How Do I Negotiate Contracts And Deals In Nigeria?

  • Reading time:15 mins read

Nigerian business moves quickly, so knowing how to negotiate contracts and deals in Nigeria is essential. It doesn’t matter if you’re negotiating a big business deal or a contract with a seller; good negotiation skills can make all the difference in the world. The Nigerian market has problems and chances, and knowing how things work in the local business world is essential. This piece will discuss tips and strategies to help you negotiate confidently and get the best deals for your business.

Understanding the Nigerian business culture

To make deals and arrange contracts in Nigeria, you must understand the country’s complicated business culture. Being aware of these societal factors will help you negotiate more effectively and achieve better results for your company.

Relationship matter: Building strong bonds is crucial to negotiating well in Nigeria. Here are some excellent ways to build trust and rapport:

  • Why personal relationships are essential: People in Nigeria often do business with each other through personal ties. Building a good friendship with the other side can significantly affect how well your negotiations go. Spend time getting to know your business partners, genuinely care about their needs and trust them. Getting to know each other better through personal interactions, like eating together or attending social events, can help these ties grow and make negotiations go more smoothly.
  • Ways to get to know each other and build trust: You should focus on a few key things to build trust and rapport:
    • Respect and be polite: Show respect for the traditions and habits of the place you’re visiting. Handshakes and using the proper titles are simple things that can go a long way towards building a good friendship.
    • Actively listen: By actively listening, show that you care about what they say. This means you should listen, ask good questions, and respect their point of view.
    • Be patient: Building relationships and trust may take a while during negotiation. Don’t rush the process; be patient as you try to learn and agree on everything.
    • Different ways of talking: If you want to make deals and contracts in Nigeria, you need to be able to talk to people. Here is what you need to know about how people in the area talk to each other:

Communication types: direct and indirect: When doing business in Nigeria, people can talk to each other directly and indirectly. Being aware of this balance will help you handle discussions better.

  • Direct communication: Nigerians may be honest when they talk to each other, especially in work settings. But this directness is often paired with respect and politeness.
  • Indirect Communication: Nigerians sometimes use indirect communication to communicate their message. Pay attention to body language and tone of voice, among other things, to figure out what someone is trying to say.
  • Why nonverbal cues are important: Communication that does not involve words is essential in Nigerian business. Pay attention to movements, facial expressions, and body language because they can add more meaning to what people say. For example, a smile or nod could mean that you agree or like something, while crossed arms could mean that you don’t agree or feel comfortable with something.

Preparing for negotiation

If you want to discuss contracts and deals in Nigeria, you must be well-prepared. By getting to know your opponent well and making clear goals, you can go into negotiations feeling confident and having a strategic edge.

  • Research and Doing Your Research: Do a lot of study and due diligence before you sign any contracts or deals in Nigeria:
    • Finding out about your partner’s past and interests: Knowing who you are dealing with is essential. Find out about the other person’s work history, interests, and negotiation style. With this knowledge, you can change how you talk to them to meet their needs and find common ground.
    • Look at the market and how it’s changing: Keep up with what’s happening in the Nigerian business and the industry. Learning about the economy, changes in regulations, and the competition will help you understand the outside factors that could affect your deal. This information allows you to make intelligent choices and plan for possible problems.
  • Set clear goals: Your negotiation approach will be guided by clearly defined goals, which will help you get what you want:
    • Setting your priorities and goals: Write down what you want to get out of the discussion. List your main goals and put them in order based on how important they are to you. Having clear goals will help you stay focused and practical during negotiations, whether you’re trying to get better prices, build long-term relationships, or make sure that the terms of a contract are met.
    • Finding possible compromises: Are you ready to give in when necessary? Figure out what you are willing to give up and what you are not willing to give up. Knowing your limits helps you stay strong in negotiations while still being open to good ideas for both sides.

Strategies and tactics for negotiating

To arrange contracts and deals successfully in Nigeria, you must use effective strategies and tactics. If you learn how to negotiate and handle concessions well, you can achieve good results and build strong business relationships.

  • Techniques for bargaining that work: To make deals and arrange contracts in Nigeria use these strategies:
    • Use the Power of Silence: Silence can be beneficial during talks. Wait a moment after making an offer or essential point to give the other person time to react. This can make them feel like they need to speak up to break the silence, which usually leads to them giving more information or giving in.
    • Innovative Ways to Make the First Offer: Choosing whether to make the first offer can change the course of the discussion. By making the first offer, you can set the anchor point for the negotiation and steer it towards the desired result. To keep your credibility and start a good conversation, ensure your first offer is well-thought-out and within a fair range.
  • Taking care of concessions: Managing concessions well is an integral part of any bargaining process:
    • When to Give and When to Take: Giving in is a normal part of negotiating. Find places that aren’t necessary and where you can give in. Giving in on minor issues can help you get along with someone better and encourage them to do the same on more significant issues. Always ensure that the compromises you make align with your primary goals.
    • Figure out what the other person wants: Knowing your partner’s wants and needs is essential. With this information, you can make concessions that will help them but might only help you reach your goals a little. By addressing their main concerns, you can make them more willing to work with you and get closer to a deal that works for everyone.

Legal consideration

Knowing how the legal system works in Nigeria will ensure that your decisions are legally enforceable and governed by local laws. Proper legal considerations will protect your interests and prevent disagreements.

  • Contracts law Nigeria: To successfully negotiate deals and contracts in Nigeria, you should learn about these essential law rules and principles:
    • Key legal regulations and principles: Some of the most essential rules in Nigerian contract law are the intention to form a legal relationship, the offer, the acceptance, the consideration, and the consideration. To make your contracts legally bound, make sure they spell out these things very clearly. Learn about the necessary laws, like the Contract Act, so you know how the law works in the area where you are working.
    • Standard contract clauses and what they mean: Pay close attention to favoured provisions in contracts and what they mean. To protect your interests, you should carefully write the parts that deal with payment terms, delivery dates, resolving disputes, and ending the contract. Figuring out what these clauses mean will help you bargain better and avoid possible problems.
  • Making sure compliance: Making sure you follow the law is essential to avoid legal problems and make sure your deals are carried out smoothly:
    • Hiring a lawyer is essential: One must be employed in Nigeria when discussing contracts and deals. A skilled lawyer can review your contracts, give you legal help, and ensure that your agreements follow all local rules and laws. A lawyer can also help you deal with tricky legal problems and reduce risks.
  • Ways to stay out of legal trouble: Follow these steps to keep out of trouble with the law:
    • Clear and Precise Language: Ensure your contracts are written in clear and precise language to avoid mistakes. Arguments can happen when terms aren’t clearly stated, so ensure all of them are.
    • Comprehensive Record-Keeping: Keep thorough records of all negotiations and deals. Written records of conversations, emails, and official contract drafts are all part of this. Having the correct paperwork in place gives you proof and clarity in case of any future disagreements.

Close the deal 

When you discuss contracts and deals in Nigeria, the last and most crucial step is to close the deal. Finalising the terms, ensuring everyone understands, and making the agreement official are all part of this step. A good closure makes it possible for business relationships to go well and for the deal to be carried out without any problems.

  • Finalising the terms: To make sure the end goes well, pay attention to these things:
    • Review and confirm the agreement’s details: Before signing the contract, review all the terms and conditions discussed during the negotiations. Ensure that everyone knows what they need to do when they need to do it, and their responsibilities. Double-checking the facts avoids confusion.
    • Taking care of last-minute worries: Take care of any problems or worries at the last minute. If your partner needs small changes, be willing to make them as long as they don’t hinder your goals. Taking care of these issues quickly shows that you want to reach a fair and cooperative deal.
  • Making the agreement official: Once all the details are agreed upon, it’s essential to make the deal official:
    • Writing a comprehensive and transparent contract: Write a clear, complete contract that spells out everything agreed upon. Ensure the contract has all the essential parts, like payment terms, release dates, confidentiality agreements, and ways to settle disagreements. A clear and precise contract will reduce disagreements and misunderstandings.
    • Carrying out the agreement: Once the contract has been written, move on to the completion phase:
  • Getting signatures: Make sure that everyone signs the contract. For contracts to be legally binding in Nigeria, they may need to be witnessed or notarised. Ensure all signatures are gotten in a way that follows the law.
    • Giving Out Copies: Give each party a copy of the signed contract for their notes. Keeping correct records ensures that everyone can see and use the agreed-upon terms as needed.
    • Spell out the terms: When negotiating contracts and deals in Nigeria, you can close the deal if you carefully spell out the terms and make the agreement official. This last step ensures that everyone is committed to doing what they need, setting the stage for a successful and friendly work relationship.

Common Problems and Ways to Fix Them

When negotiating deals and contracts in Nigeria, you need help with some things. If you think about these problems and find good answers, you can negotiate more efficiently and reach a reasonable agreement.

  • How to deal with cultural differences: For talks to go well, both sides must understand and deal with cultural differences:
    • Different Ways to Talk to People: Nigerian business culture may have different ways of talking to people than you used to. Some Nigerians might like to speak to people directly, while others prefer to talk to people indirectly. Misunderstandings can happen if you don’t pay attention to these details.

Solution: Change how you talk to fit the other person’s style. Watch out for nonverbal cues and ask questions to make sure everyone understands. Communication will improve if you build connections by being respectful and aware of other cultures.

  • Different Norms and Expectations: People may have other ideas about being on time, polite, and acting in business. These differences can make things more complicated to understand and cause delays.

Solution: Learn about the rules and standards for business in Nigeria before negotiating. Respect the habits of the people around you and be willing to adapt to different ways of doing things. This knowledge will help you get along with others and make talks go smoothly.

  • Taking care of legal and regulatory issues: Finding your way around Nigeria’s justice system can be challenging:
    • There are many rules and laws: Nigeria’s laws may be hard to understand, and companies from other countries may need to follow foreign standards.

Solution: Hire a lawyer in Nigeria who is familiar with Nigerian contract law. Because they are lawyers, they will help you understand and follow the law. This will make sure that your contracts are valid and follow local rules.

  • Changes to the rules: Nigeria’s rules and regulations can change quickly, affecting contracts and business practices. Staying up to date on these changes is essential to avoiding legal problems.

Solution: Monitor regulatory updates and be aware of any changes that could affect your talks. Knowing area lawyers and industry groups well can provide helpful information and help you quickly adjust to new rules.

Read Also. How To Protect Your Business From Financial Fraud In Nigeria?


To sum up, to succeed in business in Nigeria, you must learn how to negotiate contracts and deals. You can get good results if you know about the local society and laws and use effective strategies. Are you ready to make your business bigger? Sign up for our online business list right now to get in touch with important people in Nigeria who can help you negotiate more effectively. Find out what your business can do now!