6 Nigerian etiquette guides to remember

When going to places like Nigeria, it’s always important to be aware of their etiquette and various customs. This is to help tourists like you to blend in with the locals and show them respect and appreciation. 

Today at APC Next Level, you will find the important Nigerian etiquette and customs to help you blend in on your upcoming vacation.


To start off, greet your new friends with a handshake and smile. Nigerians love to greet one another in this special way because of the physical and emotional bond they’ll have with you. So if you want to make new friends, make sure to practice this tip. 

When you’ve met a woman for the first time, she should be the one to extend your hand to you as a sign of respect. 

Physical contact

As mentioned before, Nigerians value physical bond. So when you go there, there will be a lot of physical greetings when people meet you. Though it may feel awkward to have someone you barely know act so close to you, that’s the culture in Nigeria.  

So be sure to greet your new friends with the same amount of excitement and love when you’ve finally arrived. 


One of the many values Nigerians concern themselves with is patience. In any situation, especially with greetings, show patience with the person you’re talking to. This is because Nigerians like to savour every moment they have with the people they consider friends. 

Gift-giving etiquette

Everyone loves receiving gifts, including your host! When invited to a special dinner, make sure to give them fruit, nuts or chocolates. After all, who doesn’t love sweets? If they have children present in their home, be sure to also give them gifts. 

When giving these special gifts, be sure to hand them using your right hand. Or if it’s too heavy, use both hands. As a mostly Islamic country, Nigerians follow the belief that the left hand is used for cleaning only. So using your left hand to give gifts is like giving them the first you’ve cleaned up. 

Titles matter

The people you’ve met worked really hard to get their titles, so be sure to mention them.  When you’ve just met a Nigerian, the proper way of greeting is using their title and last name. For example, ‘Doctor Musa’.  

Unless they’ve stated they’re comfortable with a first-name basis, you should only refer to them by their title and last name. 

The same rule applies to you. So when you introduce yourself, use your title and your last name.

Business clothing

When meeting with a Nigerian business partner, be sure to look your best. Nigerians are incredibly fashionable people, especially when it comes to business attire. Businessmen and women are usually seen wearing some of the most stylish, yet conservative clothing inside places of business. So if you’re looking to dress to impress, make sure to emulate their fashion sense.