Cost of Living and Accommodation
Cost of Living
Lagos can easily be one of the most expensive cities in Africa, depending on lifestyle choices. A three-bedroom apartment in a nice, safe neighborhood costs about ₦8.5 million ($22,700) per year. It’s also normal for middle-class households to employ domestic staff, such as a cleaner, nanny and perhaps a security guard. Fresh food is more expensive than in the rest of Nigeria because most of it is transported to Lagos at high cost from other parts of the country. In contrast, imported items are cheaper than in other parts of the country because they enter Nigeria at the Lagos port. Due to government subsidies, Nigeria is one of the cheapest places in the world for gas, at around ₦500 ($1.33) per gallon. A meal in a basic restaurant can be as low as ₦650 ($1.73), but there’s no shortage of upscale options in Lagos. A cappuccino costs around ₦1,000 ($2.67) and a local beer ₦350 ($0.93).
Most expats choose to live in Ikoyi, Victoria Island or Lekki, which are safe areas with high-quality properties. You can find cheaper but still secure options in Surulere, Ikeja and Gbagada. Agents such as Jide Taiwo (jidetaiwoandco.com) or Diya Fatimilehin (diyafatimilehin.net) can help you find an apartment, or check out the listings at whatproperty.ng. Be cautious of scams – there have been cases of agents collecting rent from several prospective tenants for the same apartment and it can be very difficult to retrieve money from such agents even when the matter is reported to the police. Leases are usually for a year to start and rent is paid upfront. Expect to pay about ₦8.5 million ($22,700) for a year’s rent for a three-bedroom apartment in Ikoyi, Victoria Island or Lekki. One-off fees to the agent and landlord can also be expensive, adding up to as much as 40 percent of the annual rent.