Country Information

Nigeria is an African country located on the western coastline of the continent. It is a federal republic that has 36 states. English is the official language in Nigeria. Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa and is a founding member of the African Union and a member of the United Nations. The country hosts the second largest stock exchange in Africa. Nigeria has a flourishing film industry known as Nollywood that is one of the largest film producers in the world, next to Bollywood. Nigeria has beautiful coastlines and modernized metropolitan centers.

Employment Contracts

Employment contracts in Nigeria are written in the local language. Within three months of the start of employment, the employer is required to provide a written statement containing details about the employment.Any changes to the employment contract terms must be in writing and provided to the employee within one month.

Working Hours

Work hours in Nigeria are set by individual or collective bargaining agreements, or by the industrial wage board. However, the common workweek is 40 hours with eight hours a day. Overtime is allowed and the rate is determined in the employment contract or collective bargaining agreement.

Sick Leave

Employees are entitled to 12 days sick leave at full pay but must provide a medical certificate after two days of absence.

Maternity/Paternity Leave

Female employees receive 16 weeks of maternity leave at full pay if they are employed in the public sector. Private sector employees are entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave, with six weeks generally taken before birth and at least six weeks taken after the birth. Female employees who have at least six months of service in the private sector are paid at half of their normal salary while on leave. Male employees in the states of Lagos and Enugu receive two and three weeks of paid paternity leave to state employees, respectively.


Bonuses are common and are often paid around December, but it is not mandatory. Nigeria has a minimum wage.

Vacation Leave

Employees receive six days of paid annual leave after 12 months of service.

Public Holidays
  • New Year’s Day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday
  • Labour Day
  • Eid al-Fitr
  • Democracy Day
  • Eid al-Adha
  • Mawlid
  • Christmas
  • Boxing Day
Health Insurance Benefits

Nigeria has public healthcare available, but companies often provide supplementary private healthcare insurance.

Employment / Termination / Severance

Employment contracts will terminate at the end of the contract period, if for a fixed term, or by either party giving notice. Required notice periods in Nigeria vary depending on length of service. Employment contracts should be sufficiently clear on the matter of notice periods, as well as the process of dismissal or termination. Employment contracts can provide for longer notice periods if all the parties agree. Any notice over one week must be in writing. Payment in lieu of notice is acceptable and either party can waive their right to notice.

Employers are not required to provide a written reason for terminating an employee so long as the appropriate notice period is followed. In cases where the termination is due to misconduct a disciplinary tribunal must be convened so that the accused employee may have an opportunity to defend against allegations against them. When the allegations made against an employee are criminal in nature, the allegations must be proved in the tribunal using the criminal burden of proof, which is beyond a reasonable doubt. Severance pay is not statutorily required.

Local Laws & Regulations

We understand that local laws and regulations change and sourcing an accurate reference guide is not easy. Our data is researched and verified by our team of local international Employment Attorneys, HR and Benefit Professionals and Tax Accountants through our Atlas team and consultants, to ensure information up-to-date and accurate.

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Partnering with Atlas when expanding into Nigeria, can dramatically reduce the standard brick and mortar processes of doing business in foreign markets and allow you to focus on what you do best, growing your company! To discover more about how Atlas can simplify your ability to expand globally, please feel free to contact us.
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