Charcoal Business in Nigeria: How to Start, Cost & Profitability in 2024

  • October 1, 2023

Looking for an untapped business to start? Charcoal business is actually a good one to try as it makes a lot of money, even more than you can imagine.

Charcoal business in Nigeria is very profitable as there is high demand for charcoal not only in the country but abroad also. The business is very easy to start as all you need to know is what is needed to get started.

That is why we’ve come up with this post to show you exactly how to start a charcoal business in Nigeria, both within the country and even exporting abroad legally.

Ready to get started? Let’s go then!

Charcoal Business in Nigeria: Overview

Charcoal Business in Nigeria

Charcoal business deals with the buying of charcoal from the locals and selling them either within the country or exporting abroad.

Selling your charcoal within Nigeria is great, but not as profitable as exporting them. This is because Nigeria charcoal is in high demand in foreign countries such as the UK, Belgium, Australia, etc., especially during the autumn season.

You may be wondering why Nigerian Charcoal.

This is because Nigeria charcoal is produced from hardwood, and they come in different types that serve different purposes respectively.

Related: Opportunities in Distributorship Business in Nigeria: How to Get Started and Make Millions

Types of Charcoal in Nigeria

There are four major types of charcoal in Nigeria, and all of them are suitable for export. They include:

  • Briquettes Charcoal
  • BBQ Charcoal
  • Hardwood Charcoal
  • Shisha Charcoal

Is Charcoal Business Profitable?

Yes, the charcoal business in Nigeria is very profitable. Whether your charcoal business is limited to Nigeria, or you export your goods, there’s a lot of money to be made from the business.

However, the high demand for charcoal abroad makes it more profitable when exported, as you’ll get paid in foreign currencies which when converted to Naira, it’s a lot.

Selling within the country is also profitable, as not every household uses a gas cooker or stove. Some people still rely on cooking with charcoal which makes the demand also relatively high in the country.

What makes the charcoal business profitable is that Nigeria is blessed with a lot of forests that grow a lot of trees suitable for the production of charcoal. Since the resources are readily available in the country, the cost of charcoal is low. And as a seller, you can buy low and sell high.

Read Also: How to Make Millions Yearly From Agriculture in Nigeria

How Much Do You Need to Start a Charcoal Business in Nigeria

Although the resources to make charcoal are available in the country, that doesn’t mean you can start the business for free.

The cost of starting a charcoal business in Nigeria depends on whether you want to start on a small scale or a large scale. 

Starting on a small scale, you can start a charcoal business with anywhere from 100,000 Naira to 300,000 Naira. This is for retailing. While starting on a large scale as a wholesaler, distributor, or exporter, you would need millions of Naira to start a charcoal business in Nigeria.

Keep in mind that the capital needed to start a charcoal business in Nigeria is driven by a lot of factors including location and season.

Read Also: 70 Lucrative Businesses to Start With 500K in Nigeria

How to Start Charcoal Business in Nigeria

Here’s a complete step-by-step guide to start a charcoal business in Nigeria in 2023:

1. Do Your Market Research

Starting a charcoal business in Nigeria is very easy even for complete beginners. However, you must carry out some research to understand the business, how it works, and so on.

Here, you’ll need to find and meet someone in the business, and do your findings. Things to research include the cost of starting in your area, the best places to source charcoal, how to sell it, the price range of charcoal per bag and/or ton, etc.

2. Draft a Simple Business Plan

Based on the result of your market research, the next thing to do is to draft a detailed, but a simple business plan that will serve as a road map for a successful charcoal business operation.

Your business plan must include the capital needed to start and how you’ll channel it into various aspects of the business, how much charcoal you can buy per month, how to sell, strategy for finding buyers, financial projection, and so on.

3. Raise Your Startup Capital

Just like every other business, you need to arrange for funding to start a charcoal business in Nigeria. From funding the business with your personal savings to getting loans from friends, family, and even banks, there are lots of different ways to raise startup capital for your charcoal business in Nigeria.

4. Register Your Business

Unless you want to start on a small scale as a retailer where you’ll be selling charcoal to local restaurants, and households, you won’t need to register your business.

However, if your aim is to start as a charcoal exporter or even distributor, you need to register your business with some governmental bodies. CAC registration is a must for both distributors and exporters, but you need more licenses to export charcoal to other countries.

If your market research is well carried out, you should know all the legal requirements involved in exporting charcoal.

Learn More About Exportation Business Here

5. Find Suppliers/Producers

Charcoal Producer

To start selling, you need to have suppliers of the goods. Finding charcoal suppliers is very easy for retailers, as many distributors can be found on the streets. However, as a distributor, it is a little difficult to find a producer.

As a distributor or exporter, if you don’t have access to forests where carbonization can be done, an alternative way to source goods is to make findings about the local charcoal markets in your area.

These markets are mainly located in Oyo, Jebba, Kaduna, Abeokuta, Jos, Minna, Egbe, Nasarawa, etc. While looking for charcoal to buy, make sure you go with the ones that are not only cheap and good-looking, but those that meet international standards.

6. Arrange for a Storage

If you’re a retailer, you’ll need a place to store your charcoal and sell in small quantities. Also as an exporter, you need a warehouse where your goods will be kept as you’ll be buying truck by truck.

Water mainly is the problem of storing charcoal, so make sure your storage facility is free from water, and all sorts of wet stuff.

Related: How to Make Money Starting a Mini Importation Business in Nigeria

7. Source For Buyers

Although there’s high demand for charcoal, if you don’t know how to find buyers, you’re likely not to make a sale. From promoting your business through word of mouth to selling to exporting companies who already have buyers, you can look for buyers for your charcoal in many ways.

If you want to export charcoal yourself, as a beginner, it is ideal to first work with export companies, and also use ecommerce websites such as Alibaba, to get international buyers. You can also join social media groups or online forums to find buyers.

Sourcing for buyers as an exporter, you want to focus on countries that have a high demand for charcoal, and also the most profitable interns of currency exchange or international trade.

Charcoal Business – FAQs

Is charcoal good business?

Yes, the charcoal business is a good one that anybody can start and make money. Charcoal is an export commodity, which is why it is very profitable as a business.

Does Nigeria export charcoal?

Yes, Nigeria exports charcoal. There’s high demand for Nigerian charcoal because it is made from hardwood. Countries Nigeria exports charcoal to include the UK, Belgium, Greece, Spain, Germany, etc.

Where is charcoal found in Nigeria?

You can find charcoal in places like Oyo, Iseyin, Egbe, Igbo-Ora, Ogbomoso, Jebba, Omu Aran, Minna, Kaduna, Jos, Nasarawa, and so on.


The high demand for charcoal both within the country and abroad has made charcoal business in Nigeria massively profitable since it can be produced abundantly in many parts of the country. If you’re looking to venture into it, I believe this post on how to start charcoal business in Nigeria will help a lot, even if you want to know about charcoal export in Nigeria.