How to Play Nigerian Office Politics and Win

December 1, 2022

If you haven’t noticed already, typical Nigerian offices are mini Nigerian governments — everyone’s trying their darnedest to be the top players of the game.

To play office politics and win, you need a particular set of skills, and we’ve got you.

Embrace passive-aggressiveness

God forbid you’re upset and are actually upfront about it. You want to lose your job? It doesn’t matter if Amaka asks you for a document you’ve already sent 200 times before, or your oga keeps fixing pointless meetings. Hug passive-aggressiveness. It’ll save you.

Just smile

Especially if you have nothing to be happy about. Do you want to be accused of having “low energy”?

Do oversabi once in a while

Forget whatever you believe. Eye service is very important in a Nigerian workplace. How else do you want to show you carry the work on your head?

Learn to keep quiet

You want to be visible, not known as the office “radio without battery”. 

…and mind your business

Don’t go about announcing how you saw oga looking for ants inside his secretary’s mouth, or how Banke was watching “Blood and Water” with office WiFi. 

But not all the time sha

Not when you need people to know you helped oga prepare the presentation everyone’s raving about. Blow other people’s trumpet too. Everyone likes whoever makes them feel good.

It’s all in the balance

Be serious, but not too serious. Your boss needs to know you’re working, but your colleagues shouldn’t hate you for being too excellent. Figure it out.

Keep your personality at home

If you’re an introvert, better borrow a sprinkle of extraversion when it’s time for work. If you’re an extrovert, learn to hold your mouth small. You don’t want your superiors to think you’re hoarding the spotlight.

And finally, don’t care about money

Because aren’t you working because of “passion”? Don’t join others to agitate for a salary increase. Even if you get promoted, don’t even mention salary. Use the “employee of the year” award you’ll get after following these rules to buy bread at the market.


NEXT READ: 8 Ways Working in Local Government is Better Than Tech

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