Nigeria’s stature in Africa is growing more globally. Last year, arrivals into Nigeria increased by 12% and business travel spending is always on the rise. With such a diverse number of cultural influences, a booming African economy and amazing leisurely appeal, serviced accommodation is becoming more and more necessary in Nigeria.
Nigeria truly dominates its region. Every fifth African is Nigerian, and the country is the most populous of the continent. The West African state homes over 190 million Nigerians and borders Benin, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and the Gulf of Guinea in the south. Its many cultural influences are evident with experts believing 250 ethnic groups exist in Nigeria. The large landmass means the climate and terrain is very diverse depending on where you travel. Nigeria's capital is now the centrally-located Abuja, but the government was previously headquartered in the famously industrialised, busy city of Lagos.
Nigeria’s history is intriguing, as it reflects such civil disparity that not many other countries share. After more united times of the Yoruba and Kanem-Borno communities, later centuries saw the north and south split ethnically. Following Nigeria’s independence in 1960 from prior British annexation, ethnic division was prominent. Decades of conflicts ensued and change of leadership was constant. Eventually, salvation came for the people when their corrupt leader died of a heart attack. This then allowed a chance for peace and prosperity to continue in the future.
Nigeria’s modern-day economy is expanding, with manufacturing, service, technology and entertainment sectors escalating. It is currently the 30th largest in the world regarding GDP. The economy’s basis has primarily been on the petroleum industry, but it has been forced to diversify with falling world oil prices in recent decades. This, therefore, welcomes investment in service orientated, communication and retail industries. Nigeria has one of the largest free market economies in Africa and worldwide, which has encouraged thousands of corporates to travel to the country all year round.
Investors and businesspeople can also take advantage of the constantly growing population and increasing consumer base. There is not enough industries and enterprise to sustain the demands of the growing population, who are also predominantly younger. Investors can leverage the growing workforce and readily available open market. This is perhaps the best time for business in Nigeria, and SITU has serviced corporate accommodation on hand for those looking to take advantage.
Only the residents of seventeen countries, all in Africa, can enter Nigeria without a visa. Be aware that three-month visa can be quite expensive, and the process has been known to lengthy. It is possible for some business travellers to obtain visas upon arrival, but it is worth checking the NIS website before departing.
Considering how unreliable public transport can be in Nigeria, driving can be the most efficient mode of transport. However, foreign licenses are not acceptable in Nigeria, so you will need to obtain a Nigerian driving license. The country also has a reputation for having poor road conditions, an absence of helpful road signs and lacking traffic control. Driving can greatly assist life in Nigeria but can also invite stress. Despite being banned in several cities, okadas, or motorcycle taxis, are the best way to get around the busy towns. The fares are reasonable and are perfect for navigating through busy traffic. Bush Taxis and Ubers can equally pick you up simply from your serviced accommodation but are known to cost more than buses. Despite the use of credit and debit cards is increasing, Nigeria is mainly a cash economy so be sure to bring enough to cover transport costs. One-pound sterling and euro equate to 465 and 441 Nigerian Naira respectively. For the current exchange rates, visit www.xe.com.
Nigerians are often welcoming of foreign visitors. This attitude only stands though if you respect their cultural beliefs. The largest Muslim population of sub-Saharan Africa lives in Nigeria, so we recommend that you behave and dress appropriately. Particularly around religious sites. Views on sexuality are varied in Nigeria too, but you can check the following website for more information, www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/nigeria.
It can be argued that Nigeria’s most famed attraction is Zuma Rock. The 700-metre tall monolith outside Nigeria’s capital is pictured on the national currency, the Nigerian Naira. The rock is central to the lives of its nearby locals, who have long respected its magnificent structure and associated it with myths and legends. A similar trademark of Nigeria is the prosperous city of Lagos. Nigeria’s largest city is the country’s financial centre and is the place to go for both business and leisure. The National Museum Lagos and the Freedom Park are both amazing expressions of the country’s past. For instance, Freedom Park was once a colonial prison, but now it is a great venue for public performances and entertainment.
Nigeria also takes pride in its wonderful wildlife and nature reserves. Most popular amongst foreign visitors is the Yankari Game Reserve. It is home to the country’s biggest wildlife retreat and the largest herd of elephants. Guided safaris ensure you make the absolute most of this reserve. For an even more relaxing experience away from your business schedule is the Lekki Conservation Centre. Run by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, this centre is an icon of African nature conservation and puts you in touch with western Nigeria’s best scenic and natural values. However you spend your time in Nigeria, SITU has corporate accommodation available to ensure all of this is on your doorstep.
On top of all these attractions and must-see locations, Nigeria is emerging as a place for business too. The national economy is soaring more than ever and announcing itself on a global scale. With the mixture of both leisurely pleasure and economic potential, the creation of Nigerian serviced apartments is becoming vital to support the growing amount of corporate arrivals.
Named after the fourth military ruler of Nigeria, Nigeria’s biggest and busiest airport is located in Lagos State, but serves the entirety of Nigeria.
The airport is only situated seven miles away from Lagos city centre, a popular tourist destination sitting on the coast of the Gulf of Guinea. Most cities are linked by air to Lagos.
After a period of rail decline and company-bankruptcy, the state-owned enterprise is currently undergoing an expansion project to Nigeria’s railways. The modernisation scheme has already resulted in the construction of a rail-line between Abuja and Kaduna.
Work is already underway for lines to connect passengers to Lagos, Ibadan and Kano.
The majority of towns in Nigeria have at least one motor park which serves as the main transport depot full of minibuses. They do not run on a schedule though and usually only depart once they are full.