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Nigeria

Nigeria Film & Photography Production Services

Are you a media company, brand, ad agency or production company looking for film / photography production support or shooting crew in Nigeria? We have fully vetted, locally based fixers, service producers, directors, DP’s, videographers, cameramen, photographers, sound operators, production drivers, and a range of other film crew. Contact us for referrals, questions, cost estimates and references.

Want to know more about shooting in Nigeria? See below for an introduction to Nigeria locations, permits, when to shoot, costs, talent, crews, equipment, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits, film friendly hotels, transport, communications and safety advice.

Nigeria Film Locations

Nollywood, Nigeria’s vibrant local film industry ranks second in the world after India in terms of number of annual productions. Films such as Half of a Yellow Sun were shot in Nigeria.

Nigeria offers a diversity of film locations. The far north has the Sahel, where the Sahara desert transitions into savannas which make up most of the country. The far south transitions into rainforest and beaches. The south-east and south-west are marked by rugged plateaus.

Abuja is the capital of Nigeria. Lagos is the most populous city in Africa and the main production service centre where Nigerian crew and equipment are based.

Nigeria’s main rivers are the Niger and the Benue. They are home to a large area of Central African Mangroves. These rivers converge and empty into the Niger Delta, one of the world’s largest and most polluted river deltas.

Agricultural locations of note include cocoa, palm oil, rubber, cotton, corn, rice, and peanut plantations. Resource extraction industries include oil, iron ore, coal, gold, and uranium.

Nigerian film locations can be divided into the following regions:

North Central

The region includes the states of Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, and Federal Capital Territory.

Benue is a rich agricultural state known for crops including sweet potatoes, soya bean, sesame seed, corn, and rice. It is named after the Benue River which runs through it. Makurdi is the state capital. Benue is inhabited predominantly by the Tiv, Idoma and Igede peoples.

Kogi. The state capital Lokoja is located at the confluence of the Niger River and Benue River. Crops of note include coffee, cocoa, palm oil, rice, and cotton. Major industries include coal, iron ore, and marble. The main ethnic groups are the Igala, Ebira, and Okun people.

Kwara agricultural locations include cotton, cocoa, coffee, and tobacco. Kainji National Park is located in this state. The primary ethnic group is Yoruba, with significant Nupe, Bariba, and Fulani minorities. Its capital is Ilorin.

Nasarawa. Lafia is the state capital. Agricultural locations of note include soybeans and cotton. Farin Ruwa Falls are located in this state. The Afo people are the main ethnic group.

Niger. The state capital is Minna. The Kainji Dam and Shiroro Dam are located in Niger State. Kainji National Park which contains Kainji Lake, the Borgu Game Reserve and the Zugurma Game Reserve is also located in the state. As are Gurara Waterfalls. Agricultural locations include cotton, peanuts, and rice. Major ethnic groups include the The Nupe, Gbagyi, Kamuku, Kambari, Dukawa, Hausa and Koro.

Plateau. The state is known for its natural rock formations, hills and waterfalls. Years of tin and columbite mining have left the area strewn with deep gorges and lakes. The state has about 40 ethnic groups, including the Vergam, Ankwei, Angas, Jawara (Jarauci), Birom, Mango, Fulani, Hausa, and Eggen.

Federal Capital Territory. Abuja is the capital of Nigeria. Locations of note include National Assembly, Abuja National Mosque, The National Christian Centre, Ministry of Defence building (shaped like a boat), and the National Stadium. Zuma Rock on the outskirts of Abuja is an impressive location.

North East

The region includes the states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, Yobe.

Adamawa. Yola is the capital of this state. Sukur Cultural Landscape is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Gashaka Gumti National Park crosses over into Adamawa. Agricultural products include peanuts and cotton. Ethnic groups of note include the Fulani, Mumuye, Higi, Kapsiki, Chamba, Margi, Hausa, Kilba, Gude, Wurkum, Jukun, and Bata peoples.

Bauchi. Bauchi is one of the country’s main cotton, coffee and peanuts producing states. The capital of the state is also named Bauchi. Yankari National Park is known for its hot springs and wildlife including elephants, hippo, buffalo, and lion. Bauchi is inhabited by a large number of ethnic groups, including the Tangale, Waja, Fulani, and Hausa.

Borno. Maiduguri is the state capital. Chad Basin National Park is located in Borno. Agricultural products include peanuts, corn, sesame, acha, and cotton. The Kanuri are the dominant ethnic group. The Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram is active in this state.

Gombe. Gombe is the state capital. Agricultural products peanuts, cotton, and tobacco. Ethnic groups include the Fulani, Tangale, Hausa, Tera, Waja, Bolewa, and Kanuri people.

Taraba is named after the Taraba River which traverses the southern part of the state. Taraba’s capital is Jalingo. Agricultural crops include coffee, tea, and cotton. Taraba is home to Gashaka Gumti National Park which is known fo its chimpanzees, elephants, and buffalos. The state is home to many ethnic groups including the many ethnic groups, including Jenjo, Jibana, Kuteb Chamba, Yandang, Mumuyes, Mambila, Wurkums, Fulanis, Jukun, Ichen, Tiv, Kaka, Panso, Kambu, Wawa, Vute, Hausa and Ndola.

Yobe. Damaturu is the state capital. Yobe has one of the largest cattle markets in West Africa, located in Potiskum. The major ethnic groups living in Yobe State are Fulani and the Kanuri.

North West

The region includes the states of Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Kebbi, Sokoto, and Zamfara.

Jigawa. Dutse is the state capital. The state’s major crops include peanuts, cotton, and rice. Most of the state’s inhabitants are Hausa or Fulani.

Kaduna. Kaduna is the capital of the state. Film locations of note include the Emir of Zazzau Palace, Kamuku National Park, Matsirga Waterfalls, and Kajuru Castle. Kaduna state produces cotton, peanuts, and tobacco. The state is home to many ethnic groups with the Hausa and Fulani being the major tribes.

Kano. Kano is the capital of the state and a major manufacturing centre. Gidan Rumfa is the palace of the Emir of Kano. Agricultural crops include sesame, soybean, and cotton. Tin and columbite are mined. Most of the state’s inhabitants are Hausa or Fulani.

Katsina. Katsina is the capital of the state. Gobarau Minaret is a location of note in Katsina. Agricultural products include peanuts and cotton. Most of the state’s inhabitants are Hausa or Fulani.

Kebbi. Birnin Kebbi is the capital of the state. Main agricultural crops include peanuts, cotton, and rice. Kebbi is mainly populated by Hausa people.

Sokoto is located in the extreme northwest of Nigeria, near to the confluence of the Sokoto River and the Rima River. Sokoto city is the state capital. The state’s major crops include peanuts, cotton, and rice. Sokoto State is mainly populated by Hausa people.

Zamfara. Gusau is the state capital. Agricultural products include cotton, peanuts and tobacco. Zamfara is mainly populated by Hausa and Fulani people.

South East

The region includes the states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo.

Abia. Umuahia is the capital of the state. Oil and gas is the main industry. Agricultural products include corn, rice, and palm oil. Abia is mainly populated by the Igbo ethnic group.

Anambra. Awka is the capital of the state. Oil and gas is the main industry. Agricultural products include corn, rice, and palm oil. Onitsha Main Market is a busy location. Ogbunike Caves are an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The main ethnic group is the Igbo people.

Ebonyi. Abakaliki is the state capital. Ebonyi is a leading producer of rice, yam, potatoes, maize, beans, and cassava in Nigeria. Oil and gas is the main industry. Okposi and Uburu Salt Lakes are harvested for salt. Ndibe Sand Beach has golden sands. Ebonyi is mainly populated by the Igbo ethnic group.

Enugu. Enugu, the state capital, is a major centre for coal mining. Palm oil, corn and rice are the main agricultural products. The main ethnic group is the Igbo people.

Imo. Owerri is the state capital. Agricultural crops of note include palm, oil, cotton, cocoa, rubber, and corn. Oil and gas is the main industry. Imo is mainly populated by the Igbo ethnic group.

South South (Niger Delta)

The region includes the states of Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, and Rivers.

Akwa-Ibom. Uyo is the state capital. Akwa-Ibom has saltwater mangrove swamps along the coast and tropical rain forests and palm oil plantations farther inland. Ibeno Beach is the longest sand beach in West Africa. On and offshore oil and gas extraction is the major industry. The Ibibio, Annang and Oron people are the major ethnic groups.

Bayelsa. Located in the heart of the Niger Delta, Bayelsa is known for its swamps, mangrove, and tropical rain forests. The state is home to the Edumanom Forest Reserve known for its chimpanzees. Yenagoa is the state capital. Oil and gas extraction is the major industry. Bayelsa is a multi-ethnic state comprised mainly of Ijaw, Kolokunu, Ekpetiama, Igbriran, Atissa and Biseni people.

Cross River. Calabar is the state capital. Cross River is known for its saltwater swamps, mangrove forests, palms oil plantations, and dense tropical rain forest. Agricultural crops of note include palm oil, timber, cocoa, and rubber. Cross River National Park is known for its gorillas, elephants, monkeys, and leopards. Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary is home to rare chimpanzees, gorillas and drill monkeys. Agbokim Waterfalls is a beautiful film location. The Efik and Ekoi are the major ethnic groups.

Delta. The state capital is Asaba. Delta is a major exporter of oil and gas, rubber, timber, and palm oil. The state is predominantly inhabited by the Edoid Urhobo-Isoko; the Igbo, the Ijoid Izon and the Yoruboid Itsekiri and Olukumi.

Edo. Benin City is the state capital. Okomu National Park is located in Edo. Agricultural crops of note include rubber, timber and palm oil. The main ethnic groups in Edo are Binis, Etsako, Esans, Owans and Akoko Edos.

Rivers is known for its tropical rainforest, mangrove swamps, and many rivers. Port Harcourt is the state capital. Oil and gas extraction is the major industry. Major agricultural crops include palm oil and rubber. Finima Nature Park is located on Bonny Island. Oil Mill Market is a busy location. Ifoko Beach is a beautiful film location. The Kalabari, Ikwerre and Ogoni are the major ethnic groups.

South West

The region includes the states of Ekiti, Lagos, Osun, Ondo, Ogun, and Oyo.

Ekiti. Ado Ekiti is the state capital. Agricultural crops of note include cocoa and timber. The Ekiti people are the dominant ethnic group.

Lagos. The state is located in the southwest corner of Nigeria. Ikeja is the state capital.

The city of Lagos is a major economic centre. The most populous city in Africa, Lagos is a chaotic, congested and polluted metropolis. Film locations of interest in Lagos include the central business district high-rise buildings on Lagos Island, Makoko floating shanty town, Nigerian National Museum, Cathedral Church of Christ, a variety of interesting looking hotels, a container port, an airport, and Eko Atlantic City (a business district the size of Manhattan that is being constructed on land reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean). Lagos has many impressive beaches including Eleko Beach, Atican Beach, La Campagne Tropicana Beach, Ilashe Beach, Coconut Beach, Tarkwa Bay, Lekki Beach, Suntan Badagry Beach, Elegushi Beach, and Ikare Badagry Beach. Markets of note include Idumota Market, Alaba International Market, Computer Village, and Ladipo Market. The Trans-Sahara Highway ends in Lagos. Some parts of Lagos are unsafe so it’s important to hire a reliable local fixer to arrange the appropriate level of security to the specifics of your shoot. Lagos is a melting pot home to all Nigerian ethnicities and a diversity of expats from all over the world.

Osun. Osogbo is the state capital. Erin-Ijesha Waterfalls are located in this state. Major crops include yams, corn, cacao, palm oil, and fruits. The Ife, Ijesha, Oyo, Ibolo and Igbomina people are the major ethnic groups.

Ondo. Akure is the state capital. Idanre Hill is an impressive location. Agricultural crops of note include cotton, tobacco, cacao, rubber, timber, and palm oil. The Akoko, Akure, Ikale, Ilaje, Ondo, and Owo people are the major ethnic groups.

Ogun comprises of tropical rain forest and wooded savanna. Abeokuta is the state capital. Agricultural crops of note include cocoa, rubber, palm oil, tobacco, cotton, and timber. The Egba, Ijebu, Remo, Egbado, Awori and Egun are the major ethnic groups.

Oyo. Ibadan is the state capital. Bodija Market is a busy location. Old Oyo National Park has a diversity of flora and fauna. Agricultural crops of note include corn, rice, cocoa, palm oil, and cashews. The Oyos, Oke-Oguns, Ibadans, and Ibarapas are the major ethnic groups.

Nigeria Film Location Permits

A film permit from the Nigerian Film Corporation is required to film in Nigeria. The permit costs USD350 per production and is usually processed within 3 days. The permit covers any type of production for up to 1 week of filming.

More lead time is required for larger footprint productions such as shoots that involve traffic control or large setups. Nigeria is a film-friendly country that is very much open to any business that promotes the country, especially film and photography projects. Pretty much anything is possible as long as you approach the right people in the right way. For projects shooting outside of Lagos or Abuja this may also involve our local fixer / producer arranging permits in person, on the local level, so make sure to allow extra time and money for that.

Filming in sensitive government areas, national parks, historic sites or with drones may also require extra permits. For instance, filming with drones in Abuja requires special permits. The process of applying for these permits is complicated and thoroughly scrutinised and can take several weeks for approval.

Note, illegal filming of certain government buildings and public infrastructure such as airports, bridges and military installations, may be penalised with arrest, fines and confiscation of film equipment.

Please contact us for more location specific information.

When To Shoot?

Nigeria has a tropical climate with variances in different regions. The dry season runs from October to April. The end of the dry season is the best time to film wildlife with animals congregating around water sources. May to September is the wet season. It is best to avoid the heaviest rains from April to July as roads outside of cities become impassable. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Nigeria’s large ethnic diversity mean many productions visit the country to film local cultural events and festivals.

The Argungu Fishing Festival in Kebbi takes place in March. The Osun Festival of the Yoruba tribe takes place in August. The Calabar Carnival, held through December, is Nigeria’s largest street party. The Eyo Festival is held to honour an important person or event. Nigerians also observe Muslim holidays (mainly in the north) and Christian holidays (mainly in the central and southern areas). The Durbar Festival is celebrated in several cities to mark the end of Ramadan.

Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Nigeria.

Costs & Tax Incentives

Costs. The favorable exchange rate means that your currency goes far in Nigeria. Our Nigerian fixer / service producer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Tax Incentives. There are no specific tax incentives for feature films or commercials shooting in Nigeria, although the government is amenable to providing incentives in kind (free location permits, free security detail, reduced rates at hotels, etc) as long as the project has a positive promotional benefit to the country.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Nigeria has some impressive local directors, videographers and stills photographers to choose from. There is also a good pool of key and supporting crew.

Contact us if you are looking for a Lagos based director, DP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, or any other film crew for your shoot in Nigeria.

Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiable. Day rates are very reasonable and negotiated on a personal basis. Casting facilities are undeveloped in Nigeria so street casting is often required. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and home to over 250 ethnic groups. Non-African looks are limited so it is recommended to bring from abroad.

Nigeria Film Equipment

Film equipment is owned by different local production companies who rent from each other when necessary. Nigeria has all of the standard camera, grip and lighting equipment available locally including the latest Alexas, Red Dragon, Sony F55, Canon C300, large cranes, tracks, dollies, lighting packages, sound equipment, and new drones for aerial filming. More specialised equipment such as high speed cameras or the Russian Arm need to be brought in from abroad. 

Nigeria is not an ATA carnet member country. If you are a project bringing in a small amount of 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 to arrange a re-importation license. To apply for this licence you will need to provide our local fixer / producer with a full gear list, serial numbers and value of gear. Customs will issue an importation tax of 5% of the value of the equipment. Make sure gear you are bringing in is well insured.

Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production

Art department and set construction is limited beyond Nigerian looks.

Studios. These do exist but are just converted warehouse spaces with basic facilities.

Post Production. Basic facilities. Post abroad.

Visas & Work Permits

Most nationals require a visa to enter Nigeria. Allow plenty of lead time.

For small projects such as documentaries you can enter on a business visa. Our Nigerian fixer / producer will provide you with an invitation letter, which you will include in your application at your closest Nigerian embassy or consulate. It usually takes about two weeks from submitting your application to having your passport stamped with a business visa. If you have the budget, hire a visa service to expedite the process.

Temporary Work Permits are required for larger projects such as visiting TV commercials, TV shows or feature films. The sponsoring Nigerian fixer / service producer will submit your application and your USD300 fee to the immigration office in Abuja or Lagos. It usually takes about 10 days to have this approved. Once approved, the approval is then sent to your closest Nigerian embassy or consulate where your passport is stamped with the Temporary Work Permit. This part usually takes about 4 days.

If necessary, our local fixer / producer also has contacts with Nigerian embassy staff around the world to make sure your application is prioritised.

Transport & Accommodation

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 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

Please contact us for corporate rates.

For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.

Final Notes

Safety. See here for up to date travel advice. See here for vaccinations required for Nigeria.

Projects. For an example of TV commercials, stills campaigns, online content, corporate videos, virtual reality 360 content, feature films, TV series and documentaries shot in Nigeria, please see below:

Hire Nigeria Production Support & Shooting Crew

If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Nigeria, please contact us.

If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Nigeria, such as a director, DoP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, please contact us.

We are able to provide you with answers, references and bids quickly.