Updated 10 months ago

Although Nigeria is still a developing country, its economy enjoys good momentum, and it is possible for expats to find a job there.. The oil boom that occurred in the 1970s allowed the oil-rich country to significantly increase its revenues but has also opened it to the world, and large numbers of expatriates work in Nigeria.

Economy of Nigeria

A member of OPEC since 1971, Nigeria has based most of its economic growth on resource extraction, which is still to this day the largest and fastest-growing economic sector. The country is home to a number of big oil refineries, notably at Port Harcourt, Warri, or Kaduna.

Streams of revenue from mining activities provided for the creation of other large manufacturing industries, such as steel, pulp and paper mills, or petrochemical plants. The production and processing of textiles, tobacco, and cement are other notable industrial activities.

Nigeria is also a big agricultural producer, with such flagship commodities as rubber or cocoa beans, the first agricultural export-earner of the country.

The first trade partners of Nigeria are the United States and European countries and, increasingly, China. Therefore, foreign professionals with a good knowledge of international markets are highly valued. Besides, technology-intensive industries require specific expertise calling for the necessity of skill transfers.

Working conditions in Nigeria

A very hierarchical management dominates Nigerian business circles, and gender equality at work is not always achieved in this patriarchal society, although increasing numbers of high-flying businesswomen are bucking the trend.

Business usually runs from 8 to 5 or 6, Monday through Friday, although companies in the northern areas, in majority Muslim communities, can sign off at 1pm on Fridays.

For the rest, the business language in Nigeria is English, and typical business attire consists of dark, conventional outfits.

Expat compensations in Nigeria tend to be quite high, but don’t let the seemingly amazing paycheck lure you into thinking you will enjoy an outstanding purchasing power: the cost of living in Nigerian cities is actually astronomical. Check our articles about Banking in Nigeria for more.

Work permit in Nigeria

In order to work in Nigeria you will need to enter the country under a Subject to Regularisation (SRT) visa, unless you are a passport-holder of a member state of the ECOWAS, before applying to a CERPAC residence and work permit. For this purpose, you need to secure a job either before moving, or in the first three months following your date of entry into the country.

In order to protect the domestic labour market, the Nigerian government has been trying to curb the employment of foreigners at positions that could be filled by qualified Nigerian nationals. Accordingly, an Expatriate Quota is enforced, making it somewhat harder for expats to land a job in the country.

Finding a job in Nigeria

To this day, most expat jobs in Nigeria are to be found in the oil and gas business, although the information technology, education and ore mining industries also require skilled and experienced foreign manpower.

You will be most likely to find employment with a big multinational firm, at such positions as business developer, HR manager, accountant, engineer or information system manager.

 Useful links:

Jobberman
Job List Nigeria
Hot Nigerian Jobs
Rigzone (oil & gas jobs)

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