Answering this question, there are a number of factors to consider. A comfortable living wage will be determined by several factors including:
- Traffic – Lagos traffic is one of the major causes of stress, anger and frustration. The closer your home is to your office, the less traffic you will face and consequently the more comfortable you are likely to be. You’ll be lucky to find very basic accomodation on “Lagos Island” (Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Lekki) for less than US$2,000 – US$3,000 per annum. On Lagos Mainland the prices are about 40 – 50% lower. If you have kids it is advisable to find a school for them that’s close to home.
- Electricity – Unstable electricity supply coupled with the Lagos heat, mosquitoes at night and the thought of food rotting away in your fridge. These are situations that bring about a lot of discomfort. In order to be comfortable you’ll need to purchase a generator or an inverter or both and avoid the electricity problem as best as you can. For the very basic specifications budget another US$1,000 including fuel for a year.
- Feeding and Entertainment – It’s cheaper to buy food and cook yourself. Fresh produce is available at all markets and you should not need to spend more than US$100 a month on feeding, if you are cooking all meals yourself and you are the only one consuming. For entertainment you can visit one of the many beaches, bars, museums and cinemas depending on your personal preference.
- Healthcare – Nigeria’s healthcare system is absolutely nothing to write home about. For what it’s worth you can purchase Health Insurance to cover any unforeseen illnesses. Plans start from less than US$200 per annum and there are family packages available from a number of reliable organisations. Living in Lagos and Nigeria as a whole you practically provide everything by yourself, your own electricity, your own security, etc. Comfort is expensive and out of reach of so many. These are quite conservative estimates at a very basic level. Of course if you have kids you’ll need to consider the added cost of school fees, feeding and clothes.
Exchange rate used for this is N382/US$1