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Holidays in Nigeria

Understanding Nigeria

One of the official languages in Nigeria is English That sounds reassuring, but don't be fooled Most Nigerians speak pidgin English which sometimes is very different from the English you know Examples "I don't know" is "I no know" "I know" is "I know now" Add the Nigeran accent and this can be very confusing Other difficulties are "don't" and "done" which sound alike in Nigeria Remember that Nigerians prefere "no" where you would expect "don't" Like in many African countries, they don't use polite phrases It sounds very direct and rude, but can be meant politely "Could you please hand me the hammer" will be "bring hammer" or even "bring hammer now" Nigerians tend to say numbers twice Ten Naira would be: "ten ten Naira"

The general rule is: it sounds like English, but make sure you know what they mean

Remember that your English is as difficult to understand to them as theirs is to you


Nigeria is a former British colony and a member of the British Commonwealth

The pre-colonial era

In the northern part of the country, Kano and Katsina has recorded history which dates back to around 999

The kingdoms of Ifẹ and Oyo in the western block of Nigeria became prominent about 700–900 and 1400 respectively However, the Yoruba mythology believes that Ile-Ife is the source of the human race and that it predates any other civilization Another prominent kingdom in south western Nigeria was the Kingdom of Benin whose power lasted between the 15th and 19th century Their dominance reached as far as the well known city of Eko, later named Lagos by the Portuguese

In southeastern Nigeria the Kingdom of Nri of the Igbo people flourished from the controversial date of around the 10th century until 1911 and the city of Nri is considered to be the foundation of Igbo culture

Colonial era

Portuguese explorers were the first Europeans to begin trade in Nigeria, and called the main port Lagos after the Portuguese town of Lagos, in Algarve This name stuck on with more European trade with the region The Europeans traded with the ethnicities of the coast and also established a trade in slaves which affected many Nigerian ethnicities Following the Napoleonic Wars, the British expanded trade with the Nigerian interior

In 1885 British claims to a West African sphere of influence received international recognition and in the following year the Royal Niger Company was chartered In 1900 the company's territory came under the control of the British government, which moved to consolidate its hold over the area of modern Nigeria On January 1, 1901 Nigeria became a British protectorate and part of the British Empire

Following World War II, in response to the growth of Nigerian nationalism and demands for independence, successive constitutions legislated by the British Government moved Nigeria toward self-government on a representative and increasingly federal basis By the middle of the 20th century, the great wave for independence was sweeping across Africa


On October 1, 1960, Nigeria gained its independence from the United Kingdom The new republic incorporated a number of people with aspirations of their own sovereign nations

This disequilibrium and perceived corruption of the electoral and political process led in 1966 to several back-to-back military coups These events led to an increase in ethnic tension and violence The Northern coup, which was mostly motivated by ethnic and religious reasons, was a bloodbath of both military officers and civilians, especially those of Igbo extraction The violence against the Igbo increased their desire for autonomy and protection from the military's wrath By May 1967, the Eastern Region had declared itself an independent state called the Republic of Biafra and the 30 month Nigerian Civil War began More than one million people died, may of them starving to death

During the oil boom of the 1970s, Nigeria joined OPEC and billions of dollars generated by production in the oil-rich Niger Delta flowed into the coffers of the Nigerian state However, increasing corruption and graft at all levels of government squandered most of these earnings Nigeria re-achieved democracy in 1999 and although the elections which brought Obasanjo to power in 1999 and again in 2003 were condemned as unfree and unfair, Nigeria has shown marked improvements in attempts to tackle government corruption and to hasten development Ethnic violence over the oil producing Niger Delta region and inadequate infrastructures are some of the current issues in the country


Varies; equatorial in the south, tropical in the center, arid in the north Natural hazards include periodic droughts and flooding Tornadoes and hurricanes are rare because they typically are weak at this stage and travel west of the Atlantic


Southern lowlands merge into central hills and plateaus; mountains in the southeast, plains in the north The Niger river enters the country in the northwest and flows southward through tropical rain forests and swamps to its delta in the Gulf of Guinea

Highest point 
Chappal Waddi 2,419 m
1 October 1960 from Great Britain
National holiday 
Independence Day National Day, 1 October 1960

Talking in Nigeria

English official, Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo Ibo, Fulani, Efik, Ejagham, Urhobo, Edo Bini

What to see in Nigeria

  • Lagos: Bar Beach, Badagary Beach, Tarkwa bay Beach
  • Lekki: Lekki Beach, Eleko Beach

Buying stuff in Nigeria

  • Nigeria's currency is the naira On Aug 01, 2010 there were 15050 naira to the US dollar


It is advised to cash all your naira back into another currency at the airport before you leave Nigeria The rate is irrelevant, as the naira is not that much outside Nigeria Naira bills/coins may be of interest to currency collectors, but other than that, they will be nothing more than colorful souvenirs of your trip Be warned that some of the dollar bills you'll get from street vendors will likely be counterfeit, so stick with established banks for your currency exchange needs

If you have a VISA card, you can withdraw money from Standard Chartered Bank ATM Machine's in Lagos - Aromire St, off Adeniyi Jones, Ikeja & Ajose Adeogun St in Victoria Island Branch, Abuja and Port Harcourt in Naira and ATM Machines of some other banks with "Visa" stickers on them This will save you a lot of stress carrying large sums of money and it is secured

MasterCard / Maestro users can also withdraw Money from ATMs at several branches of Zenith Bank Some ATM machines of Ecobank, First Bank and Intercontinental Bank also allow for MasterCard / Maestro cards Look for the red ATM sign outside, or ask the on-site security officer at any branch Also look for Ecobank, they have a branch within the premises of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport

It is advisable that you know where to buy things well in advance of your going out This can save you exposure to hoodlums who can attack based on your lack of knowledge of places Nigerian Yellow Pages 3 provides list of businesses, contact addresses and phone numbers The best thing to do is to locate the business, call their representative, who can give you detailed information on how to locate them

Paying for anything by credit card is extremely risky, even in the very top hotels Your details are likely to be stolen and quickly used fraudulently


On the market, you are supposed to haggle for your goods a notable exception is bread: its price is fixed As a general rule, the real price is about half the price that was first asked The seller may exaggerate the price when he or she thinks that you are a rich tourist ignorant of the real price After agreeing on a price, don't walk away without buying, this is considered very rude

Food and eating in Nigeria

There are many types of traditional cuisine to enjoy For example: afang soup,Okra soup, Owo soup and Starch in the Niger Delta, plantain fried, boiled, roasted, pepper soup, amala, eba, efo, pounded yam iyan - Yoruba for "pounded yam" pronounce " ee-yarn" , jollof rice, ground nut soup, ogbono soup, isi ewu goat's head stew, egusi soup, suya kebab, moin moin, ewedu, edikangikong, ground-rice, puff-puff, chin chin, ikokore, owerri soup ofe owerri, which is the most expensive African soup in Nigeria Not to forget 404 pepper soup - it will make you act like "Oliver Twist" You must realise that 404 means "dog meat" and yes It can only be found in certain parts of the country because in the west it is seen a barbaric

Drinking in Nigeria

  • Nigeria is one of the places where Guinness is brewed outside of Ireland And they do it pretty well, although it's not the same product The Guinness-brand with logo and copyrights where they should be is also used to brew both an alcohol-free malt version of the black stuff, and an extra strong about 75% version of Guinness in Kenya in the case of the latter and Tanzania in the case of the former
  • Beer is actually big business in Nigeria, although the move toward evangelism and Islamic law is making its mark Lagos is relatively unaffected due to its cosmopolitan nature Heineken, Star, Harp, Gulder and other international beers are available
  • Malt beverages non alcoholic are very common in Nigeria
  • The other cheap drink of choice is gin, which is locally made Some locals will swear to it making their step uncle's dog blind, though, so be careful
  • Never drink the water sold in plastic bags It probably hasn't been boiled, and may carry some nasty diseases The bottled water and other soft drinks are safe

Other drinks to consider include: palm wine, wine, zobo red soft drink, is a tea of dried roselle flowers, kunun, kai kai also called ogogoro

The northern states have implemented Sharia Islamic law, which means that alcohol is prohibited Ironically, the only places where you can drink a beer in these states are the police staff bars and the army barracks, because these are institutions under federal law Beer is available in Kano, in restaurants managed by foreign or Christian people, Chinese restaurants, and/or French cafes

For a real night out, go to the Sabongari area of the old town Plenty of bars around that stay open till very late Many do decent food as well Try the Prince Entertainment Centre Sabongari is also the place to buy alcoholic drinks and there are plenty stores open late into the night Some hotels in Kano are "dry", however in Tahir Guest Palace the staff will be quite happy to buy you a few bottles of beer for in your room all rooms have large fridges

Accommodation in Nigeria

Important notice Almost all hotels in Nigeria require you to pay before you get your key This applies even to the Sheraton and the Hilton Typically you are requested to pay 125% of the room rate and you will be refunded when settling the bill at your departure If you stay more than one night you need to keep the credit up However, paying this deposit by credit card can leave you open to subsequent fraudulent use of your details

  • The Transcorp Hilton in Abuja is 5 star and a top ranked hotel in Nigeria It's comparable to nice hotels in other developing countries, although well below the standard of European or North American four- or five-star hotels However, if you decide to visit the hotel bar, be warned that the single women who seem so interested in you are almost certainly "working" This is true of many hotels that cater to international clients
  • In Port Harcourt, the Meridian is quite decent It's a tad bit expensive but your money's worth is guaranteed
  • In Lagos, the Sheraton Hotel and the Kuramo Lodge on Victoria Island are ranked 4 star You can also try the Eko Hotel & Suites adjacent to Kuramo Lodge It's definitely a favourite for tourists and foreigners
  • In Kano, you can have a aircond room in Tahir Guest Palace, Prince hotel, or one of many small hotels

Working in Nigeria

Working in Nigeria can be a very positive experience Nigerian organizations tend to operate like small families, taking in newcomers with open arms and avoiding the coolness and sterility that often characterize the Western professional work environment For instance, don't even think about coming into the office in the morning without greeting each of your colleagues Even if you don't, be sure that they will go out of their way to greet you and inquire about your well-being

It is hard to make generalizations about a country with 140 million inhabitants, but some Nigerians have a work ethic that would put most Westerners to shame An eight-hour day not including lunch seems to be the norm, though it's not uncommon for people to stay late into the night and even come in for a few hours on weekends Depending on the organization, a foreigner may be able to avoid this, but one should be prepared to work beyond the standard 35-40 hr work week On the other hand, it's not unusual to arrive in an office during working hours and find staff members fast asleep on or under their desks, sitting around a TV in a staff lounge, or simply not there, without explanation

The notion of "African time" applies very much to the work environment in Nigeria Meetings are regularly held later than scheduled and often take longer than necessary Although Nigerians will unabashedly admit to their habitual tardiness, rarely does one see efforts to correct this behavior Because punctuality is not strictly enforced, there is no incentive to arrive at a meeting on time if one knows that his time will be wasted waiting for the other participants The higher ones position, the later one may arrive at a meeting On top of that, starting the meeting before the important people arrive is very rude The phenomenon of African time is therefore a cyclical problem and one that is bound by a severe degree of inertia One should note, however, that when dealing with foreign organizations, Nigerians will often make some efforts to correct this behavior, for some Nigerians are aware that their conception of punctuality is not shared by all

Those who are used to the strict North American conception of political correctness at the office may be shocked by the more liberal inter-sexual relations in the Nigerian workplace Mild sexual jokes are common in meetings and in the office in general, though usually good natured and harmless Anyone working in the area of gender politics should also be prepared to suffer through tongue-in-cheek comments that one wouldn't dare utter in a professional setting in North America Nevertheless, so long as one is not too militant in their conception of political correctness, this form of Nigerian humor should not be a problem In many cases it is even refreshing and adds a measure of healthy immaturity to otherwise strictly business-oriented meetings

A white person working in an all-Nigerian workplace should also be prepared to frequently be reminded of their skin tone, though never in a nasty way This can become tiresome, but Nigerians are generally very friendly They use the term "Oyibo" white man in Yoruba or "Bature" white man in Hausa as a form of affection

The use of professional titles in written and verbal form is very common in Nigeria Expect to address your boss as Sir, Doctor, Colonel, etc, and avoid using the first name of a superior unless given permission to do so Being a foreigner, you will be forgiven for any faux pas, but it is always best to err on the side of caution and politeness

The mobile phone cell phone is an essential tool for virtually all urban - and most rural - Nigerians Because of the instability of local networks, many people have two or even three "handsets", each on a different network Anyone doing business in the country for more than a few days should consider having a mobile phone

Cities in Nigeria

aba  abakaliki  abeokuta  abonnema  abuja  afikpo  agbor  agulu  aku  akure  amaigbo  ankpa  apomu  asaba  auchi  awka  azare  bama  bauchi  bende  benin  bida  biu  bugama  calabar  damaturu  daura  duku  dutse  ede  effium  eha amufu  ejigbo  ekpoma  emure  enugu  enugu ukwu  epe  eruwa  fiditi  funtua  gashua  gbongan  gombe  gusau  hadejia  ibadan  idah  idanre  ife  ifo  igbara odo  igboho  igbo ora  igbo ukwu  igede  ihiala  ijebu igbo  ijebu ode  ijero  ikere  ikire  ikirun  ikole  ikom  ikorodu  ikot ekpene  ila  ilesha  ilobu  ilorin  inisa  ipoti  ise  iseyin  iwo  jalingo  jega  jimeta  jos  kaduna  kafanchan  kagoro  kano  katsina  keffi  kishi  kontagora  kumo  lafiagi  lafia  lagos  lalupon  lere  lokoja  maiduguri  makurdi  malumfashi  minna  modakeke  mubi  nguru  nkpor  nkwerre  nnewi  nsukka  numan  obosi  ode  offa  ohafia  okene  okrika  olupona  ondo  onitsha  oron  oshogbo  otukpo  owerri  owo  oyan  oyo  ozubulu  pindiga  port harcourt  potiskum  sapele  shagamu  shaki  sokoto  suleja  uga  ugep  ughelli  umuahia  uromi  uyo  warri  wukari  yenagoa  yola  zaria  

What do you think about Nigeria?

How expensive is Nigeria?
(1 NGN = 0 USD)
Meal in inexpensive restaurant1.1 NGN
3-course meal in restaurant (for 2)7.74 NGN
McDonalds meal1.1 NGN
Local beer (0.5 draft)309.4 NGN
Foreign beer (0.33 bottle) 552 NGN
Cappuccino485.5 NGN
Pepsi/Coke (0.33 bottle)76.2 NGN
Water (0.33 bottle)88.05 NGN
Milk (1l)401.62 NGN
Fresh bread (500g)225.67 NGN
White Rice (1kg)327.94 NGN
Eggs (12) 332.23 NGN
Local Cheese (1kg) 0.92 NGN
Chicken Breast (1kg) 1.11 NGN
Apples (1kg) 517.87 NGN
Oranges (1kg) 316.15 NGN
Tomato (1kg) 429.31 NGN
Potato (1kg) 338.6 NGN
Lettuce (1 head) 113.85 NGN
Water (1.5l)134.01 NGN
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 1.1 NGN
Domestic Beer (0.5 bottle)271.89 NGN
Foreign beer (0.33 bottle) 364.59 NGN
Cigarettes200 NGN
One way local bus ticket112.5 NGN
Monthly pass for bus16.2 NGN
Taxi start552.5 NGN
Taxi 1km360 NGN
Taxi 1hour waiting0.94 NGN
Gasoline (1 liter) 97.38 NGN
Utilities for a "normal" apartment13.27 NGN
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 3.32 NGN
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 96.6 NGN
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 34.58 NGN
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 350.6 NGN
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 89.75 NGN, your travel companion

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