With its huge mineral wealth and vibrant energy, Nigeria is the‘Giant of Africa’– the most populous country on the continent, and in 2014 surpassed South Africa as the largest economy.
The export of crude oil accounts for two-thirds of its GDP. The country also has one of the world’s largest proven reserves of natural gas, along with substantial deposits of iron ore, limestone, lead and zinc. Politically, the Nigerian government faces the growing challenge of preventing Africa’s most populous country from breaking apart along ethnic and religious lines. CITIES: The main business travel destinations in Nigeria are Lagos – the commercial capital – Port Harcourt and Abuja, which is the seat of government. With an estimated population of 21 million, Lagos is the largest city in Nigeria and the most populous city in Africa.
International airports are located in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu. Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos is the main gateway, with direct services to destinations across North America, Europe and Africa. The airport is 14 miles north of Lagos, although the journey to Victoria Island – the main business hub – can take hours, depending on the city’s notorious traffic.
As one of Africa’s business travel hotspots, no surprise that there was plenty of business travel-related activity, with dozens of new routes and increased frequencies being added to the air schedule throughout the country. HOTELS: On the hotel scene Lagos features a large supply of international brands, including InterContinental, Sheraton, Radisson Blu and Best Western. Protea (now part of the Marriott group) has the biggest presence, with six hotels in Lagos.
It’s worth noting that several hotels in Nigeria require travelers to pay before issuing a room key. Many properties request an additional security deposit as well which will be refunded at departure.
In the past, Nigeria has been a predominantly cash economy. But the government has embarked on a“Cashless Nigeria”initiative. Thus MasterCard,Visa or Interswitch Verve cards are now being accepted in most shops, stores, restaurants and commercial or entertainment facilities in the country.
If you hold a Visa, MasterCard or Maestro Credit/Debit card, you can withdraw cash in naira from various ATMs around the country. Opt for an ATM in a hotel lobby or bank building. Fraud is still a problem in Nigeria. Many international credit card companies block transactions from Nigeria, so advise your credit card company before you travel.
Visit nigeria.co.za and visarequest.co.za.