SIP Trunking • Last Updated 1/24/2024

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Time zones

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 zonesNigeria
Eastern (EST)6 hours ahead
Central (CST)7 hours ahead
Mountain (MST)8 hours ahead
Pacific (PST)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.

If you’re looking for more guidance on global calling, Telnyx’s team of experts can help you navigate the complexities of international communication. Telnyx is a next-gen communications platform that offers a global private IP network, multi-cloud redundancy, and carrier-grade services. Our elastic SIP trunking services make it easy to call nearly every country in the world. We also offer support and guidance to help you grow and scale your business.

With competitive pricing and a wide variety of local phone numbers in over 140 countries, Telnyx provides cost-effective calling solutions with unmatched expertise.

Contact our experts today to learn how we can help your business communicate effectively with contacts in Nigeria and 140+ other countries.

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