exhaustively listed in this article. As such, the ones listed in this article cut across various industries including the broadcasting industry, economy, and finance, energy and fuel, as well as exports.


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