Electrical current is 240 volts, 50Hz. Round and
square three-pin plugs are used.
English is the official language in Nigeria and is widely
used, though many other languages are also spoken.
In restaurants a 10% tip is adequate if a service charge hasn't
already been added. Negotiate taxi fares before embarking on a
journey; remember that fares are usually increased for tourists so
tipping isn't necessary. Porters should be tipped accordingly.
Violent street crime, armed robberies, muggings and car jackings
are prevalent in Lagos and elsewhere in the more populous southern
regions of the country. Recent gang violence in central Port
Harcourt means that visitors should take care when travelling
around the town. Numerous hazards await unwary and uninformed
visitors, from bogus greeters at the airport, to scams involving
efforts to extort money from visitors' relatives back home and even
taking hostages for ransom. Visitors should ensure that their local
hosts and/or family and friends at home know their travel plans.
The reliability of domestic airlines has also been questioned due
to numerous accidents. There are frequent outbreaks of civil unrest
and violence, usually caused by ethnic tensions and strikes often
cause disruption to transport and other services. Following riots
in Kano, travellers are advised to be extremely cautious in the
northern region of Nigeria. Travellers are advised to avoid all
protests and demonstrations. Fuel shortages often occur, adding to
uncertainty for road travel that is already hazardous because of
the risk of armed robbery and car jackings, particularly in traffic
jams and rural areas. Public transport is extremely dangerous with
buses and taxis poorly maintained and fraud and criminal activity
rife among drivers. The Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa States should
also be avoided, particularly the riverine areas and Port Harcourt,
due to hostage-taking. All but essential travel to Akwa Ibom State
should also be avoided. Oil facilities have been attacked and
expatriate oil workers seized.
Nigeria has a relatively formal society and it is appropriate to
address Nigerians by their surnames until you know them very well.
Beachwear is only appropriate for the beach. Nigeria has the
largest Muslim population in Africa, living mainly in the north.
Women should dress modestly, and avoid wearing trousers, and all
visitors should exercise discretion in behaviour and dress,
especially when visiting religious sites and during the holy month
of Ramadan. Time is a different concept in West Africa than in
Europe or North America. Being 'on time' to a Nigerian could easily
be a couple of hours after an agreed start-time. Evening social
events tend to start late and often continue into the small hours.
Photography in airports may lead to arrest. Homosexuality is
The country code for Nigeria is +234, and the outgoing
international code is 009, followed by the relevant country code
(e.g. 00927 for South Africa). City/area codes are in use, e.g.
(0)1 for Lagos, (0)9 for Abuja. Full international direct dialling
is available. There are good GSM 900 and 1800 mobile phone networks
covering Lagos, Abuja and some other major towns. Internet cafes
can be found in major cities.
Travellers to Nigeria over 18 years do not have to pay duty on
either 200 cigarettes, 50 medium sized cigars or 200g tobacco. Also
allowed are 1 litre spirits and 1 litre wine, perfume or eau de
Cologne for personal use and gifts to the value of N300 (excluding
jewellery, photographic equipment, electronics and luxury goods.).
The following items carry substantial duty levies: Cameras,
projectors and other electronic goods, unless visitors can provide
proof of possession for at least three years or can submit a
certificate of re-importation. Prohibited items include beer,
mineral water, soft drinks, sparkling wine, fresh fruit and
vegetables, textiles, mosquito netting, jewellery and precious
metals, cereals and eggs. Flowers, plants and seeds often need
permits and the rules regarding specific species often change, so
it is best to check the situation as close to your time of travel
as possible. Prescription medication, drugs and pharmaceutical
products should be accompanied by a letter from your GP as well as
the original prescription, these goods should not be carried in
your checked luggage.