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Shopping in Nigeria


Markets, which are lively and less-expensive, are the most interesting places to shop. Special purchases include adire (patterned, indigo-dyed cloth), ankara (wax dyed cloth), pottery from the southwest, leatherwork and Kaduna cotton from the north and carvings from the east. Designs vary greatly, many towns having their own distinctive style. Women’s clothing items include buba (a loose blouse that falls below the waist), iro (a rectangular piece of clothing that is wrapped around the waist), and gele (fabric used as head gear). Sokoto (loose fitting pants) are worn by men. Other purchases include herbs, beadwork, basketry and ceremonial masks such as those of the Ekpo.

At the markets, bargaining is the norm in Nigeria. Typically, vendors will start with an inflated price for a product, and then you are expected to haggle down by half. Some vendors may start with an even higher price, in particular trying to take advantage of tourists. In this case you should only pay what you feel comfortable with. However, if you do agree on a final price, you should always buy the product, as not doing so is considered very rude. Some products, however, such as basic groceries, will have a fixed price and cannot be bargained for.

There are many curio markets throughout Lagos and Abuja. Many of the curios for sale are the bi-product of animals – ivory, cat pelts, snake and crocodile skins. Avoid buying these, as you are unlikely to be able to import them into your own country.

Places to Shop

Upscale residential neighbourhoods such as Victoria Island house Lagos' best shops and restaurants, and South African-built shopping malls with cinema complexes are becoming popular.

Jankara Market is the largest market in Lagos. As well as died cloth, you will also find hand-made beads and jewellery, pottery and regular styled clothing. There is a part of the market also selling traditional herbs, medicines and juju (folkloric medicine) potions and powders. Balogun Market, also in Lagos, is another excellent place to pick up clothes, with a huge display of fabrics. You can also try Isale Eko or Bar Beach markets to grab a bargain.

There is a modern shopping mall in Lagos which is convenient for finding electronic goods, jewellery, or fashion. It is called Palms Shopping Mall, and houses over 30 stores, including American clothing brands such as Nike, Puma and Ralph Lauren. There are also banking and other services for foreigners.





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