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Travel Info

Quick Facts
Governmentrepublic transitioning from military to civilian rule
Currencynaira (NGN)
Areatotal: 923,768 sq km
water: 13,000 sq km
land: 910,768 sq km
LanguageEnglish (official), Hausa , Yoruba, Igbo (Ibo), Fulani
ReligionMuslim 50%, Christian 40%, indigenous beliefs 10%

Nigeria is a country in equatorial west Africa. It is the continent's most populous nation. It has a southern coastline on the Gulf of Guinea, and has Benin to the west, Cameroon to the southeast, Chad to the northeast, and Niger to the north.

Nigeria is troubled by flares of violence as it tries to rebuild after sixteen years of military rule.


Administrative divisions 
36 states and 1 territory*; Abia, Abuja Federal Capital Territory*, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Lagos, Nassarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, Zamfara


  • Abuja - Capital
  • Lagos - Former colonial capital.
  • Calabar
  • Port Harcourt
  • Sapele
  • Warri



Varies; equatorial in south, tropical in center, arid in north. Natural hazards include periodic droughts and flooding.


Southern lowlands merge into central hills and plateaus; mountains in southeast, plains in 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


Nigeria is a former British colony and a member of the British commonwealth.

1 October 1960 (from UK)
National holiday 
Independence Day (National Day), 1 October (1960)

On 12 December 1991 the capital was officially transferred from Lagos to Abuja; most federal government offices have now made the move to Abuja

Following nearly 16 years of military rule, a new constitution was adopted in May 1999, and a peaceful transition to civilian government was completed. The president faces the daunting task of rebuilding a petroleum-based economy, whose revenues have been squandered through corruption and mismanagement, and institutionalizing democracy. In addition, the OBASANJO administration must defuse longstanding ethnic and religious tensions, if it is to build a sound foundation for economic growth and political stability.

Get in

By plane

By train

By car

By bus

By boat


English (official), Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo (Ibo), Fulani, Efik, Ejagham


Nigeria's currency is the naira. On 20 Jan 2006 there were 129.90 naira to the US dollar.

It is advised to cash all your naira back into US dollars at the airport before you leave Nigeria. The rate is irrelevant, as the naira is worthless 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 counterfiet, so stick with established banks for your currency exchange needs.


Okra Soup, Plantain (fried, boiled, roasted), Pepper soup, Amala, Eba, Efo, Pounded Yam (Eyon - Yoruba for Pounded Yam) Jollof Rice, Ground Nut Soup, Ogbono Soup, Egusi Soup, Suya (kebab), Ewedu, Edikangikong, Ground-Rice, puff-puff, chin chin


Nigeria is one of two places in the world where Guinness is brewed outside of Ireland (the other is Malaysia). And they do it pretty well, although it's not the same product.

Beer is actually big business in Nigeria, although the move toward evangelism is making its mark. Lagos is relatively unaffected due to its cosmopolitan nature.

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.

Palm wine, Wine, Zobo, Kai Kai




Working in Nigeria is full of catch-22 situations, for example, Nigerian coworkers most likely ask you "what do you have for me" than saying good morning, is not the general rule but be prepared with some candy or peanuts, not giving away stuff could give you problems.

Never lend money to coworkers because that could lead to problems in the long run, some people get used to the easy money very fast and that surely will back fire at you.

Get ready to provide for yourself under any situation, most employers or contractors will leave you abandoned on your own if any problem happens, people will ask you: have you never been to Africa before? as a way to free themselves from responsibilities towards you as an employee.

Being a foreigner and working in Nigeria is tough, some natives won't see you as a friend and will tend to think that you are racist first hand, sometimes you have to work relations for months to get that stigma off you.

Also being on the streets could be dangerous, there are lots of foreigners killed in Nigeria every year, employers won't give much importance to that fact and won't do much to keep you safe.

Stay safe

Swan water is the safe drinking water to look for approx 80 naira for a big bottle. The cheap "pure water" sold in plastic bags is cheaper but not as "pure" as SWAN.

It is advisable to purchase bottled water from convenience stores rather than by the road side. These upscale convenience stores usually purchase their supplies directly from the suppliers, along with soft drinks such as Coca Cola and other bottled beverage products.

Be aware of street salesmen, actually you could buy a lot of stuff while you drive your car but is not recommended, most of the merchandise are chinese copies of known brands like "durasell" batteries and such.

Stay healthy

As in all foreign countries, the risk of infection of AIDS/HIV is high. Do not risk unprotected sex with strangers. Travellers to Nigeria are also required to vaccinate themselves against yellow fever, preferably 10 days before arrival in Nigeria. As malaria is prevalent, malaria pills are also recommended. Polio vaccination in Nigeria is intermittent and there is currently a high rate of infection in the north of the country.


If you are speaking the language, some of the languages have different ways of addressing those older than you, from those younger than you. You do not hand things over to people, especially adults and elders older than you, with your left hand. It's considered an insult.

You don't cross or jump over someone's legs if they are sitting with the legs extended out. It's considered bad luck.

Avoid shaking hands with elders and older people in the villages. It's disrespectful to do that. Can you bow down a little? Kneeling for women or prostrating by men is the normal thing to do. You may not need to do it either, but just show some form of respect when greeting older people. You can get away with not doing that in big cities or urban areas, they are more 'civilized' there.

When entering a house designated as Mekules in the North, meaning there are muslim women whose faces visiting men cannot see, you have to let them know in advance that you are visiting so that they can keep the women locked away in other parts of the house until your visit is over. Men are not supposed to see them because it is believed they would become corrupt by looking at other men and vice versa. Knock the door and wait to be answered before going in. They will ask you to wait while the women are informed. Do not be offended by the wait.