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Your trip to Nigeria should be very pleasant and engaging if you prepare ahead of time, and set out with an open mind. You may wish to visit websites like that of Nigerian newspapers, government sites, and diplomatic/consular web sites, amongst others. Nigeria is a multi-national state. The Nigerian people, although from a great variety of sub-national backgrounds – with their different language and cultures- are unified by their warmth and hospitality, translated into the sometimes-overwhelming love its people reserve for visitors, be they local or international.


Practically any family in any corner of Nigeria will surrender to a visitor their meal, their time, even their car and sleeping place. The Nigerian home is not his castle. Appointments are not expected for visits to most Nigerian families. It is common for guests to arrive from afar at midnight to a warm and cheerful reception. Most families play constant host to a retinue of relatives and friends. Nigerians hardly ever split the bill in a bar or restaurant. The practice is seen as a symbol of extreme stinginess. This is one major difference between the West and Africa.


Another is the practice of tipping. In most bars and restaurant in Nigeria, tips are not expected. But if given, the recipient would show extreme, and sometimes, colourful gratitude. Nigerians love to learn about the life of people outside their territory and are known to direct acerbic jokes at themselves and their country sometimes. Nigerians themselves tell the sharpest practical jokes about Nigerians.


Nigerians are a very colourful people, from the way they dress, the way they dance, the way they “spray” dancers with money, the way they walk, and talk, the way they live. Age is a major index for respect. These days, social standing has become a competing factor. Chiefs and elders are greeted with deep and sometimes dramatic respect.


In most parts of the west (Yoruba land) younger people prostrate before their elders, including their parents, when they come in contact with them. In most part of the north, a curtsy or a deep bow would suffice. In the east, it is all right to hug and shake hands with older people. With age comes responsibility. The older person must be well behaved and exude wisdom. More importantly, the older person or the better-placed person is expected to pick up the bill at the restaurant, in the bus or taxi, or in the pub.


Nigerian life is powered by a sense of trust and inherent honesty. While the bar tender in the United States will insist on pre-payment, Nigerians do not get asked for payment until they indicate their readiness to leave – even if they had been in the bar or restaurant for 12 hours. The reception and trust of visitors and other Nigerians is another pointer to this attribute.


Clothing
Nigeria is warm all-year, except for the occasional harmattan chill and some frigid temperatures on elevated areas like Jos and Pankshin in Plateau State and Obudu in Cross River State. Pack light cotton-based, comfortable clothing, a hat or cap and pairs of sandals for casual pursuits. No provocative dressing please, especially in the north or in the villages. For business meetings, pack a suit.


Nigerian official dressing is conservative and formal. Dressing often determines the kind of reception you get and improper or casual dressing at an official engagement is not encouraged. But shirtsleeves and a tie are usually sufficient. Donning a traditional Nigerian attire is almost always a plus and conversation-starter.


A foreigner in Nigerian clothing receives great admiration and trust. It is a good way to impress and earn confidence. Nigerian clothing is usually a loose embroidered or floral top and a pair of slacks or baggy shorts, or wrapper (a sari-like piece of colourful ankle-length cloth wrapped around the waist, for women). They come in a variety of colours, designs and textures – and prices. The clothing etiquette is different in the north, which has strong Arabic influence. Most workers and business people put on flowing robes – most of them white – or equally acceptable but more casual kaftans, with cuff links, and sandals. Nigerian wears do not require socks.


Cloth weaving is an affectionate Nigerian art and the backbone of the ever-evolving Nigerian traditional haute couture. The Akwete cloth, which expresses itself through the delicate art of cloth making that found origin in Akwete, a small town in Abia State is fast changing the dress fashion of many women who live in, or come to the country.


The Akwete cloth produced on a wide loom in delicate and rich patterns has a width of a little more than a yard and is considered as fine workmanship by Nigerians and foreigners. Woven on narrow looms notably in the small town of lseyin in Oyo State, and among the industrious Ebira people who live in Okene, Kogi State the glittering, regal Aso Oke is extensively worn by Nigerians and foreign aficionados for society weddings and big traditional events.


The adire, made from a variety of cloths, and dyed into elegant, avant-garde patterns and sometimes teasy surrealistic motifs, is probably the most popular and most worn of Nigerian cloths. It emerges from the dying pits of Abeoukuta (Ogun State) and several other towns, each with its own snooty artistic statement.


Food
You will find a rich array of Nigerian dishes in most restaurants and hotels. Almost all restaurants serve western foods. You can order a plate of decent food for anything from 40 US cents to $100. The larger restaurants and bigger hotels offer specialized foreign cuisine. There are Chinese, French, American, Indian, Ethiopian, Italian, Lebanese and other pedigree of restaurants in big cities.


Some Nigerian delicacies are sold outdoors over an eternally lit traditional barbecue machine. Kebabs (known as suya), roast plantain, corn, peanuts, yam and local plum (yummy with corn, available May to September) are very popular warm snacks loved across the social spectrum. A lot of Nigerian meals are a combination of vegetables, cassava (often locally processed into grains — garri), yam, potatoes and loads of fruits, fish, crayfish, meat (including game, known in Nigeria as bush meat).


The pepper soup, fresh fish and bush meat are served as accompaniment to drinks in most bars. Edikaikon, a rich, leafy delicacy from Efik land (and to some extent among the Ibibios) of the southeast is probably Nigeria’s most famous and most cosmopolitan meal. It is served in many restaurants from the smallest to the biggest hotels.


Drinks
You can find in Nigeria practically all the type of drinks you can buy in the United States - beers, sodas, scotch, brandies, champagnes, cocktails etc. The chapman, a non-alcoholic cocktail is a Nigerian specialty that thrills many visitors. Another one is, of course, the palm wine, which is “tapped” from the raffia palm tree and is sold fresh in suburbs or in sterilized bottles in some pubs.


A popular traditional brew in the North is known as Brukutu – a chocolate-coloured, faintly sour fermented drink made from sorghum. It is served in calabashes mostly in home brewery-bars. Brukutu festivals abound. Nigerians do not believe in splitting bills at the pub. As a matter of fact, they often mock people who do. Many foreigners would consider it wise to pool their money together in advance and designate someone to pay on behalf of the group.


Free food and alcoholic and non-alcoholic are usually served at parties, public and private functions. Provision is always made for uninvited guests and people accompanying invited guests. Another thing that may surprise American visitors is bars. There are generally no fixed bar closing hours. Many bars will remain open until the last client is served – sometimes as late as 5.00 a.m. In Nigeria, there are no age restrictions for the purchase of alcoholic drinks and cigarettes. When a family has a visitor, a pre-teen boy is often sent out to buy the beer next door. But interestingly, there is no problem of under-age consumption of alcoholic beverages. And children are not served alcohol in bars, of course.


Cost of living
Nigeria is a relatively cheap country to visit or live in. Below is a price guide, in US dollars. Calculations are made at the lowest possible exchange rate with the exchange rate in favour of visitors. A typical hotel room rate ranges from $40 upward, depending on the part of the town and class of hotel.


Business Hours in Nigeria
Government offices are open from 7.30 a.m. to3.30 p.m. Monday through Friday, while commercial houses are open from8.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m., Mondays through Fridays. Most offices are closed on Saturdays and Sundays, but many shops are open on Saturdays while some banks also open on Saturdays. ATM cards which accept major debit cards are available.


Nigeria public Holidays

  • Easter
  • Christmas
  • Eid-Kabir
  • Eid-Fitr
  • Boxing Day
  • Labour Day
  • Democracy Day
  • National Day

NOTICE BOARD

visas
Visa applications are being processed within 48 hours of applications submitted to the Embassy. Applicants are requested to ensure that all relevant document are submitted to avoid delay.
Passport
The Mission does not have a passport issuing desk. However, passport intervention exercises are being conducted periodically in Ho Chi Min City by immigration officers from our Mission in Malaysia. Applicants will be notified accordingly of this exercises through our website.

Important Notification

DOCUMENTS For AUTHENTICATION
ALL DOCUMENTS EMANATING FROM NIGERIA FOR AUTHENTICATION BY THE MISSION MUST FIRST BE SUBMITTED TO THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS IN ABUJA. THIS IS FOR STRICT COMPLIANCE PLEASE.
Distance Learning Center (DLC)
The Mission wishes to inform all interested candidates that Nigerian Embassy in Hanoi has been designated as information and examination centers for the Ahmadu Bello University Distance Learning Center (DLC), which was established in 2015. This is part of the Federal government’s drive to broaden the capacity of Nigerian universities to admit more prospective students. Interested persons should contact Mr. A.A. Aremu, Second Secretary at the Mission