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How to make money while living in Nigeria

You should always aim to make money in US dollars. The naira is a very unstable currency.

You should always aim to make money in US dollars. The naira is a very unstable currency.

– MotiActive

Are you considering moving to Nigeria? Or are you looking for ways to supplement your income? In this post, I’m going to give you some ideas on how you can make money. We’ll be going through online routes and more traditional ones.

Let’s start with online routes, my favourite! 

The reason why I love the online route so much is that you are more likely to make money in another currency (mostly $USD) as opposed to our ever-sinking naira. You should always aim to make money in US dollars. The naira is a very unstable currency.

There are three general cons to making money online.

  1. You need a laptop
  2. You need constant data
  3. You need access to almost constant electricity

Without these three things, making money online becomes difficult

  1. Teach online: There are a lot of teaching online gigs that you can do. The pandemic has even pushed more of them online so you can have more options. And it’s not just teaching, you can also tutor online. I tutored online for about 6 months but this was for a student I once tutored in person. So you might have to start that way and later transition them to online tutoring. If you are really good, they won’t hesitate to accept.
  • you can earn enough money to make it a full-time job
  • Some of them have flexible work hours
  • It’s not a stressful job and requires little prep time
  • it’s hard to get accepted and come across the good ones as a Nigerian (not impossible, just hard).
  • The really good ones require you to have a TOEFL or IELTS certificate which is expensive.
  1. Freelancing: This is the one I currently make the most money from. As a web developer and graphic designer, I’m able to offer my services online. You just have to find what skills you have and market them. I currently use UpWork and have gotten long-term clients from it. I know you can use Fiverr too but I didn’t have much luck with it. Another site you can check is It’s not so easy to qualify for their tasks but they do pay.
  • you can make as much money as you can depending on the number of gigs you get
  • Your clients can be from all over the world, which means USD
  • You work with your skills, which means you mostly do things you are interested in doing
  • You work from gig to gig which means you can take a break from work from time to time
  • Since you work from gig to gig, your income is not stable
  • You need to have an in-demand skill, otherwise, you will struggle to get a gig
  • Getting your first few gigs is hard and the pay sucks
  • It takes a while to become an established freelancer

Traditional Routes

  1. Get a job: This is the most obvious point of all. The most reasonable way to make a living in Nigeria is to get a job. To get a good job that pays a decent living, you have to know people. These jobs are not usually advertised, and if they are, they already know who they want for the position. Everything else is just formalities. This means that you have to have really good connections or work in a position that seriously underpays you. Also, keep in mind that if you want to work in the public sector or most big companies, you will need to have completed your NYSC.
  • you get a stable source of income monthly
  • You can learn new skills on the job and move up the career ladder
  • You need your NYSC certificate for good jobs outside the entertainment industry
  • You are dependent on your employer for your monthly salary. Sometimes, employers don’t pay for months; it’s very common in Nigeria
  • Depending on where you live, traffic can be terrible
  • Managers and senior employees can be horrible people. You are essentially at their mercy

You can find jobs on Jobberman,, and LinkedIn. I got my first job in Nigeria through Jobberman.

  1. Start a business: This is not for the faint of hearts. Starting a business is hard, no matter where you live or are from. If you have a business idea you want to test out and believe it will make you money, then go for it.
  • in Nigeria, for most businesses, the barrier to entry is low, so you can try out your business ideas. If they fail, you won’t have lost too much money
  • You are your own boss and set your hours
  • You can make as much money as your business generates
  • you are not guaranteed a stable source of income
  • A lot of businesses fail within the first 5 years
  • It’s a lot of work to set up and manage a business
  1. Have a side hustle: In Lagos, almost everyone has a side gig. No one is just doing one thing because, for most people, the income from their primary job is not enough to sustain the expensive Lagosian lifestyle. These are things like tutoring, selling small goods on the side, selling a service like photography etc.
  • you can make extra cash on the side
  • You have less free time to relax and do other things

There are probably more ways to make money, but you can start from here and try them out. I highly recommend freelancing online because the jobs are remote, and they have the prospects of paying well over time.

Let me know which strategies you’ve tried and what has worked for you!

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