With a wealth of culture and tradition carried along by a hard-working and industrious people, Nigeria is growing in popularity as a place to visit for both business and pleasure. With an unfortunate poor global reputation due to issues of corruption, Nigeria is working hard to show the world what the country is really like.
Nigeria comprises around 250 ethno-linguistic groups, with three dominating the cultural and political landscape. In the north there is the predominantly Muslim Hausa-Fulani culture, the highly artistic Yoruba to the southwest and the business-savvy Igbo to the southeast.
Though Nigeria has a short history, only gaining independence in 1960, the people of this young country have instilled the kind of cultural and traditional values that are sure to endure. A proud people with an almost infallible good spirit, Nigerians have a wonderful outlook on working life, believing that one only gets rewarded for working hard.
Family is the most important aspect of any Nigerian’s life. Not only does family provide identity for an individual, it also provides social standing and financial support. Accordingly, though it may seem an old-fashioned aspiration, the ultimate goal in life for most Nigerians is to be married and have a family.
The family unit in Nigeria refers to the entire network of relatives, from brothers and sisters to wives of sons and grandchildren. Those who work provide support to the whole family where needed, be it money for food or school fees.
The traditional roles of men and women within a family unit are quite separate. The men tend to be the ‘breadwinners’, bringing financial support, whereas the women raise the children and are tasked with educating the next generations on the cultural values they must uphold. In some urban areas, these roles are less strict and you will find plenty of women going to work but in the rural areas, these roles are the norm.
The main religions in Nigeria are Islam and Christianity but some indigenous religions also exist.
Religion plays a significant and substantial role in the life of Nigerians. Not only are religions actively practiced, but they also provide support to communities where the government may have failed.
Community is a strong influence on social standing in Nigeria. Every individual has their own place within their community, which is dictated by factors such as seniority, gender, family lineage and, in today’s Nigeria, occupation is also considered. It is therefore a standard social norm to show respect for people higher up in the community hierarchy and for individuals to know their own place and not forget it!
Nigerians are very savvy businesspeople. They are confident, hardworking, eager to learn and have an unquenchable thirst for success. However, despite this, Nigerians themselves encounter significant obstacles when doing business in their own country such as government bureaucracy, poor legal and regulatory frameworks and corruption.
Nigerian culture is based on relationships at all levels and this extends to business. Not only is who you know important, but how you know them. Developing good relationships is time-consuming but crucial to success in the Nigerian business world.
Nigeria is a country full of people that pride themselves on success in all aspects of life, be it family, community or business.