If going to Nigeria for meetings there are a few practical issues you really need to take into consideration.

Firstly make sure that you will be met at the airport by somebody you know or a representative of the company you are visiting. Personal safety is a real issue in Nigeria so don’t be tempted to go off on your own — no matter how seasoned a traveller you might be.

Secondly, meetings can be difficult to arrange by phone whilst in Nigeria due to the unreliability of the inherent infrastructure. Local appointments are best made by appearing in person or through the use of hand-delivered notes. (For this reason, take a supply of company-headed stationery with you on all visits.)

Nigeria is definitely a country in which relationships are all-important and so meetings will often start and finish with a great deal of social interaction. Do not try to rush these conversations as they are vital parts of the getting-to-know-you process.

Do not expect meetings to start on time – they may do, but you cannot count on it. It is best to arrive on time yourself but be prepared to wait. Patience is necessary in many business dealings in the country.

A brief overview of some key concepts to consider when doing business in Nigeria

Written and Produced by Keith Warburton

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Overview

This country profile has been produced to give a short overview of some of the key concepts to bear in mind when doing business with contacts in Nigeria. It is intended to be an aid to business people who have commercial dealings with counterparties in the country but should not be seen as an exhaustive guide to this topic or as a substitute for more substantial research should there be a need.

With this in mind, we have covered the areas which are key to a better understanding of the cultural mindset underpinning business dealings in Nigeria and which are, quite often, extremely different from the approach and thought processes associated with business in other parts of the world.

Therefore this briefing note is broken into short, bite-sized sections on the following topics:

  • Background to business
  • Business Structures
  • Management style
  • Meetings
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Women in business
  • Entertaining
  • Top tips