Nigerians are inherently friendly people and entertainment, food, the joys of life etc. are of great importance.

Business entertainment is, therefore, very important. If invited to lunch or dinner by a trusted contact you should accept — if invited by anybody you don’t know well, be very wary.

If you are entertaining local business people, make sure you do it with style in a very good restaurant. Your level of hospitality directly correlates to the seriousness of your desire to do business together.

Avoid using the left hand at meals in Nigeria, both for eating and for passing things around the table. Also, remember that many Nigerians are Muslims who do not drink alcohol.

Nigeria is largely a cash economy and you may be unable to pay with credit cards in restaurants outside the best hotels. It is important therefore to carry a sum of cash with you — but not too much as you don’t want to make yourself a target.

Unless a service charge has been included, 10 per cent tip is expected for most services

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