The key question answered in this paper is, what characterises the manufacturing business environment in Nigeria and how are firms and government supposed to react? Based on a sample of manufacturing firms, our findings show that the environment, though complex-changing, is analysable. We offer some explanations for and draw strategic implications from these results. In a large, protected low-income country with a weak propensity to export and low technology sophistication, a largely predictable business environment is to be expected. However, turbulence may arise from intertemporal changes in levels of consumers’ real income, which may necessitate technology upgrade to meet increasing demands for better products and variety. Policy interventions that support such upgrading are thus required.