Nigeria is regarded as a third world country because of it’s level of development. That is not altogether a bad thing, because it means we have retained a little of both worlds; the old and the new. So we may not be on par with the western world, but we have a myraid of interesting and enourmously valuable sites and culture that you cannot get in any first world country. Therefore, if you much get rich in certain levels of value, your best bet is to pay us a vist. For people visiting Nigeria from “the Abroad” here are a few tips to navigating through our dear country:
1. Take Your Shots
When coming to Nigeria, you’ve got to get your medicals in order. Without a malaria shot or medication, chances are you may be quarantined when you return to your country of residence. It is also paramount to know the prevalent preventable epidemic associated with the area you are visiting before your arrival and take medical precautions. If possible, avoid visiting the states with listed epidermic e.g. Lassa fever occurrence have been frequent in some states in southern Nigeria.
2. Mind What You Drink
If your body is sensitive, it is best to have a plan for what you will drink throughout your stay. Though there are water boards in Nigeria, there are no central water purification plants for tap water. Luckily, there are some companies investing into the provision of purified water good for consumption. You could get that or take water from water dispensers. That way you avoid picking up on water-related illnesses. Also, if you intend to taste local drinks like zobo, make sure you get it from a source with a sanitary production process. When in doubt, consult the locals?
3. Get Familiar with The Transport System
In Nigeria, the public transportation system involves buses and taxis; they are present in any state you travel to. While some states allow the use of bikes (AKA Okada) and tricycle (AKA Keke), others restrict their movement to specific areas of the state. In few states, we have passenger and cargo trains. When you know the routes you will use during your stay, you can choose which transport system best suits your needs.
4. Be Mindful Of Cultural Difference
Abroad, tipping is a culture; service providers expect it. In Nigeria, it is not mandatory. In fact, leaving a large tip might draw unwanted attention so go easy on your generosity. Also, modesty and decency are expected when in Nigeria so dress accordingly. For example, Nigerians’ rarely bask nude under the sun or wear bikini’s in large numbers at the beach. Obey the saying, ‘When in Rome, do like the Romans.’
5. Don’t Expect to Hear Much Foreign Music
Gone are the days where radios blared with foreign music non-stop. Yes, you will hear an occasional R&B or country music tune on the radio, but prepare your mind for some serious afro beat on the airways. Nigerian music is as diverse as her culture. You will hear afro-dance hall, afro-pop, high-life, afro-juju, etc. or regular genres punctuated with words, sentences or slangs from different Nigerian languages. If you’ve heard songs from Wizkid, Waje, Timi Dakolo, Omawunmi, Burna boy, Teni or Jonny Drille, you’ll know not hearing a lot of western music during your stay isn’t a problem because our music is great.
6. Nigerians Are Warm and Friendly
Just because there is a single story of Nigerians in the media doesn’t make it true. Nigerians are largely nice and friendly people. A stranger in need can get help from the most unlikely places. Preference is given to foreigners including Nigerians in diaspora. So relax and mingle.
If you had someone ask you what Nigeria is like for the first time, what would you say?
Featured image source: Pulse.ng