Dominating West Africa economically and politically, Nigeria’s oil is its biggest economic draw. The country has an unsettled past and tensions are often high. The port settlement of Lagos remains the region's largest city, an ethnic melting pot and the economic power-house of the country. Note that Abuja has been the official capital city since 1991.
Lagos' boutique hotel stock might not have matured to Western standards, but there's no shortage of quality international groups with a presence in the city. Accor's Moorhouse Ikoyi Lagos (previously the Sofitel Lagos) has 94 luxurious rooms and suites, a restaurant, wine bar and swimming pool and fitness centre. Sun International’s Federal Palace Hotel & Casino is situated in the commercial hub of Victoria Island, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and is impeccably tailored for the corporate traveller. Finally, the Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel opens soon on Victoria Island’s waterfront, close to the Mega Plaza shopping mall and the banking district.
Yellow Chilli Restaurant and Bar on Victoria Island opened in 2004 and is lauded as the most stylish place to enjoy traditional Nigerian food. For more familiar cuisine, Chinese restaurant Saipan has breathtaking views of the Lagos skyline from its position on the third and fourth floors of Dream Plaza, Victoria Island.
Casa Del Habano may not look great from the outside, but once safely ensconced in the lush interior of this Cuba-themed venue it’s another world. Stocking the very best cognacs and Champagnes, as well as a cigar shop, on Friday and Saturday nights the joint transforms into one of the hottest clubs in town, with salsa and merengue experts showing off their moves.
Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and Arik Air all fly from London Heathrow to Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport, with the home carrier flying daily to Lagos and five-times-weekly to capital city Abuja.
Murtala Muhammed Airport airport is situated in the suburb of Ikeja, 14 miles northwest of Lagos. A highway links the airport with the city centre and the journey takes 30-60 minutes depending on the traffic. The yellow taxis outside the departure lounge are the easiest and safest way to travel. It’s essential to check the driver's ID and agree on a fare before setting off.
Sprawling and chaotic, Lagos might not be everyone’s dream destination but it’s a thriving hub to do business in. Consider that May, June and July are at the height of the rainy season; a visa and a return ticket are essential for travel; and malaria and other diseases are prevalent. The currency is Nigerian Naira.
Lagos is famous for its music scene, so visitors should be sure to catch some live music. Tourist attractions include the Portuguese constructed Oba's Palace, the Nigerian National Museum – which includes archaeological and ethnographic exhibits – and the beaches of Bar and Lekki.
"Owing to the prevalence of commercial fraud targeting foreigners, business travellers should contact their Nigerian Embassy and Chamber of Commerce before travelling. Be aware that business may run a little slower in Nigeria"