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Lagos, commonly known as Eko in the Yoruba language, is the commercial heartbeat of Nigeria. Located in the South-western part of Nigeria, Lagos is the largest city in Nigeria and was once the capital of Nigeria from 1914 to 1991 before Abuja.
Lagos is where the headquarters for a majority of Nigeria’s financial institutions and corporations are located. It is also home to one of the biggest, most active ports in Africa. Lagos has an estimated population of 16 million (as at 2015). It is also Nigeria’s highest GDP producer and considered one of Africa’s fastest-growing markets. If you are a business traveler, this business traveler’s guide to Lagos will help you make the most of your business trip.
Getting to Lagos
You can travel to Lagos by air, train, boat/ship, or bus/car, depending on where you are traveling from, and what your arrival plans are.
For all business travelers, especially international ones, air travel is the best option. You may fly in from different cities across the world such as Paris, London, Dubai, New York, Madrid, and Frankfurt, amongst others. International airlines operating flights to Lagos include Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Turkish Airlines, Air France and KLM.
If you are in Nigeria, you may travel by air from Kaduna, Abuja, Port Harcourt and almost any other state with an airport. In Nigeria, local airlines like Arik Air, Air Peace, Medview Airlines, Discovery Air, Dana Air, and Aero Contractors operate flights to Lagos.
If you want to travel by train, there is a railway station from Kano through Kaduna to Lagos. It takes about 30 hours from Kano to Lagos via train. The average price is N1,900 for the economy class and N2,900 for the executive class. There are train terminals at Abeokuta, Ibadan, Osogbo, Ilorin, Minna, Jebba and Port Harcourt.
You may be able to travel by ship/boat to the Port of Lagos in Apapa. However, this is neither a popular nor an advisable means of travelling for business travellers.
If you want to travel by bus, several bus transport service providers are available in different parts of Nigeria. They include ABC Transport, The Young Shall Grow, Ifesinachi and God is Good Motors.
What to Take Along
Apart from your business documents, you need to carry along your cash and credit card(s). It appears quite a number of international credit card processors restrict transactions from some countries, so it is sometimes important to notify your credit card company about your business trip to Nigeria. Since American Express is not widely accepted in Nigeria, it is advisable you travel with your Visa or Mastercard.
Nevertheless, Nigeria is hardly based on a cashless economy so ensure you have enough cash with you to be able to purchase desired items from shops, restaurants, pay for taxis or hotel accommodation and so on.
Packing clothes which can be easily worn to various types of events are one way to keep your bags light. For men, you may take two suits. While for women, two blazers with a matching pair of pants and a skirt. You can wear one of them over a casual shirt, while the other is packed. Clothes like T-shirts and sweaters which can be worn alone or combined to suit weather changes are always a great idea. A great tip for preventing wrinkles with packed clothes is to pack them in dry cleaning plastic. It is recommended that you travel with clothes that have dark colors as they hide stains better than clothes with bright colors.
Moving around Lagos
Moving around Lagos is not too difficult. Although the roads are often congested, you can easily get a bus or car to your destination. If you don’t want to move around on a public bus, you may hire a car from a car hiring company, which is likely expensive. At the airport, you can get the yellow taxi to take you to your destination at an agreed price.
You can also use Taxi apps like Uber and Taxify to get from one place to another at affordable prices. If you have a guide or a friend in Lagos, moving around will most likely be easier for you. Ensure you mind briefcase and carry-on bags at all times to avoid losing them.
Where to Stay
On arrival at Lagos, if you have to stay the night, have no worries because Lagos has so many comfortable hotels you can stay in. There are amazing hotels tailored to fit all pocket sizes and depending on your budget, you can always find what suits you.
Conference Centres in Lagos
Interestingly, most of the available hotels have a good conference room for you to hold your business meetings. If the hotel you decided to book doesn’t have any conference room, you may check out places like the Eko Convention Centre, Civic Centre, LCCI Conference and Exhibition Centre or Anchor Events Place.
After your business deal, you may want to explore Lagos before you travel back. There are several interesting places to visit in Lagos like the beach and luckily for you, Lagos has several. The beaches in Lagos include Eleko Beach, Tarkwa Bay Beach, Lagos Bar Beach, Lekki Beach, Alpha Beach, Akodo Beach, Ilashe Beach, and Badagry Beach.
If you’re looking for a café where you can get coffee and some work done, then you could visit the nearest Café neo, Jade café or Belgian Rose. You may want to visit some interesting places like The Jazzhole (a bookshop/café/music hub), Lekki Conservation Centre and any of the different shopping malls around Lagos.
If you’re into art and history, you can check out the National Museum, ReLe art gallery, Omenka gallery, Osh gallery, the Nike Art Gallery or Terra Kulture. To see movies, visit the cinema at Ozone, Silverbird Galleria, Filmhouse Imax, Genesis Deluxe Cinemas, Filmhouse Surulere and so many more.
Where to Get Food
To keep yourself nourished on your trip, there are some cool food spots you should check out. They are Yellow Chili, The Cowrie Restaurant, the Whitehouse, Bangkok Restaurant, Prime Chinese, Nimbus, Bungalow Restaurant, Debonair’s Pizza, Le Saison, Chocolate Royal, or Thistle Bar & Restaurant.
If you plan to shop at any point during your trip, there are some cool shopping centers in Lagos. Some of them are The City Mall, Ikeja City Mall, King’s Plaza, Lekki Art Market, Mega Plaza, and the Palms Shopping Centre.
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