As a new entrant in the Nigerian market, chances are you will have to consider several factors for a business trip to Nigeria. Using Nigeria travel guides like this one will let you know what to expect and help make your trip a productive and successful one. This article will highlight the basics of what you need to know from arrival to departure during your visit to Nigeria, with a focus on arriving and staying in Lagos, Nigeria.
As you plan your business trip to Nigeria, you are probably wondering what to expect when it comes to the amenities provided, where to eat, and what accommodations are available. These questions are common amongst managers seeking advice before their one or two-week long business trip to Nigeria.
Outlined below is one of our informative Nigeria travel guides, which will answer the many questions you probably have about traveling to Nigeria, as the manager of a multinational enterprise who is looking to have a positive and beneficial trip to this country.
Arriving in Nigeria
When planning your trip to Nigeria, you will most likely fly into the international airport in Lagos, called Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMA), because Lagos is the commercial hub of Nigeria. However, other international flights also come through the international airport in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. Either way, the airport staff in Nigeria is usually friendly and helpful, but keep in mind that it is not unusual for airport staff to want something in return if they do help you.
After clearing immigration you will collect your bags and customs officials will most likely physically inspect your luggage. Once you have made it through customs, you will step into the arrival hall where the real hustle and bustle begins.
While in the arrival hall you will be solicited by many people for different services, such as a taxi ride, exchanging money, acquiring a local mobile phone number, and helping you with your luggage. You’re free to engage with any of these people, however, make sure that you remain aware of where your belongings are at all times. If you have already organized transportation, such as a car service or a shuttle to your hotel, look out for the staff of that company, as they will usually be holding up a sign with your name on it.
When it comes to getting to your accommodations, you can either book a car service ahead of time to pick you up from the airport, or you can ask a friend or colleague to pick you up if you know someone who in Nigeria who’s willing to do so. If you haven’t booked a car service in advance or organized a ride with someone you know in the area, you can catch a taxi outside of the airport.
If you decide to catch a taxi, be prepared to witness an informal approach to picking up customers for this service: Nigeria travel guides often omit this side of a coin. There will be people outside of the airport requesting to take you to your location. Do your best to gauge their reliability and ask them if they know how to get to your specific destination. It’s also important that you agree on the price of your fare before you get into the taxi.
Managers, such as yourself, who are in Nigeria for a week or two for business reasons typically stay in hotels. You might consider staying in a local hotel for the sake of having an authentic cultural experience, however, you should reconsider doing so for your first few trips to Nigeria. In general, the level of customer service at local establishments is not as high as it is at other hotels that host international clientele and have a reputation for meeting higher standards of customer service.
Where you choose to stay should be dependent on the hotel’s proximity to your meeting locations. There are two areas in Lagos where you will find a cluster of hotels: Ikeja, GRA and Victoria Island. The airport is located in Ikeja, so some people prefer to spend their first and last nights in Lagos in a hotel that’s close to the airport for convenience purposes. The Sheraton Lagos Hotel and Radisson Blu Hotel Ikeja are both credible hotels in the Ikeja Area. You can find more hotels in Ikeja here.
However, since you are in Lagos for business, there is a chance that most of your business meetings will be on Lagos Island. If such is the case, staying in hotels in Victoria Island or Ikoyi will keep you in close proximity to your meetings. Eko Hotel, Radisson Blu, and Avenue Suites are hotels you can find in Victoria Island. Here are a few other suggestions in Victoria Island and Ikoyi.
This wouldn’t be one of the accurate Nigeria travel guides if it didn’t highlight the issues pertaining to transportation and traffic in the country. By now, you have probably already heard about how hectic traffic can be in Lagos. Therefore, as a rule of thumb, try to schedule only one (at the most, two) meetings a day while in town. This will save you a lot of anxiety during your trip, as you won’t have to worry about making several meetings a day only to be held up in traffic.
Since you will be in Lagos for meetings, you should have a good, dependable form of transportation to shuttle you around the city as needed. You can ask your hotel if they can provide you with reliable transportation for your entire business trip, or you can hire a car service, which will give you access to a car and a driver who will transport you around during your entire trip.
Since you are new to the city, you should avoid using public transportation. Navigating public transportation is too much of a hassle and you will not be able to easily adhere to your schedule, as you will have to operate on the timelines put forth by the public transit system to get from place to place.
Once again, you can use Uber or Taxify to get around. It’s important to know, however, that even though Uber is an option, it’s not as reliable as hiring a car service. Therefore, you should plan your Uber trips ahead of time to ensure that you arrive at your business meetings on time.
Amenities (Phone & Internet)
You will need a mobile device that works in Nigeria during your business trip. Most Nigerians have cell phones and communicating about meeting times, car rides, and other logistics is much easier when you’re traveling with an operable mobile device – this is what most of Nigeria travel guides agree with.
To make sure you have a cellphone that works in Nigeria, you can easily sign up for a new sim card at the airport upon your arrival, or you can wait to get to your hotel and ask the staff to assist you with procuring a sim card for your phone. You might also be able to use your mobile phone from your home country depending on your service provider, just keep in mind that you will be charged international rates.
The internet is also readily available in certain spots around Lagos. If you choose a credible international hotel, your room will definitely be equipped with wifi. You can also purchase a data plan for your new mobile number if you choose to purchase a sim card, which will give you the option of accessing the internet on your phone.
You will have access to all kinds of food while in Nigeria, which means that your food choices will be dependent on your personal preferences. Nevertheless, try to remember that a lot of Nigerian food tends to be spicy, so when placing an order be sure to inquire about the dish’s spice level if needed. Also, most traditional Nigerian foods are carbohydrate-based (i.e., rice, yams, wheat) and it is usually coupled with a local sauce.
When it comes to finding good places to eat, your hotel will most likely serve a continental breakfast complete with Western favorites (e.g., scrambled eggs, sausage, etc.). However, you should ask your friends, colleagues, and the hotel staff for restaurant recommendations that match your preferences for other meals. Usually, Nigeria travel guides rely on the proven experience of customers, so here are some reviewed-restaurant choices in Lagos.
Accessing Credible Information With Nigeria Travel Guides Online
If this is your first business trip to Nigeria, chances are you are using the Internet as a primary resource to gather the necessary information to make your trip that much easier. You’re probably also wondering which Nigeria travel guides are providing reliable information.
The truth is, even though you can find information on restaurants, bars, and lounges online, there are not too many customer-reviewed websites, which makes locating trustworthy establishments more difficult. Therefore, it is always best to ask someone to verify the legitimacy of what you’ve found online.
You can find and book hotels, local flights, and restaurant reservations online, just make sure you’re logged onto a reputable site and, more importantly, confer with someone you trust to verify the validity of the website in question.
Nigeria is still a very cash-based society, so it is imperative that you carry enough of the local currency (Naira) as you move about the country. You can exchange your country’s currency for Naira at one of the Bureau De Change stalls in the airport, or you can wait until you get to your hotel and request to change currency there.
While you will most likely be able to use your business credit and debit cards in more established retail environments, such as your hotel and various restaurants, it’s still a good idea to have some cash on hand just in case you’re unable to use your card elsewhere.
You have come to the end of your business trip – you made it. You are ready to depart Nigeria and go back home or head to your next business location. As you depart, make sure you give yourself enough time to get to the airport as, once again, traffic in Lagos can easily delay you. Also, the check-in process at the airport is usually cumbersome and tedious. Therefore, you should get to the airport early to undergo the check-in process. Getting to the airport early will help you avoid any repercussions from the delays you will most likely experience due to traffic or the check-in process, and ensure that you catch your flight.
These are just a few tips and factors to be aware of during your business trip to Lagos, Nigeria. Following the advice outlined in this particular guide, the best of Nigeria travel guides, will ensure that you have a less stressful and more productive business trip to Nigeria.