Are electronic signatures legal in Nigeria?


Electronic Signature has been legally recognised in Nigeria through arrangements from different sets of laws and amendments. Giving businesses the option to use them whilst trading.

Yes, e-signatures are court admissible

Each country has it’s own regulations that determine whether an electronic signature is seen as legal or not. So, as long as your electronic signature adheres to these, a signature won’t be rejected simply for not being handwritten.

Yes, e-signatures can be used in business

Whilst 100% legal; there are exceptions for very specific types of transactions. It is still up to the discretion of the independent user, or governing body, whether they are used or not. As each business needs are different and the agreements themselves may vary. We always advise you to speak with an authority within your businesses category.

Legal Model

Nigeria’s legal model is an open one. This means that unlike a tiered model (that see’s Qualified Electronic Signatures as a legitimate form of e-signature), there aren’t any conditions for electronic signature types. And so a QES won’t receive legal status.

Legal Classification

Nigeria’s law consists of courts, offences, and various types of laws. Nigeria has its own constitution which was established on 29th of May 1999. The Constitution of Nigeria is the supreme law of the country. There are four distinct legal systems in Nigeria, which include English law, Common law, Customary law, and Sharia (Islamic) Law.

For more detail on what this entails, find more info here.

Full Summary

Nigerian law highlights that a traditional signature isn’t necessarily required for a valid contract – contracts are considered valid if legally able individuals reach an agreement (this can be by agreeing verbally, electronically or by physically signing – Section 4(1) of the Electronic Commerce (Provision of Legal Recognition) Bill 2011). However these contracts may have to be supported in court with extra evidence and certified by local authorities. Electronic signature solutions can be used to provide these electronic documents, under Section 93 of the Nigerian Evidence Act.