Relationships and Respect Essay

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Building strong business relationships requires a high level of trust, particularly with Nigerians who prioritize personal relationships over professional ones. In Nigeria, the seasoned negotiator can secure deals, but that does not guarantee that any other employees of their firm will enjoy the same degree of public trust. Nigerians do, however, value those who are flexible and modest as well. Respect is frequently influenced by a person's status in society, position, and degree of education.

Less than half of the people in Nigeria knows English, despite it being the official language. The country has 250 different languages. They do not like jargon and slang in conversations and like proximity while discussing business or any other matter. Nigerians prefer polite and cheerful greetings while conversations may be loud and sometimes passionate and one should not take it as a sign of anger. While they often show their anger openly, a negotiator should neither lose their temper nor appear to have lost patience with negotiations.

Initial Contact and Meetings

While it is advantageous for a person planning to negotiate for business in Nigeria to have a private connection, such should not be construed to mean it is a prerequisite. It is important for team members to have specific roles to play in the negotiating process; however, a change of a team member may have an adverse impact on the process unless a new relationship building precedes such a change. Initial meetings require prior notifications and sharing of vital details that include status and responsibilities of visitors.


Nigerians prefer negotiating according to the current situations and can, therefore, take any direction. It is important to share every detail with them to build trust. One should never worry when negotiations take longer periods than they expected because that is how they do it. Nigerians like bargaining and more often, they expect final prices to be significantly below the initial offer, and it takes patience, composure and compromises to do business with them. The decision-making process is relatively longer than one may expect because of the bureaucracies involved in various authority lines.

Agreements and Contracts

While documentation is critical in contracts execution, Nigerians do believe in the commitment of business partners to accomplish the common goal than in the literature itself. Notably, having a lawyer on the negotiation table may be perceived as mistrust and hamper the entire negotiating process. More often than not, legal rights to a contract are enforceable in the courts, and the only solution is building strong bonds and sound trust to ensure that all are done according to agreements.

Women in Business

While women are struggling to attain various positions of influence in business as compared to their male counterparts in Nigeria, they have same rights and command the same respect. However, Nigerian business environment dictates that they behave professionally and be conscious of their surrounding for safety purposes.

Other Important Things to Know

Nigerians to organize special parties for their foreign business partners and acknowledgment of such efforts are appreciated because they signify the importance of the hosts. Nigerians expect international trading partners to appreciate their efforts in organizing such events. Additionally, while social functions have not strict reporting timelines, it is advisable to avoid being too late. For instance, arriving late by about 15-30 minutes is acceptable.

July 07, 2023

Life World


Poverty Issue Love Africa

Subject area:

Trust Relationship Nigeria

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