If you are considering buying property or land in Nigeria, there are some important things to know about the culture.
You can find all kinds of properties available for sale and for rent, but it’s tough to understand the smaller nuances of the culture without making a visit.
In this article, we’ll share a few important things to note before taking the leap to relocate your family to Nigeria. If you are only purchasing investment property, these are less important to know.
However, they can still be beneficial as you decide where you’re going to invest. Of course, this ultimately depends on your priorities (cost, schooling, climate, population, closeness to conveniences, facilities, etc).
First, let’s break down the most popular neighborhoods, and why people choose to live there. Lagos is known for many things and is a true representation of Africa’s middle class. Most people are employed, have their own homes, families, hobbies, and there are countless things to do in the city.
Ikoyi is arguably the best place to live in Lagos.
Known to house the rich and wealthy, this city is the best place to be if you’re well off. The crime rate in Ikoyi is almost non-existent and the city doesn’t cut corners when it comes to security. Whether you are raising children or looking for a stable investment property, there are many good schools, Montessori schools, and universities in Ikoyi.
Further, The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Nigerian Government Presidential Secretariat and the Deputy-Governor of Lagos State all live in the city of Ikoyi, Lagos.
If there was a national emergency, this would likely be the safest retreat.
Ikoyi is a convenient place to do business, and many foreign travelers stop through this city. The only downside we can think of when it comes to this city is the frequent traffic gridlock.
Lekki is right by Victoria Island. Known for its upscale nightclubs, bars, malls, hotels, galleries, and cinemas, this one is a popular tourist destination. As a result, it is safer than many other cities in the world. Lekki has also got the best beaches you can visit in Lagos.
There are numerous thoughtfully arranged apartment complexes and every convenience you can imagine in a 1st world country. There are supermarkets, stores, eateries, and restaurants, as well as an Oriental Hotel, Baylounge, Hard Rock Café, and the Landmark Centre. This is where most of the reality TV shows shoot the live’s of the wealthy population of Nigeria.
Just like Lekki and Ikoyi, Victoria Island (V.I) is also a great place to live or do business. With many corporate headquarters of big businesses in Lagos since 1995, Victoria Island has a notable elite population.
It is also the principal financial center of Lagos. There are many bank headquarters, making Victoria Island the smartest place to start a business in Lagos.
Ikeja is the capital of Lagos and one of the most populated cities.
Additionally, Ikeja is regarded as the center of business in Lagos. If you have an established business or ample capital to get your business off the ground, its not a bad idea to start here. Ikeja is a well planned, clean, and quiet residential community in Lagos.
It’s a short drive away from all the excitement of the city, without the gridlock traffic.
The most popular areas in Ikeja include:
- Magodo &
We love selling properties in Ajah!
It’s just gorgeous, and one of the best opportunities for generating a return on your investment.
Ajah is very close to one of the biggest market in Lagos, and it is also one of the most beautiful places in the entire country.
This city has security, and a thriving commercial environment.
There are many well-priced estates springing up in between Ajah and Lekki, making this entire region a great place to invest and live.
This is a trendy neighborhood. Thus, there are several toll gates you have to make way through to get here. Victoria Garden City’s gated community is one of the newest neighborhoods in Lagos. Ultimately, this area is newly developed but really nice. If you want modern facilities, posh clubs, gyms, boutiques, schools, and recreation centers – this city has everything you need.
5 Important Things To Know
So without further delay, let’s talk about the environment and culture in Nigeria. You may already know some of these pointers, but nonetheless, they are the most important to consider when buying land or property.
Nigeria is hot.
Nigeria is hot and humid!
If you’re looking for sunshine all through the year, Nigeria is generally warm and inviting.
The weather varies from place to place, but it never snows. Additionally, the high humidity makes it feel much hotter than it actually is and many people have air-conditioners in their cars, houses, and offices to avoid the sticky sweatiness that comes with hot humid weather.
The country is lively & chaotic.
We want to make this clear so that you may avoid culture shock upon arriving to the bustling city of Lagos.
Remember, Nigeria is a developing country. You might recognize aspects of the country that remind you of the roughness of Delhi, New York, London, or Rio De Janeiro. Don’t be alarmed.
In many areas just outside the chaos of the city center, the roads are untarred, the buildings are simple, and the people lead quiet agricultural lives.
You might feel like there’s no order, as some places don’t even have stable electricity or portable water.
However, many locals have generators to provide their own electricity as well as their own water supply.
This is just cultural custom, and like many cultures, people do what has always worked for them. It may look like chaos when you see arbitrary police stops on the road, unclear instructions given by the government officials, and unstable electricity. However, there’s a formula to the chaos that works for the country and makes for ample opportunity to invest in a developing, extremely populated region.
Meats & Spices
In major cities like Lagos, Nigeria — you can find Indian, Japanese, American, French, Chinese, and even Ethiopian food.
There’s actually lots and lots of Chinese food.
But also prepare for lots of meats, starches, and very spicy Nigerian food.
Pretty much everything in Nigeria is flavorful and spicy (hot).
Many restaurants can adjust the pepper level of your meal to your liking, however. Nigerian food is a true representation of the culture, offering a medley of deep, earthy, and lively flavors. Most restaurants offer vegetarian, and even vegan menu options, however, it may be difficult to adhere to other dietary restrictions like oil allergies.
Public transportation is rough.
The public transport system does not work on a strict schedule and may be overcrowded.
For more comfortable options, you can take Uber or Taxify which work seamlessly in Nigeria just like many other countries.
Money vs Cards
Some cities prefer cashless transactions and accept bank cards. However, relying on debit/credit cards can be unreliable in smaller cities and rural areas. To be safe, always carry both methods of payment. Fortunately, ATMs are available throughout the country.
Religion is important.
Nigeria is a diverse community of many cultures, languages, etc. However, one in seven people are of Nigerian descent.
Even though the country is a secular state, half of the population identifies as Christian and the other majority identifies as Muslim.
Friend groups may intermix, but do not expect people to separate their religious activities from those of their work lives.
There is also a growing Hindu community and other religious sects. The country is also well decorated with churches and mosques, but as long as you too are tolerant, people won’t have a problem with you expressing your religious views.
As mentioned, the traffic comes with city life. Like New York City, give yourself ample time to get to your destination because large cities like Lagos are very, very busy.
This isn’t usually an issue, but it can never hurt to take precautions that will keep you healthy.
The Nigerian climate, food, flora, and fauna has a different effect on everybody.
Tropical bugs or allergens are everywhere. It’s also very warm, and the food is very spicy – so your stomach may take time to adjust. Nigeria is not any more diseased than other countries, however, residents are typically more immune to certain illnesses than visitors and foreigners. It pays to plan ahead, and protect yourself from any common diseases people from your home country have become susceptible to in Nigeria.
Once you become a local, this won’t be an issue any longer.