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If you are planning to relocate to Nigeria, make sure you are well informed about different aspects of the country in order to make your transition as smooth as possible.

DessyDee Consortium, specialists in expat relocation, has put together this list of three things you should know to help you prepare before your move to Nigeria.

relocate to nigeria
  • Healthcare coverage is a must

Nigeria faces a number of common diseases and health issues, and it is highly advised to take up private health insurance, as expats are not covered by the Nigerian healthcare system. Many expats opt for purchasing an international health insurance policy, as these policies are flexible and are specially designed to suit expatriates.

It’s highly recommended for people who want to relocate to Nigeria to visit the doctor prior to their move, as there are a number of health threats that can be addressed with vaccinations.

  • Business etiquette may require your social skills

In Nigerian work culture, it is common to build close personal relationships. Business meetings may be preceded by personal questions. As a general tip, be patient in initial meetings and try not to rush through the process as they try to get to know you.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that the concept of personal space is almost non-existent for Nigerians; try and be tolerant when people stand close to you.

  • Safety issues can be a challenging factor

The safety issues in Nigeria can be concerning for people moving to the country. Nigeria has a reputation for reported incidents of kidnapping and crime.

However, it’s important to be aware, but don’t be afraid; it might be worth reaching out to Nigerians or an expert relocation firm such as ours, to find out about what life is really like there. You may have to learn to be cautious; be careful in unfamiliar zones and avoid walking alone in the streets.

Lagos, Nigeria

Expat Destinations in Nigeria

Most expats who want to relocate to Nigeria obviously choose Nigeria’s economic and industrial centers. The majority of these are found in the country’s southern coastal regions. Furthermore, many expats are living in Nigeria’s free trade zones, which usually feature housing compounds for employees.

If you are not relocating to Nigeria solely for business reasons, but also for the cultural experience, you might want to go explore the country in detail. Please consider the safety precautions we have compiled in our article on living in Nigeria before freely roaming the country.

Port Harcourt

Employment in Port Harcourt means doing business in Nigeria’s oil production center. It is the main collecting point for oil produced in the Niger Delta and home to most of Nigeria’s refineries.

Ever since the first oil shipment in 1958, Port Harcourt has had a considerable draw on the people of the Delta. This is both a blessing and a curse: the masses moving to Nigeria’s industrial centers from the rural regions have caused a housing shortage and infrastructural issues. Pollution is also quite severe in the area. While living in Nigeria, you have to come to terms with pollution, and Port Harcourt surpasses everything else in this regard. For more detailed information about living in Port Harcourt, consider reading our article on Where Exactly is Port Harcourt.


Lagos is Nigeria’s largest city and thus the first choice for many expats who are planning to relocate. Though exact estimates vary, with a population in 2014 of around 21 million in the wider metropolitan area, it is considered the most populous city in Africa, surpassing even Cairo. The metropolis on the Gulf of Guinea has experienced rapid growth, as moving to the country’s economic and cultural center remains a big incentive for people from rural regions and abroad.

In many respects, Lagos is the most important Nigerian city. It is a large hub for banks, industrial enterprises, and the music and film industry. The three ports are the nation’s biggest transfer site for all goods, except for oil, which is shipped directly from the Delta. The metropolis also is home to the most modern international airport – you will have to at least change flights here when you arrive in Nigeria.

Lagos was the Nigerian capital until 1991. Most embassies, although now officially located in Abuja, handle visa applications from their Lagos offices. The city’s cultural and economic importance is unparalleled, as is the quality of life. Many expats moving to Nigeria opt for accommodation in the popular neighborhoods of Victoria Island, Ikoyi, Apapa, and Ikeja, where living is a more relaxed and safer experience.

Your employment contract permitting, you should try to relocate to Lagos. It will probably ensure the most comfortable and interesting experience for expatriates moving to Nigeria. If you have plan investing into Lagos real estate you can always visit our Property Page for our most affordable yet most rewarding properties in different parts of Lagos today.


The nation’s capital since 1991, Abuja is the unchallenged center of political power in Nigeria. Located right in the center of Nigeria between the Muslim north and the Christian south, Abuja has been built from scratch since the late 1970s; unfortunately, it shows.

Life in Abuja is a far cry from life in Lagos, both culturally and economically. There is very little industry located in Abuja, and the metropolis does not offer many incentives for expats moving to Nigeria. However, as construction is continuously going on and nearly all embassies have been relocated to the city, Abuja does have some opportunities for expatriates who are moving to Nigeria and making it their home abroad.

We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

If you have Plans relocating to Nigeria or to any of the listed expats locations listed above do well to contact us to make your relocation move easier for you today……

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