Nigeria Tipping Protocol, Nigeria Gratuities, & Nigeria Culture
- DON'T wear revealing clothes, if you are a woman.
- DO wear suits for business functions.
- DON'T wear shorts at business meetings or restaurants, but they are fine for the beach or casual social gatherings.
- DO try eating with your hands! You'll be given finger bowls and towels. It's OK to ask for utensils if you're uncomfortable eating with your hands.
- DON'T use your left hand at all. Don't eat with it, pass food with it, or receive food with it.
- DO wrap presents. Any colour wrapping paper is fine.
- DON'T give or receive gifts with the left hand.
- DO say that a gift came from a female relative, if you're a man giving a gift. Say it came from your wife, sister, mother, etc.
- DO bring gifts for children.
- DO bring gifts such as fruit, nuts, or chocolate if invited to a Nigerian's home for a meal.
Visting Someone's Home
- DO understand that in Muslim homes sometimes the male visitors and hosts will not eat with the women.
- DO compliment your host's home and belongings, but don't overdo it. If you do, your host might feel obligated to give you the belonging you're complimenting.
- DON'T linger after a meal is over. Leave about 30 minutes after.
- DO schedule meetings three months in advance.
- DON'T be late, but don't be surprised if your host is late or even reschedules. It's not meant to be disrespectful, however, as a guest to Nigeria, you should be on time and keep all appointments.
- DO engage in small talk. Chat about sports, current events, or even politics. Don't discuss religious conflicts.
- DO bring a small gift that costs less than USD 50. Pens or little knickknacks are fine.
- DON'T use first names until invited to. Address people by their title and surname.
- DON'T give or receive business cards with your left hand.
- DO examine a business card that is given to you before putting it away.
- DO send an agenda in advance.
- DON'T try to make a deal that sounds to good to be true. It will likely also sound suspicious.
- DO be careful about eye contact. Constant and direct eye contact can be seeing as being intrusive.
- DON'T use your left hand to give or receive objects.
- DO shake hands upon meeting someone and don't forget to smile! Sometimes men may place their hand on the other person's shoulder during a handshake.
- DO shake hands again upon departing.
- DON'T shake hands with a woman unless she initiates it.
- DO exchange hugs and kisses with people you know well.
- DO be aware that observant Muslims will not shake hands with the opposite sex.
- DO lower your eyes or bow when meeting an elder. This shows respect.
- DO inquire about the person's family and health when exchanging greetings.
- DO haggle at a market. You can usually get the price down by 50%.
- DON'T try to bargain for bread. Bread prices are fixed.
- DON'T walk away without buying something after you've agreed on a price with the merchant. It's very rude.
- DON'T use slang or profanity.
- DO note that people who live in the south of Nigeria speak louder and more directly.
- DO be aware that in the southwest of Nigeria, where the Yoruba tribe resides, they use a lot of proverbs and humour throughout conversation.
- DO understand that Nigerians communicate with a lot of gestures and body language, so you may have to pay attention to non-verbal cues when conversing.
- DON'T make generalizations about religion in Nigeria. Nigeria is a religiously diverse country, so it's important to understand that and maintain an open mind.
Tipping is optional in Nigeria, but if you do want to leave a tip at a restaurant or with a taxi driver then 5% is fine.
Our Nigeria Tipping Recommendations
- Taxis and Limos: Tipping not required
- Airport Shuttles: Tipping optional, NGN 100-200
- Hotel Shuttles and Carpark Shuttles: Tipping optional, NGN 100