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Nigeria Tipping Protocol, Nigeria Gratuities, & Nigeria Culture

Culture &
Reports &

Do's and Don'ts in Nigeria


  • 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.

Nigeria Tipping Customs

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

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