Living In Nigeria: A Guide To Moving To Nigeria As An Expat

Thinking about moving to Nigeria? Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and home to Africa’s biggest economy. Its climate is tropical, with wet and dry seasons. There is an exciting mix of cultures: more than 200 ethnicities and 400 languages! Oil and gas industries continue to thrive along its Atlantic coast, and a large number of new and emerging sectors include mining and construction, telecommunications, IT, and financial management. No wonder there are so many expats in the country.

Due to long standing political and cultural unrest, widespread corruption remains a major challenge to the country’s global reputation. Healthcare in Nigeria also has its difficulties. But despite this, Nigeria has a growing number of expat communities who report a high quality of life, enjoying many luxuries not accessible at home. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about living and moving to Nigeria as an expat, including cost of living, moving expenses, jobs and visas, health insurance and more. Read below to understand what life in Nigeria is like, and get a checklist to help you with your move.

Life in Nigeria: what to expect from living in Nigeria as an expat

Due to the highly dense populations in Nigerian cities, expats’ first impression may well be crowds and chaos. Life in Nigeria is different. The pace of life is fast, and congestion and poverty are everywhere. However, Nigerians are outgoing and friendly, and welcome new arrivals with open arms.

Is Nigeria a good place to live?

Yes, just bear in mind that Nigeria is a country of contradictions. While there are huge problems with overpopulation, outdated infrastructure, and high unemployment, Nigeria remains an up-and-coming destination for expats. Many who have already made the move describe their new home as vibrant, and colourful, and a survey by InterNations found that Nigeria has more expats earning over US$250,000 than any other country on earth.

The expat community is close, but those making the effort to get to know the Nigerian people will make new and interesting friends. Beyond the urban industrial centres, the country boasts fabulous landscapes and wildlife reserves all waiting to be discovered.

What is life in Nigeria like?

Nigeria is located in West Africa. It has a rich landscape which ranges from tropical rainforests and grassy savannah to the deserts. In the capital, Abuja, temperatures range from 18 °C to 36 °C.

Nigeria has an enormous cultural diversity with over 200 ethnic groups, speaking more than 400 languages and living side-by-side. Life in Nigeria is interesting because of the religious breakdown: people living in Nigeria are half Christian, half Muslim. Cultural exports include a richly spiced, aromatic cuisine, the Afrobeat music of Fela Kuti and the Nobel winning literature of Wole Soyinka.

How to become an expat in Nigeria

Many expats in Nigera have been relocated by employers. Overseas packages usually include accommodation, and many companies own properties or complexes for their overseas staff.

Another option is to sub-let from a colleague or friend, but if you don’t have accommodation or employment, moving to Nigeria as an expat is not advised.

Is Nigeria safe for expats?

Nigeria has a reputation for reported incidents of kidnapping and crime, and safety can be a major concern for expats moving to the country.