How to call Nigeria | In-depth guide with examples
This guide provides helpful tips for calling Nigeria from the U.S. Learn how to make calls to Nigeria with confidence.
By Adeniyi Makinde
Connecting with Nigeria from the United States is essential for various reasons, ranging from business to personal. Nigeria—known for its booming industries like oil, entertainment, and telecommunications—presents numerous opportunities for international business and personal connections. Understanding how to effectively communicate with this vibrant African nation is crucial for fostering these relationships.
Understanding Nigeria's calling codes
To call Nigeria, it's important to understand the structure of international phone numbers. Nigeria's country code is +234. The format for calling mobile numbers is different from landlines. Mobile numbers typically start with '7', '8', or '9', followed by the remaining digits, while landline numbers include an area code followed by the local number.
Guide to calling Nigeria
Before dialing, ensure you're aware of the rates charged by your carrier for international calls to Nigeria. You should also make sure your connection is reliable to avoid any issues caused by latency or choppy voice transmission.
1. Check the time in Nigeria
When making a call to Nigeria, it’s critical to understand the time difference. The Nigerian timezone is GMT+1, which is at least six hours ahead of the U.S. You can find more accurate time differences based on your time zone in the table below. Ideally, you should call from the U.S. in the morning, when it will be afternoon in Nigeria.
2. Dial the exit code
The U.S. exit code is 011. This code signals that you are making an international call.
3. Enter Nigeria's country code
Dial Nigeria's country code, which is +234.
4. Dial the area code and local number
Start by dialing 011, the designated exit code for all international calls originating from the U.S. This code signals that your call will be directed outside the country.
Following the exit code, you need to enter Nigeria's country code, which is 234, to route your call to Nigeria.
The next step depends on whether you are calling a Nigerian landline or mobile phone. If you're calling a landline:
- Input the area code corresponding to the specific region in Nigeria you're trying to reach. Nigerian area codes are typically one or two digits.
- Dial the local landline number, which is usually seven digits long.
For instance, to call a landline in Lagos with the area code 1 and the local number 2345678, you would dial 011-234-1-2345678.
On the other hand, if you're calling a mobile phone in Nigeria, the process is slightly simpler. Nigerian mobile numbers generally begin with '7', '8', or '9', and you dial these numbers directly after the country code without needing to input an area code. For example, to call a Nigerian mobile number like 08031234567, the correct sequence would be 011-234-8031234567.
Remember, Nigerian mobile numbers are dialed as they are, without the addition of an area code.
5. Tips for a successful call
Before placing a call to Nigeria, ensure you have a strong connection to avoid dropped calls. However, it’s still important to have a plan in case of technical issues. For instance, if the call drops, know whether to call back or wait for the other party to call you.
Having an understanding of and respect for Nigerian business culture and etiquette is also critical. Some things to keep in mind include:
- Using formal titles unless otherwise suggested.
- Being polite.
- Showing respect in your conversation.
Finally, as with calling any country, it’s important to be patient and flexible, as the pace of business might differ from what you're used to in the U.S.
Considerations for Nigeria
Calls to Nigeria, like any international destination, can be influenced by various factors. Here's an overview of the key elements that could affect your calls, including language, time differences, and other considerations:
Language and culture
Nigeria is a diverse country with multiple languages, but it was colonized by the English—a major factor for why English is Nigeria’s official language. Here are some common English greetings:
- Hello—A universal greeting.
- Good morning/afternoon/evening—Time-specific greetings.
- How are you?—A polite way to start a conversation.
Nigerian Pidgin is a popular social and cultural language. “Hello! How you dey?”—which means “Hello! How are you?” in English—is a polite way to start a conversation when speaking with a Nigerian.
Aside from English Yoruba, Igbo, and Hausa are the three most prominent languages spoken in Nigeria.
Due to time differences, timing is crucial when making international calls. Nigeria is in the West Africa Time Zone (WAT). Here's a quick guide to the time difference:
|U.S. time zones
|6 hours ahead
|7 hours ahead
|8 hours ahead
|9 hours ahead
How much does it cost to call Nigeria?
Call charges to Nigeria can vary based on your carrier, the duration of the call, and the time of day. Check with your service provider for detailed rates.
Make affordable calls to Nigeria with Telnyx
With these tips and recommendations, you're ready to call Nigeria with confidence.
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