Are you travelling to Nigeria for business purposes? Read these tips to have a successful business trip.
With the largest population in Africa and a wealth of natural resources on its land, Nigeria is an increasingly important market that can no longer be ignored. The country is already recognized as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies and one of the world’s major investment destinations. So, there’s no better time than now to start doing business in Nigeria.
Nigeria’s economy is thriving
Nigeria is Africa’s biggest economy, having a GDP of $444.916 billion in 2019. What’s more, the country has Africa’s fastest-growing music industry, the world’s second-largest film industry, after overtaking Hollywood, and an overall booming economy, mostly thanks to its production levels of oil and gas.
What’s more, driven by a surge in technology use across all Africa, Nigeria came out top in a report by Internet World that shows a massive increase in using the Internet throughout the country. Moreover, the country is already the biggest mobile market in Africa, ranking as The World’s Highest Facebook Mobile Penetration country.
Moreover, Nigeria’s booming economy and ICT sector have helped the country emerge as a leading investment destination. It is home to over 55 active tech hubs, raising a total of $94.9 million. The country is now known as the biggest technology market across Africa and accounts for over 23% of all internet users in Africa. What’s more, the country has a teledensity figure of nearly 90% in terms of telecommunications subscribers.
But the good news about Nigeria doesn’t stop here! The country offers a lot many reasons why investors should come and put their money here:
- has enormous resources, most of which have not even been fully exploited yet
- having a population of more than 155 million, it offers a huge consumer market
- political stability, despite periodic political crises
- a favorable climate for business and industrial ventures thanks to the Nigerian government
- attractive investment incentives
- strong banking and financial sector, with over $9 billion in value pools
- improving infrastructure in terms of transportation, communications, electricity, and water supply.
Convinced to do business in Nigeria? You’ll have to consider a few factors for a successful business trip here.
Tips for a successful business trip in Nigeria
If you are serious about doing business here, you’ve likely already considered that you should be doing business from one of the hottest economic cities: Lagos, which is Nigeria’s commercial center. Here, we’ll focus on highlighting the basics of what you need to know from arrival to departure during your business trip to Lagos.
Arriving in Lagos
If you are planning your trip to Lagos, you’ll likely be arriving at the international airport here, called Murtala Muhammed International Airport.
Once you arrive here, you’ll find a friendly and helpful airport staff, so don’t worry about not knowing what you must do next. Just ask around, and you’ll definitely get the information you need. However, keep in mind that it is common in Nigeria for airport staff to expect something in return after helping you.
Next, after getting your luggage, expect to be bombarded with several services offers such as a taxi ride, exchanging money, or helping you with your bags. It’s up to you whether or not you want to use these services. However, if you already have some help figured out at your arrival, you should be looking for that person instead. You’ll likely be able to spot the staff as they’ll be holding up a sign with your name on it.
If you don’t have transportation from the airport figured out, you can catch a taxi (make sure to agree on a price for the ride before you get into the taxi) or call for an Uber or a Taxify. Either way, make sure you choose a reliable means of transportation.
Business people like you typically stay in hotels that host international clientele, especially if the hotels are in the proximity of their meeting locations, which usually take place on Lagos Island.
However, if you want to spice up your business trip with some authentic cultural experience, you can also stay in a local hotel.
You should know right from the beginning that traffic in Lagos can be really hectic. Thus, as a critical rule, it’s best if you only schedule only one or two business meetings per day when you are here because it can be really stressful to try to make it to several meetings in such terrible traffic. Trust us on this one: it will save you a lot of anxiety and stress during your trip.
So, how do you get around Lagos? Since you are new to the city, you’d better avoid public transportation because it can be too much of a hassle. Once again, you can rely on taxis, cabs from Uber, and Taxify, or you can rent your own car.
While in Lagos, you’ll likely attend a lot of business meetings, presentations, and events. So, our advice would be to get a mobile device that works here so that you can communicate with your partners about meeting times, call for rides, or figure out any other logistic detail.
You don’t have to worry about finding a Wi-fi connection, especially if you’ll be staying at an international hotel. So, you’ll easily be able to use remote access to get on your computer from home if you’ve forgotten any essential business-related document.
What’s more, you should know that business is formal in Nigeria, and you’ll be expected to look the part. Also, please don’t shake your business meeting partners’ hands until they offer theirs. Plus, it would be best if you didn’t address anyone by their first name when doing business until you are told to do so.
In Lagos, you’ll likely be able to pay for most of the services such as accommodation, restaurants, and taxis using your business credit or debit card. However, Nigeria is still a very cash-based society, so it’s best to carry some cash with you too.
Once again, Lagos’ hectic traffic can mess up your departing plans if you don’t leave your hotel early enough. Make sure you have enough time to get to the airport and catch your flight.
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