Non-Resident Taxation in Lagos: Impact on Foreign Direct Investments (FDI).

Realized FDI picks up 15.2% during Jan-Oct period


Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) plays a pivotal role in the economic growth and development of Lagos State, Nigeria’s commercial hub. However, one critical aspect that both investors and the Lagos Inland Revenue Service (LIRS) must contend with is non-resident taxation. In this article, we will explore the impact of non-resident taxation on FDI in Lagos and provide insights into how foreign investors can navigate this complex terrain.

Understanding Non-Resident Taxation:

Non-resident taxation refers to the taxation of income generated within a country’s borders by individuals or entities that are not considered tax residents of that country. In Lagos, non-resident taxation affects various income streams, including dividends, interest, royalties, and capital gains, all of which can be significant in FDI transactions.

Impact on Foreign Direct Investments:

  1. Withholding Tax on Dividends: One of the primary tax implications for foreign investors in Lagos is the withholding tax on dividends. Under Nigerian tax law, dividends paid to non-resident investors are subject to a withholding tax rate of 10%. This withholding can impact the overall return on investment for foreign shareholders.
  2. Withholding Tax on Interest: Similarly, interest income earned by foreign investors in Lagos may also be subject to a withholding tax rate of 10%. This can affect the attractiveness of debt investments and financing arrangements.
  3. Capital Gains Tax: Capital gains on the sale of assets in Lagos may also be subject to taxation. While the current rate is 10%, capital gains tax can impact the overall profitability of investments, especially in real estate and securities.

Navigating Non-Resident Taxation for FDI:

Foreign investors can take several strategic steps to navigate non-resident taxation in Lagos:

  1. Explore Double Taxation Treaties: Nigeria has entered into double taxation treaties with various countries. These treaties can help foreign investors reduce or eliminate double taxation, providing relief and making investments more attractive.
  2. Engage in Tax Planning: Seek advice from local tax experts to develop tax-efficient investment structures that maximize returns while ensuring compliance with tax laws.
  3. Consider Holding Structures: Carefully consider the holding structures for investments, as these can impact the tax treatment of dividends, interest, and capital gains.
  4. Access Local Expertise: Collaborate with local professionals who have a deep understanding of Nigerian tax regulations and can provide guidance tailored to your specific investment.
  5. Due Diligence: Conduct thorough due diligence on investment opportunities, including an assessment of the potential tax implications.

Challenges and Risks:

Navigating non-resident taxation as an FDI in Lagos comes with challenges and risks:

  1. Complexity: Nigerian tax laws can be complex, requiring foreign investors to invest in resources for compliance.
  2. Regulatory Changes: Tax laws and regulations can change over time, impacting investment strategies and tax liabilities.
  3. Documentation Burden: Compliance often involves maintaining meticulous records, which can be administratively burdensome.
  4. Exchange Rate Risks: Fluctuations in exchange rates can impact the value of investments and tax calculations.


Non-resident taxation is a crucial consideration for foreign investors looking to capitalize on the opportunities Lagos has to offer. While it can add complexity to investment decisions, strategic tax planning, collaboration with local experts, and leveraging double taxation treaties can help mitigate risks and ensure that FDI continues to contribute positively to Lagos’ economic growth and development.

For professional advice on Accountancy, Transfer Pricing, Tax, Assurance, Outsourcing, online accounting support, Company Registration, and CAC matters, please contact Sunmola David & CO (Chartered Accountants & Tax Practitioners) at Lagos, Ogun state Nigeria offices, You can also reach us via WhatsApp at +2348038460036.