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Leasing Business Arrangements In Nigeria: A Legal And Regulatory Overview

By Olufunke Fawehinmi

1. Introduction

Leasing is a growing market in Nigeria. According to a report released by the Equipment Leasing Association of Nigeria (ELAN), the Nigerian Leasing industry recorded 1.6% growth in Q1 2022. The available statistics show an outstanding lease volume as at Q1 2022 which stood at ₦2.629trillion as against ₦2.587trillion in Q4 2021. The growth was attributed to the stability in the microeconomic environment, following the continuous post-pandemic recovery experienced in the first quarter.1

In terms of the importance of the leasing business to the Nigerian economy, it is a known fact that leasing increases capital investment and economic growth and also enables businesses and even governments (at the local and national level), to acquire capital assets for production.2

Therefore, it is necessary to look into the regulatory framework and structure of leasing business arrangements in Nigeria.

Leasing means the business of letting or sub-letting movable property on hire for the purpose of the use of such property by the hirer or any other person in any business whatsoever and where the lessor is the owner of the property regardless of whether the letting is with or without an option to purchase the property.3 This definition is encompassing of the business of rentals, operating leases, finance leases conditional sale and hire purchase. However, the above businesses are differentiated by the terms of contract as agreed between parties. A contract of rent is typically that of hire or letting of property for a short period of time and for all time from hours to a month and sometimes a longer period of time based on more frequently received rentals and the incidence of maintenance of the property lies with the hirer for the period of the rental.

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