When Filming in Nigeria

Hoodlum Film Fixers - When filming in Tunisia

Nigeria is situated in West Africa and is bordered by Niger, Benin and Cameroon

Film locations in Nigeria

Nigeria has a booming local film industry, known as Nollywood, but is yet to tempt many international productions.  The perception that there is a lack of infrastructure and security concerns in the north have put off many international producers, but there are opportunities to take advantage of some of the greatest locations and best cast in Africa. The production of TV commercials however has boomed over the last decade with many local productions being filmed for International brands. This genre has now expanded to include many international TV series and reality shows. With a population of over 225 million people many blue-chip corporations are expanding distribution of their brand in Nigeria and the film industry is at the forefront of the supply chain with regards to digital marketing initiatives.

In the north, there is the semi-arid region of Sahel, which borders the Sahara desert, transitioning into the Savanna. Plus, the state of Niger with its national parks and game reserves, and Plateau state, known for its natural rock formations, hills and waterfalls.

While in the south there are rainforests and sandy beaches, including the golden sands of Ndibe Sand Beach, and the stunning Ogbunike Caves in the state of Anambra, which are an UNESCO World Heritage site.

Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, is a newly created city with wide boulevards, but it is Lagos that is the hub for production services and productions in Nigeria.

A film permit from the Nigerian Film Corporate is required to film in Nigeria. The permit costs $450 per film production and is usually processed within 3 days.More lead time is required for larger footprint productions such as shoots that involve traffic control or large setups.

Film Location Permits for Nigeria

A general film permit per project is required from the Ministry of Culture and is applied for by a local film fixer/producer. A synopsis of the project and a yellow fever yellow card is required for applications for work permits and visa letters. You must also have obtained your yellow fever card 10 days or more before entering the country.

Visa requirement are dependent on the country of origin. This information can be obtained from the local film fixers.


Nigeria has a tropical climate with a wet and a dry season. The wet season lasts from Apri to October. The wettest month is June, particularly on the east coast. The coolest month is August with an average daytime temperature of 21C.

The dry season runs from November to March when it is much hotter. Average temperatures in February and March reach 33C. The Harmattan wind from the Sahara makes the north-eastern areas even hotter.

Tax Incentives for filming in Nigeria

At present there are no tax incentives for foreign commercials or feature films being filmed in Nigeria.

Local currency/banking

The Nigerian Naira (NGN) is the official currency. Transfer into local banks need at least a week’s clearance time. The international currency preferred is the USD.

Equipment, Crew & Talent in Nigeria

Camera, lights and grips are available locally. All other gear to be brought in from SA or Europe.

Nigeria is not an ATA carnet country.

If you are a project bringing in a small amount of film gear (eg: Canon 5D, boom, mic, etc) you can just bring it in as luggage. If you are importing a large amount of gear, you will need to hire a local Nigerian customs broker or protocol to arrange a re-importation license.

Drones are allowed and your local film fixer would need to arrange for the relevant permissions.

Film Crew in Nigeria

Well trained local film crew crew is available but for bigger productions it is recommended to bring in HOD’s from your relevant country, SA or Europe

The Film fixer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Local talent 

West African looking talent comprising predominately of the Yoruba, Pidgen , Igbo and Hausa tribes are plentiful and some Far Eastern, Lebanese and Western expat cast is available but all other talent will have to be brought in from abroad.

The local talent fees are negotiable and include usage.

The cast is amongst the most talented in Africa

Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production

Art department and set construction

Available but need HOD supervision

Film Studios in Nigeria

A number of film studios are available for hire

Post Production

It is recommended that it gets taken abroad, but smaller post can be done locally on ground with supervision.

Visas & Work Permits for filming in Nigeria

A synopsis of the project and a yellow fever yellow card is required for applications for work permits and visa letters.

Visa requirement are dependent to the country of origin. This information can be obtained from the local fixers.

Local transport & accommodation

Local transportation. Lagos has extreme traffic congestion so allow plenty of time to get from one location to the next. Main roads in Nigeria are of a fair standard. Rural roads can be very slow going with some becoming impassable during the rainy season. Best to avoid road travel by night. Our local Nigerian film fixer / service producer organises safe and reliable 4WD transportation. Nigeria is well serviced domestically and internationally by several airlines.

Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Nigeria include:

Protea Hotel
Southern Sun Hotel
Moorhouse Hotel

For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments. 

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Hoodlum Films is a production service facility with its main focus on providing fixing and location scouting services.