PRE-DEPARTURE ORIENTATION SEMINAR (PDOS)

PRE-DEPARTURE ORIENTATION SEMINAR (PDOS)

FOR NIGERIA

Ekaro (Good day).

This information is for FIRST-TIME OFWs (New Hires) going to Nigeria and assuming you already got a Nigerian Visa or in-process.

For Filipinos Only

New Hires bound for Niger Delta or working for oil companies may have separate orientation on personnel movement and security procedure.

About Nigeria.

  1. Nigeria is the largest country in West Africa. It is bordered by Benin Republic in the West, Cameroon in the east, and Niger Republic and Chad Republic in North.
  2. Lagos state is the former capital of Nigeria. Today, the capital is now Abuja, located in the central part of Nigeria. Lagos remains the commercial capital of Nigeria.
  3. Southeast Nigeria, also commonly referred to as Niger Delta or the Oil Areas is where plenty of Filipinos are working in oil companies and support companies (aircon, generator technicians)
  4. Lagos, especially Victoria Island, is usually the main office of the oil companies and the heart of country’s commercial and financial activities.
  5. Nigeria is an English-speaking country.

Things to prepare if you will work in Nigeria.

  1. Get a Yellow Fever vaccine and Thypoid vaccine. Never mind malaria. Asian malaria is a weaker strain than the African malaria. If you get malaria in Nigeria, use the prescribed Nigerian medicines.
  2. While there are ‘imported’ medicines and vitamins, you might want to bring Philippine-made medicines.
  3. Bring at least 100-200 USD. In 1, 5, 10, 20, 100 denomination
  4. Get the contact numbers and names of people who are supposed to pick you up at the airport.
  5. Bring an ‘open-line’ GSM cellphone

At the airport

Philippines

-when you arrive at NAIA, you go to the POEA/OWWA desk to have your OEC stamped

-Show the OEC to immigration as you pass by the checkpoints

- No terminal fees for OFW with OEC

-Check-in your baggage. For first-timer, 25kg for your check-in baggage and 5kg for handcarry backpack. wag maglagay ng lotion, rubbing alcohol, liniments sa backpack. pwede bumili ng maliit na hand sanitizer. also have a ballpen in your backpack. make sure you got a jacket.

-  Look at your boarding pass which gate you are supposed to go. For Emirates, it is Gate 5. You may want to go to your boarding gate early. Meron naman pahingahan, plaingkuran at mga tindahan sa boarding gate.

-I only know Emirates, Qatar and Ethiopian Airlines that have direct connecting flights (same airline) from manila to lagos, nigeria. If Emirates, stopover at Dubai. If Qatar, stopover at Doha. If Ethiopian, stopover at Addis Ababa.

Paalala : Libre and pagkain at inumin sa eroplano. Kaya huwag mahiyang humingi – at kumain.

Dubai International Airport

-assuming your plane is Emirates, you will have a stopover in Dubai varying from 2 – 10 hours. check your ticket.

- New in Dubai (2013). You will land in Terminal A. That is not your boarding terminal to Lagos. You have to transfer to Terminal B. Ask Filipinos there in Terminal A for direction. But transfer requires you take the elevator going down. then follow instruction to board a train (free) to Terminal B. After disembarking at Terminal B, you will go thru inspection. Afterwards, you may take  a series of escalator or take the elevator and go up to the Duty Free Area at 4th floor. check the electronic signboards for your Boarding Gate. Look for your destination and flight number, and note what is the boarding time and gate number. Look for your gate number and you can stay there to wait or you can do some shopping at Duty Free or eat at MCDo.

-There are lots of toilets in the airport to relieve yourself.

-If you have long wait (10+ hours), Emirates will give either free dinner and breakfast. Ask any emirates staff for direction.

-There are sleeping areas in the airport to rest.

-Be careful with your handcarry baggage.

-There are 2 free internet kiosks you can use. They also serve as smoking areas.

 - Be at you boarding gate 30 minutes before time.

Lagos (Murtalla Muhamed International Airport)
Time of arrival: 2:30PM/2:55 PM

-If you have other Filipinos on the flight, don’t be shy to ask and chat with them in the Lagos-bound plane.

- In the plane, ask stewardess for Lagos Immigration disembarkation card. It is either blue or yellow color paper. take time to fill-up the form.

- Upon arrival, follow the direction of lines of other expatriates.

-You will pass immigration for stamping of your passport. Para sa mga first-timer, dapat dala nyo ang yellow envelop galing sa Nigerian Embassy. Hahanapin ng immigration yun. so keep those documents in your backpack. Hindi nila kukunin ang dokumento, ipapakita lang.

-After immigration, wait for your baggage in the carousel area.

i.If you brought half of your kitchen, bedroom and bathroom, you may need a baggage trolley at 1 USD per trolley. Kung sobra hingi, wag ka ng mag trolley.

-Never give your passport to anybody after you have the immigration stamp.

-After you get your baggage, follow the line where other expats are passing. Don’t be afraid. They will just check the baggage claim tickets.

i.There is a line for Exit, Customs and Currency declaration. Even if you have plenty of pesos or dollars with you but below 10k, you do not need to declare currencies. It is only for businessmen bringing large amount of cash. If you are asked for yellow fever card, ipakita. Kung pabubuksan ang bagahe mo, kusang buksan.

ii.Stay in the Exit line.

Go outside of the terminal. On the left side is the refreshment area where you can exchange your dollar for Naira and you can also buy a SIM pack.

i.You can relieve yourself or eat and drink there.

ii.If you have naira by now, buy a GSM SIM Card, either MTN or Etisalat SIM card. Bilhan mo rin ng load (credit ang tawag).

iii. Call your contact if you did not see anyone holding a placard with your name on it at the waiting area.

iv.Stay in the airport terminal premises until your pick-up arrives.

v.Ignore the ‘cargo boys’ and ‘taxi boys’ offering you baggage assistance. Like in Pinas, they will try to force you and confuse you. Do not engage in long conversation with them.

vi.If you need to ask for information, look for uniformed personnel or from the store clerks in the airport passenger lounge area, kung wala pa sundo mo.


Welcome to Nigeria.

CULTURE SHOCK

-Nigerians are generally very polite people and locals have high regard for all foreign visitors.

-It is common to use polite words to address another person such as Sah (sir) or Oga (boss). You can use this also to address an officer of your company or any Nigerians for that matter.

-When you enter a place or office for the first time, the standard greetings will be “You’re welcome” – meaning, ‘You are welcome (here)’. Just reply “Thank you”. They will follow it with “Well done.

-When you get to the office and you met local office employees and officers of your company, shake their hands using your right hand. If you need to give something to a local, use the right hand – especially when you are meeting somebody of high position or a chief. It is rude to use the left hand in shaking hands or passing/receiving something.

-Nigerians are non-smoker in general. No smoking inside establishments or government buildings. To be sure, ask if it is allowed in the premises.

WEATHER

-Nigeria has a generally dry weather. But they do have a rainy season starting April to September.

-Lagos has a ‘burst and spurt’ rains in April – September. I swear the wind and rain in Nigeria sounds like a typhoon category already but locals just call it ‘ordinary’ rain.

-From October to January, almost all Nigeria experience the ‘harmattan’ weather or dry winds. You are advice to wear long sleeves if your job requires field work or travel, and take a bath twice a day to avoid skin irritation. Harmattan winds carries fine sand from Sahara that causes eye and skin irritation. But it also gives cold weather in the night.

CONVERSATION/LANGUAGE

-There are three major languages in Nigeria. Yoruba (Southwest), Hausa (North) and Igbo (Southeast). Yoruba is the local language in Lagos.

-Nigerians are very conversant and fluent in English (reading and writing).

-Don’t be shy in communicating in English. Broken or pidgin english is acceptable here.

Trivia: Nigeria has the most number of english-language daily newspapers and prints the most number of publications in West Africa

Paalala: “You have something for me?” – this is the most common phrase you will hear from locals. It’s another way of asking for money or ‘dash’. Just politely say no.

DRESS CODE

- Lagos state is a metropolitan state. There is really no dress code in public. Unless your office requires a uniform, you can wear casual attire.

Women may wear casual dress. On weekends, one can wear shorts and sleeveless – in daytime.

This casual attire applies only to South Nigeria. Northern Nigeria has predominantly Muslim States and Sharia Law is observed. It will be safer for women to cover their head and dress modestly in public if a Pinay will work there.

ACCOMMODATION

The usual norm is that the company provides a fully-furnish housing and transportation. With cook, cleaner and driver.

-Observe the security policy in your housing.

SHOPPING/RECREATION

-Cost of living : Relatively Cheap. But since most stores do not carry price tags, you have to haggle hard to reduce the price. Locals have the propensity to triple the price of goods if you are an ‘OYIBO’ buying in small stores.

-In Lagos and Abuja, there are several malls, famous are Shoprite and Park n Shop.

-There are cinemas, restaurants, bars, gyms, fastfoods, nightclubs and casinos.

-There are always grocery stores they call “supermarket”.

-Nowadays, all things you need can be bought from the ‘supermarket’.

-Because there are plenty of Lebanese, Indian and Chinese businesses here, you will always find Asian food items like rice, sardines, carne norte, noodles, and maggi bouillons, except sinigang mixes.

– Meat (pork, beef, goat, ram, bush meat), poultry products (dressed chickens, eggs), fresh fish, fruits/vegetables (talong, pechay, squash, amplaya, malunggay, sitaw, upo) can be bought from malls or Sunday markets.

- There are plenty of Nigerian-owned fastfood chains patterned after western menu. Also fine African-cuisine restaurants. KFC is found in Shoprite malls.

-There are 3 ‘go-to’ beaches in Lagos: Eleko Beach, Lekki Beach, Banana Island. Offers boating, windsurfing, and speedboat cruises.

-There are golf courses in Lagos. Most accessible are Ikoyi and Ikeja.

Paalala: Mahal ang ice cream sa Nigeria. Kaya pakasawa na kayo bago pumunta rito.

TRAVEL and SECURITY

i.For Niger Delta-bound persons, observe your company’s security policies.

— If you need to go out of the compound, consult your security personnel or your housemates.

ii.Never go out of your compound alone if you are not familiar with the streets.

iii.Never bring other  persons inside your compound without clearance from security

iv.Nigeria is a left-hand driving country, same as Philippines. Depending on company policy, you may get a Nigerian driving license.. Observe traffic rules and signs.

- Make sure the car you are driving has updated & complete papers (xerox and originals). These are called “particulars

-Always lock your car doors and windows, especially if you get stuck in traffic. If some vendors knock on your side of window, ignore them.

-If your vehicle is stopped by police in a checkpoint, let the driver do the talking.

-If you can avoid it, do not take okada bike.

-If you have to take taxi, haggle the price first before boarding (no meters). If you have to take a bus, be careful with you pockets, cellphones or wallets.

v.Photocopy you passport (front and back) and VISA. If you have CERPAC, xerox it front and back. Carry the xerox copies at all times.

vi.Observe security in your place of accommodation. Remember, your indiscretion might compromise the security of the rest of your housemates.

vii. Always have companions when going to public markets.

Paalala: if you are travelling in the city and your car got stuck in the traffic, do not panic if your driver will tell you there is ‘holdup’. In Nigeria, ‘holdap’ means ‘traffic jam’.

MONEY MATTERS

- You cannot send dollars thru Western Union. Nigeria prohibits sending out of dollars thru WU, but allows incoming dollars. You can only do so through bank-to-bank deposit.  Inquire with your company how to make remittance.

HEALTH and FOOD

-Medicines are not a problem. Just be wary if you think you are buying imported medicines. Better to buy locally made ones as these are cheaper and sure to work.

-Never drink or use in cooking plain tap water. Always use bottled water or filtered water.

-Never try eating from local carenderia out of curiosity.

-Spray insecticide once a week in the entire house.

-Never swim in lakes or rivers

-Never make ‘kinilaw’ out of freshwater fish, shellfish

-If you feel fever in early afternoon and headache in the evening, go for a blood test in your company-accredited hospital. Never ignore headaches and fevers.

-Take vitamins regularly

-Always iron your clothers, especially underwear, if you left it hanging outside the house overnight.

-If you intend to bring your children, make sure they have polio and measles vaccination.

RECREATION and PINOY BARANGAY

Companies provide OFWs with recreational facilities in their housing. Others may have common facilities if living in an estate (subdivision).

Most of the time, Pinoys just go to another kababayan’s place to hang out and have a drink.

Each Filipino group, depending on locations and jobs, have their own hang-outs during weekend.

In Lagos, there is Family Day gathering every first Sunday of the month at the barangay clubhouse in Ikeja, Lagos.

There are Filipino communities in major states. Try to get in touch with them.

INTERNET and COMMUNICATION

There are several wireless internet provider in Nigeria. From wireless dial-up to broadband. Inquire with your company admin.

There are several cellular phone companies and offers texting to Philippine GSM companies.

  • MTN can text to Smart (Roaming partner)
  • GloMobile and MTN can text both Smart and Globe (roaming partner)
  • Etisalat

There are also CDMA-based mobile phone companies (Reltel, Starcomms, Multilinks) and VOIP services that offers cheaper long distance calls.

Brand new and latest model of laptop, PCs and electronic gadgets are available in Nigeria.

WORSHIP

-There are plenty of Catholic, Anglican and Protestant Churches here.

-In South Nigeria like Lagos and Niger Delta, majority are Christians.

-Southeast Nigeria is predominantly Roman Catholic.

-Even INC has solid community assembly on Sunday in Lagos.

FILIPINO CONTACT :

Philippine Embassy:

Phone: +234-805-175-2187

e-mail: abuja_pe@yahoo.co.uk

Note: Philippine Embassy in Nigeria handles entire West African countries as well.

Filipinos in Nigeria Yahoogroups:http://groups.yahoo.com/group/naijapinoy/

Blogsite: https://philbrgysocietyinnigeria.wordpress.com/

If you see somebody looking like a Pinoy, do not hesitate to greet and exchange numbers.

Nigeria reference:

http://www.motherlandnigeria.com/

http://babawillyentertainment.com/p.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/nigeria

http://www.ngex.com/personalities/babawilly/

27 Responses to PRE-DEPARTURE ORIENTATION SEMINAR (PDOS)

  1. [...] poke into the kitchen and i saw an ‘oniyocha‘ woman looked at me in astonishment. She was typical Pinay, petite and chinky-eyed and as old [...]

  2. kungfu dummy says:

    How often do you yourself Windsurf or do you just write about it?

    Can I ask though – how did you get this picked up and into google news?

    Very impressive that this blog is syndicated through Google and is it something that is just up to Google or you actively created?

    Obviously this is a popular blog with great data so well done on your seo success..

    Windsurfing greats you should write about next.

  3. Arlyn says:

    Are there many Pinoys in Nigeria? If so where? I will visit Jos and Abuja soon from the States. I’m just wondering.

    • Elizabeth Tiongco Bempah says:

      Ako din gustong maka meet ng Pinoys in Nigeria specially those working in Philippine Embassy there
      NIGERIA HERE I COME

  4. naija pinoy says:

    Is there any country on earth without Pinoys??

    When you go to Abuja, check with PHilippine Embassy for the contact number of the Pnoy community there..

  5. Rizalina says:

    Hello there!

    I hope you are all well! Congratulations for keeping the Pinoy spirit in Nigeria.

    I would be travelling to Benin City in Nigeria by January next year, being a woman on my own is it safe to go and work in Benin City?
    Could some one help me out please? I am desperate??

    Thank you for your time

    Rizalina

  6. Yolly Magalong says:

    godd day to all, my riend wants me to visit there in nigeria.i need to know what the requirement needed for visit. and how much the cost of the ticket one ticket or round trip.and what are the airlines there? please email me.my plans for going there will be nxt year.sometime in jan or feb..please email me..
    thank you very much,looking forward to give sometime on my msg. again thank you..

  7. naija pinoy says:

    1. Inquire at the Nigerian for cost of visa
    2. Ask travel agency for cost of airline tickets..
    3. Airlines: depends n where you are coming from…

  8. mark escusa says:

    very comprehensive. please advise new travellers to also say “sorry-o” when asked for dash money. always address immigration officers “sah” (sir) also can you please post the dollar to niara exchange rate so new commers will not be ripped off.

    regards and more powah!!!

    • naija pinoy says:

      thanks mark. you already advised the new comers about it.

      as for dollar-naira, do not change to naira at the airport. better to bring a SMART roaming SIM to text your “sundo”.

      change money later in your company or thru your pinoy officemates…

  9. mark escusa says:

    new comers pala typo

  10. Reynaldo Lareta says:

    Hi,
    I would like to obtain information regarding travel to work in nigeria.
    I was hired by HHI to work for a project at escravos. with the philippines government having travel ban to nigeria, i would like to know if there are other ways to get to nigeria. I have worked in Equatorial Guinea in 2007 with NO problem but traveling to nigeria for work is far from reach.

    I would appreciate for any comments.

    thank you.

    sincerely,
    Rmlareta

  11. Anthony Buchi Mark says:

    It is a shame that the Philippines Government would dream of much more pronounce a travel ban on Nigeria. Not with the level of BS going down in the Philippines, By all standards and measures, Nigerians do not live in fear of their fellow Nigerians as much as Filipinos do. Enough of this Nonsense!

  12. Almedo Lopez says:

    Good morning Sir/Madam,
    I have a job offer as a Production Manager of the Seven Up Bottling Company in Nigeria. I would like to make an inquiry on the following:

    1. Can I apply for an STR visa?

    2. If I am accepted in the job offer will I be able to travel to Nigeria in lieu of the April 1, 2009 DFA advisory of labor deployment ban to Nigeria?

    Thank you vey much for your assistance.

  13. Emil Aliado says:

    Hi,
    I would appreciate very much if information can be given below:
    A)Could you help to give some travel agency here in Manila where we can book
    B) How much is the estimated air fare from Manila to Lagos then connecting flight to Port Harcourt.
    C) Can I know estimated hotel accomodation per night and food allowance per day
    We are invited to come in Port Harcourt for 3 days to conduct survey and explore other biz. Our target of departure by Oct 6, 2010.
    Thank you very much.

  14. mary ann see says:

    gud am. mgttanong po regarding s zoom mobile hnhire po kc nla ako jan may contrata n cla pndala at ppirmhan q n lng. ask q lng po sna kung ok po ba mgtrabho s company na un at jan s nigeria? at effective pa rin po ba ung deployment ban na pntupad ni arroyo.. hoping for ur assistance. kelngan dn kc nla n dumating ako jan by august 25 im just making sure kung meron tlgang company n zoom mobile. thank u.

    • naija pinoy says:

      Meron yata kumpanya na yan. kasi nasa internet naman websie nila.

      Tanong: Sila ba gagastos sa visa procesing mo at sa plane fare mo?

      • mary ann see says:

        oo cla dw gastos pro meron cla pnakkontak sken na attorney pra sa affidavit of guarantee and letter of attestation $810 hnhingi sken… eh sbe ate q scam dw un.

    • naija pinoy says:

      naku, tama ate mo. scam nga yan.

      kasi sa nigeria, wala ka dapat gagastusin ni kusing.

      kapag ka nanghingi ng advance payment or processing fee tulad ng affidavit na yan, scam yan.

      huwag ka nang umasa sa offer na yan at mapariwara ka lang.

      mag ingat.

  15. naija pinoy says:

    naku, tama ate mo. scam nga yan.

    kasi sa nigeria, wala ka dapat gagastusin ni kusing.

    kapag ka nanghingi ng advance payment or processing fee tulad ng affidavit na yan, scam yan.

    huwag ka nang umasa sa offer na yan at mapariwara ka lang.

    mag ingat.

  16. wennie camba says:

    Hello there…gusto po sana makakuha ng info about a PO box # 47 Soliha Niger State Nigeria kung saan po itong lugar…may hinahanap po akong kababata na nakapag-asawa ng Nigerian sa Israel at noong umuwi ang Nigeria pinasunod sya so sumunod naman sya at nagbyahe daw sa Nigeria…magmula noon wala na pong balita sa kanya…may picture po ako sa kanilang mag-asawa at ang name ng lalaki Daniel Aqwebino and ang name ng kababata ko ay Joy Fuego.

  17. wennie camba says:

    I hope matulungan nyo kami sa info man lang ng kababata ko dahil umaasa at naghihintay ang anak nya sa kanya its about 18 years now na walang balita kay Joy Fuego.

  18. arnel b.v. says:

    sir, i receive a contract from Moreno Group PLC in Abuja main office but my job site was in Bayelsa-Brass is this place safe for as
    or do kidnapping still exist in this place… road project kasi ang e handle namin?..

  19. marlon lambrinto says:

    Good day sir,malapit na po ang alis ko papuntang ikeja lagos nigeria.ang tanong ko po ay ang visa ko ay 3 months lang po at ,may return ticket po ako, tanong ko po paa no ba ang process pag first time kong pupunta ng nigeria.sana matulongan mo po ako at magkaroon ng idea. MICHAEL HAMMOND ENGINEERING CO.

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