The Nigerian Way (The Naija Factor)

naijaBack here in Nigeria there are three ways of doing things: The right way, the wrong way, and the Nigerian way. The sooner you learn that around this neck of the woods the better! Your particular choice would depend not so much on your nationality but rather whether or not you happen to be resident in Nigeria at the time. Yes, Nigeria has been known to make even the most principled expatriates behave in unorthodox ways. What would YOU do in the following situations?

 How to act when you arrive at a bank and meet a long queue

  • The right way – Get to the back of the queue and fall in line
  • The wrong way – Head to the front, ignoring the queue (and the hisses)
  • The Nigerian way – Persuade the person at the back of the queue to reserve the invisible spot behind him/her while you go take a seat and wait comfortably till your spot moves to the front. When you finally jump back in the queue you have witness who can testify that you actually didn’t jump the queue.

How to act when you’re driving in traffic and you want to enter another lane

  • The right way – Put on your left/right pointer, wait for a free space (though in Nigeria you’d wait forever because motorists don’t give way 90 per cent of the time).
  • The wrong way – Make a sharp entry into the lane of your choice without any prior indication for unsuspecting motorists. Warning: You must at least have third party car insurance to do this.
  • The Nigerian way – Make a puppy face to the adjacent motorist in your desired lane or better yet put your two hands together and rustle them like you’re trying to keep warm. Such gestures usually play on the emotions of the motorists who eventually give way out of pity.

How to act when you are flagged down at a (corrupt) police check point

  • The right way – Slow down to a halt, answer questions then zoom off
  • The wrong way – Zoom off (and risk getting a broken brake light)
  • The Nigerian way – Stop, engage the policeman and then tell some cock and bull story about how you haven’t got cash on you, or you go ahead and slide a couple Naira notes into his hands.

In case you still don’t quite get what it is that makes some Nigerians act the way they do I think the best thing is to pay a visit and spend at least 6 months to a get a first hand experience of what I like to call the Nigerian factor 🙂


15 thoughts on “The Nigerian Way (The Naija Factor)

    • You know how the old saying goes, Nafisah – You can take a person out of Nigeria but you can’t take the Nigerian way out of a person 🙂

  1. Finally!!!!! A post from you! I enjoyed this one. And I can so relate to the driving thing too! Scary on those roads. As for the bank behavior, it happens in some banks in the Virgin Islands too.

    • Thanks Vou. Glad it rocked your world, lol. I’ve given up on exerting road rage – not worth the high BP and odd grey hairs. Wouldn’t mind reading about your encounters some time 🙂

  2. Ha,as uptight as I tend to be…I still give room for the Nigerian way too. Nice one here, one should do a post with broader scoop and reach into all facets of societal interactions


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