Cost of living in Nigeria

Hi everybody,

It would be very useful to talk about the cost of living in Nigeria.

Don't forget to mention where in Nigeria you are living.

How much does it cost to live in Nigeria?

> accommodation prices

> public transportation fares (tube, bus etc ...)

> food prices(per month, how much does it cost you?)

> health prices (for those who need medical insurance)

> eduction prices (if you need to pay)

> energy prices (oil, electricity)

> common bills (Internet, television, telephone, mobile phone)

> prices of a good menu in a traditional restaurant

> prices of a beer and or a coffee in a regular pub

> price of the cinema

Do not hesitate to add items to this list!

Thanks in advance for your participation!!

would like to know what it cost for food, housing and general economic situation in Nigeria. Thank You

log onto
the ultimate website for expats in Nigeria

the cost of living in Nigeria... a bit of an odd question as
90% of the population lives on less than a dollar a day but
expats  generally stay in overpriced hotels or rent overpriced appartments. You can pay $500 a night for the best hotels but no guarantee of a working aircon or water supply, hotels generally have their own generators and as long as they are working you get power ("light") most of the time. Appartments may rely solely on NEPA plc (Never Expect Power Again please light candle- the government supply) or have a gen. that runs sometimes, relies on a diesel supply. Water will be from some nearby borehole/ delivered by truck and not potable.
public transport is a bit dodgy. I have seen many crushed bodies of either okada (motor bike taxis) drivers/passengers and mangled minibuses outside Lagos. But using hotel taxis in Lagos is relatively safe because traffic is usually moving very slowly or not at all.
Food prices- yams and cassava are cheap but if you want to eat western food or buy imported goods generally double the price in Europe.
Health insurance? if you get ill make sure your insurance pays for you to be medivacced to SA. Take prophylaxis for malaria to avoid dying.

expat schools/ rich Nigerians either send their children to boarding school in Ghana/ Abuja or to saint Saviours in lagos. Not cheap.
lots of good restarants expect to pay $60 plus per head.
Energy prices a line over on overhead cable/ buy your own gen and diesel/ rely on Nepa and pay not  just your own bill...
Internet. You might be with a company in whose interests it is to use a good ISP. Most are intermittent.
DSTV for those that have the satellite. Lots of cafes and pubs where you can enjoy a beer or coffee. near christmas avoid such places near a bank in case you get caught in the cross fire of an armed robbery
Cinema is the best, enjoy audience participation like no where else in the world.
Don't go to Nigeria for less than $400,000 pa if you are with a family and paying for everything. If your company provide secure accommodation/ schooling/ transport, $200,000 would make it worth while. Or for a bachelor $100,000 if you want to enjoy an enriching cultural experience.
I left lagos a few months ago. Quite miss it!
p.s. if you go to Port Harcourt / Warri, in fact anywhere in the south of Nigeria you need round the clock armed security. Kano and Abuja are relatively safe.

My husband was offered a job in Nigeria paying $100,000 US a year. The job includes medical/dental allowance  as well as housing,electricity,car+ insurace paid for. Do you think this is a good deal? We are a family of four ( we have a 5 yr old and a 1.5 yr old) Should we ask for more? What are the safest and most comfy places to live? We have a cushy life her in Calif. and dont want to throw everything away for a not so good deal

Is your husband in the oil industry? If you are in a gated compound with other expats and a school on site (Chevron?)you would be okay. There is nowhere safe to live in Lagos outside guarded gated compounds and it would be difficult with 2 young children as it is quite hazardous doing the school run. $100,000 pa is well below the going salary for an expat. For e.g. a well known major oil company pays a minimum of $250000 pa, 2 flights home pa, double that for non pensionable contractors. safety is a problem everywhere, 2 expat families recently were carjacked by armed robbers near their homes in ikoyi, a quiet residential area, there was a fatality. I would think carefully. It would be an interesting cultural experience but safety would always be an issue, most multinationals supply an armed escort to get their employees to the airport, many expat wives choose not to leave their compounds unless it's to get the airport but you can't do that if you have young children as they need to get to school and it would not be a good idea to send the driver alone (and yes everyone has a driver, if there is an accident the driver is the one who is lynched)
There is nowhere comfy to live as there is no infrastrucutre outside compounds (who have their own often unreliable water/ electricity supply) but it gets easier as time goes on, people are friendly and open but extreme poverty/ greed & a corrupt goverment drives so many to crime. There is no law and order as the police are not paid enough to make it worth their while to provide it, they are all looking to make money on the side, whether it is to turn a blind eye or do the armed robbing themselves. Don't go for less than $300,000pa as a contractor or $200,000pa with the protection of a large multinational.

I am a young adult and im considering living in Nigeria when i get a little older, if i do move to Nigeria i will be moving by myself. N im just wondering about my safety and what is the true cost of living and are their good colleges.? Could someone please inform me on my questions.! Thank you i will surely appreciate it.!

Don't go unless you have family there. No student would voluntarily go to Nigeria for any other reason, every Nigerian student's dream would be to go to Chicago where they don't need a sugar daddy/ have to sleep with their professors/ pay to pass exams and the lecturers would be on a decent salary, get their salary on time so wouldn't be forced to take second jobs/ bribes.

Hi; I have been offered a job offer at Globacom,Lagos for 120000 USD p.a and accomodation,car with driver, insurance, education allowance upto 5000 $, one time relocation expenses to move to Nigeria , free.

Presently in India, and confused about this offer.

Could you provide details if it is as per going rate for expats, and is it worth accepting . What would be cost of living, and saving potential.

My family would stay back in India and I will go to Nigeria, if I decide. But I feel salary is on lower side. Please give your feedback


Hello, life can be difficult in Lagos, so it is important you do get adequate support from your company in terms of housing, medical, transport, security etc. It sounds as as if your potential employer does provide quite a lot but worth checking the detail. There is a huge Indian community in Lagos, you could try and network with someone there. Commuting is a major problem so it is worth checking how far the accommodation is from the office. Salaries in Lagos are usually high because it's difficult to attract people. $120k pa would be a high salary in most parts of the world but it's a matter of personal choice whther it's enough to warrant working in Lagos.
It's not all bad, despite the difficulties there is a social life, restaurants.
Most people are working for foreign companies, there are some good Nigerian companies but also some very bad ones who renege on agreements. I don't know where Globacom fits in.
You would be wise not to bring your family for at least the first year, then decide.

I think most of the posts here are just bullshit. Someone said $60 for food in restaurant! What!!! I still have famillies in nigeria, and it is My honest opinion that the post or blog or whatever, is VERY MISLEADING!
If am paid $100,000 to work in lagos, I will take the offer. $100,000 is very reasonable by any country's standard.
Please have facts before posting anythng here.

...and many Nigerians live happily on $100 a month, it depends on what kind of lifestyle you are hoping to lead. In the kinds of restaurants that expats frequent $60 would be fairly average. You can eat Nigerian food at a roadside shanty for 50 cents.

Thanks Heliconia, one definitely looks at quality life of living..I need your help on Ghana. How about the cost of living in Ghana, as it is a neighbouring country, so I thought may be you would be having some first hand experiences.

How about the quality of life and cost of living and expat salary etc

thanks again

Hello to you all, happy New year in advance

I am a new guy here. I was curious if the salaries you are saying are really true? In my home country only corrupt politicians have that kind of money -- quote 400k pa, 200k pa, even 100k pa is extremely wonderful by the standards of any country. Take my country for example, Serbia. Average pay by wikipedia is around 1000$ a month. Guess what? Bull... It ain`t like that. People living on 400-500$ a month. And not working 8h a day, 5 days a week.... Noo, noo.... Work until the job is done, 10-11, sometimes 12h a day, a lot of saturdays are working days and sometimes even sundays. I have a bachelor degree-3 years of college.

So, my question is:
Are those pays regular pays for expats ( 100k pa, 120k pa and even 200k pa, all in us $ ) or are those pays just for CEO people in oil industry? I graduated IT and know a lot of stuff about hardware-software, setting up networks.

Should i seriously consider coming to nigeria? My home country ain`t paradise on earth, and maximum pay is around $10k pa.

Thank you all in advance

You cannot just arrive in Lagos. You need an employment quota position (visa).You need to be able to do a job that cannot be done by a local or in some cases brought in because although there are many locals perfectly able to do the job they would be more vulnerable to corrupt practices (as in the building industry - hence the reason Julius Berger and other foreign companies get contracts)  There are 1000's of very able Nigerian graduates
chasing jobs for $500 a month and 100's of corrupt politicians on 500K plus i.e. sounds pretty much like your description of Serbia.

wow, didn`t know you are gonna answer so quickly...
Yes, i know about the visa.
Of course i am not gonna drop in out of blue. I am just curious if the salaries are real, but it looks like it isn`t. It is just for CEO people, just like in any other country.

Does Energonigeria rings any bells? Do you know anything about the company? Thanks

sleek website and partnered with Julius bona fide  If you are going as a bachelor and have adequate terms and conditions (e.g. accommodation/ transport provided, security arranged to get to & from the airport etc), go for it.

Ok, thanks Heliconia.
What are your ideas of terms that one should ask for in Lagos?
And the same thing for Abuja?
Internet is good source of info, and from what i have seen on most of blogs and sites is that Lagos is big, dangerous, dirty but less expensive than Abuja. So there must be some differences about terms.

Would choose Abuja over Lagos. You are less likely to spend the whole day in a traffic jam and there is a bit less crime. Other than that, the cost of living is similar.
Terms would include a return flight each year, guarded accommodation on a compound with generators, transport with a driver, a security vehicle to get to the airport. Medical facilities, which include being medivacced if necessary. salary is a difficult one, for a bachelor you could probably save $20k pa if you lived frugally and were on $50k and had fully equipped and furnished accommodation.

Posting from work.

Well, those numbers look quite awesome. I don't live bling, bling, because i can't afford and if i could, i would restain myself because i love financial security, meaning always having some money in the bank stashed away for later.

$50k + expat package that includes almost everything one could need, so you just spend the money on food and little things here and there. Sounds great.

Now here are my present numbers as network admin assistant with 1 year experience. My pay for this month is 340 Euros, by todays exchange rate, somewhere around 490$. And around 60h a week of work(working saturday). But experience is good, learned a LOT of things that might come handy. Before success can manifest, you've got to go through the learning process(Scooter), thats my motto.
Thanks again for your help

Hi, I have been approached by a company named Emel ( my home country India. Supposedly the company is owned by Indians and is a conglomerate with business in Lagos. I am a fresh MBA from India and the job will be a serious management level job, which is kinda weird given that I am a fresher. I have seen how much salary has been quoted by other people on this forum. This company offers $2.5K-$3K per month+local salary+single accomodation with maid,car with driver, electricty, medical, internet,water+1 paid vacation back home per year. So I dont know what the exact CTC will be, maybe around the $100000 mark. This is several times greater than anyone would offer here in India. So could you please tell me:
1) if you know anything about this company.
2) whether the $100k,$200K were in-hand components and at what level
3) what should be the local salary in nigerian currency that would be ok for living in Nigeria (I dont want a very luxurious life but am more inclined towards saving)
4) is it easy to get visas for travelling to other countries
5) what's the best way of keeping your money safe, I mean are banks in nigeria safe
6) is there any kind of racism or attacks on foreigners

Waiting for a prompt reply. Thanks in advance

Hi Heliconia;

thanks for your great info.
Just ckecked some International schools and they are expensive, like 20k$ per child in first year and 15k$ thereafter.

secondly, how serious is the theat of diseases like malaria? What precautions normally one would take becuase malaria can be quite fatal . Do companies really provide for medivacation if needed?
Is it a big risk?


I am currently living in Canada, and my nationality is Nigerian.  I am moving to Nigeria in September 2010 as my husband has been there for 1yr.  Wondering what is the best way to look for a job?  I am currently a project manager with 5+years experence in the market research and branding industry.  Any ideas would be helpful.  Thanks!

missing helicinis's posts;-)
do you hv a website /blog on yr experiences

Hi There
This is prajakta. I am an indian but mw and my husband working in Johannesburg , South Africa.
i am an Diploma holder in Civil Engineering. Me and my husband got the good offer from Nigeria. The company name is
as follows
Zoom Telecommunication Ltd
8 Adeola Odeku Street,
Victoria Island,

I want to know about this country and life style, Cost of living. And even about this company if possible. Can you please help me? before i took any decision i want to know.
Please email me on prajakta.todankar[at]


Kind Regards,

Re the question regarding malaria, it is a risk, it does kill, (especially the Nigerian strain Plasmodium Falciparum where patients can die within 24 hours if treatment is not sought)but many choose not to take prophylactics (which are expensive) on a long term basis because of feared side effects and just try to avoid mosquitoes. Nigerian banks do have a chequered past but now some of the larger Nigerian banks now seem to have a good international reputation. Standard Chartered is in Nigeria. I am unable to respond to any questions about specific companies. My advice would be to ask to be put in touch with an employee who has gone to Nigeria on similar terms with that company. You have to be very wary. With a good employer and the right conditions it can be good but it can easily turn into a nightmare with a bad employer, to be honest my knowledge of my experiences were confined to working for a very large company which provided a strong safety net. I really cannot provide good advice on what it's like working for the many smaller companies.  In general Nigerians are very friendly. Resourcefulness and a sense of humour are the main requirements to enjoying life there.

how safe is Port har court these days.Are they still attacking/kidnapping the expat.
If you rae staying in walled coumpound with security then can it be considered safe.

check for news on the latest kidnappings.

praj :

Hi There
This is prajakta. I am an indian but mw and my husband working in Johannesburg , South Africa.
i am an Diploma holder in Civil Engineering. Me and my husband got the good offer from Nigeria. The company name is
as follows
Zoom Telecommunication Ltd
8 Adeola Odeku Street,
Victoria Island,

I want to know about this country and life style, Cost of living. And even about this company if possible. Can you please help me? before i took any decision i want to know.
Please email me on prajakta.todankar[at]


Kind Regards,

Hi, I hope I can be of some help. First, I know absolutely nothing of Lagos. Second, ZOOM Telecommunications is a good company to work for, I have a friend (Nigerian) that works for them. If as a local staff he is well taken care of, I can say that as an expat, you will be comfortable. Third, the cost of living is down to what the size of your pocket is. I know that there is a large Indian community in Lagos and Abuja, you might want to get in touch with any you know of and they can help you with some more answers. As for the life style, it is a well known fact that Nigerians like to enjoy, so when you come (if you decide to), you will have a lot to experience.

do expats have a forum or a community gatherings in Nigeria.

how expats gettogether..


Hi vishnuindian! You are :offtopic: , please start a new discussion on the forum Nigeria.

Thank you.

So many exaggerations from Heliconia. I think members and visitors deserve better, guided and detailed information for their enquiry.

It is normal for an expat to ask its employer abroad for basic neccesities like vechicle, security, medicals, etc. I am an expat and my company Globacom provides this for me in Benin. They do even more for foreigners bcos they want them to feel at home and give full attn to the job.

We have many expat foreigners in Nigeria including the troubled PortHacourt, where their employers provide security for them. I agree that the elecricity supply in the country is low but employers always provide back-up for their expats.

I'll suggest expats planning to work or live in Nigeria to make sure that:
1. the employer provides all the neccesary benefits
2. find out about your country community in Nigeria and join them
3. your salary should not be less than $100k pa, you can get $200k and more
4. Expats are given good secured appartments, but still ask
5. have fun, you can go to the cinema or shopping or maybe swimming in the hotel (5 star) any time but not at night. Though I see many foreigners in the cinema at night, Its ok if with security or maybe in groups, or if you leave very close to the cinema etc.
6. come with sufficient money to take care of yourself, cost of living is not high, you can get quality meal from lots of resturants (chinese, contenental, etc) at affordable rate, from $6...
7.  Nigerians are friendly people, so don't be weary if everyone in your work place want to be your friend, you choose!
8. if you have kids, there are private international schools owned by foreign investors (british int'l school, turkish school, US, french etc). you may decide to send your ward there if you can afford it or you send them to other private schools. you can also find out from your employer if they will sponsor your wards.
9. best form of transport is air followed by road. depending on where you stay or work, you may experience long traffic.
10. You'll surely enjoy your stay.

Wish you all the best! :)


truth001 :

I think most of the posts here are just bullshit. Someone said $60 for food in restaurant! What!!! I still have famillies in nigeria, and it is My honest opinion that the post or blog or whatever, is VERY MISLEADING!
If am paid $100,000 to work in lagos, I will take the offer. $100,000 is very reasonable by any country's standard.
Please have facts before posting anythng here.

I've been contacted from
Zoom Telecommunication Ltd
8 Adeola Odeku Street,
Victoria Island,

somebody can helps me giving to me more infos.

the salary is 123k pa

thank you

Mattia From Italy

Nigeria is a fun place to live and work as described above from all the poster.
Get a job offer of $120K and above and go for it, but remember you would never want to live anywhere else again.:)

douglasrac :

First of all, what is pa? nigerian naira?
How much is in dollars? I have a proposition to work in Port Harcourt for 200 USD a month. Is it enough?

$200 a month, too little for someone coming outside of Nigeria, the exchange rate is about 154Naira to a Dollar.

macolp> you should start a new discussion

Hi friend

I am also on the same platform.

Whats your experience.

ravi1980 :

Hi friend

I am also on the same platform.

Whats your experience.

Ravi, could you please start a new discussion on your query?

Hello All,

I am very new to this blog / forum. Currently I live in India and I got an offer from Lagos, Nigeria company and they are offering me USD 50K as a CTC. that includes everything such as house rent, transportation, education and other allowances.

I have family and very surprised to know about the cost living as some one suggested in this forum that one should not go to nigeria untill you get $200,000

I need your desperate help to understand that can I (including family) survive with (avg. living standard) with $50K salary in Lagos?

Thanks all of you for helping me in advance.


Hi Fee Acer

I am likely to get an offer from an Nigerian based company , I want to know about the security and the living standard at Lagos

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