Work and Travel in Nigeria
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN NIGERIA FOR TRAVELLERS
Nigeria is always a stop on the Western African backpacking trail. With what’s expected to be one of the most populous countries in the world, Nigeria is a rising force in the world. Now has never been a better time to travel in Nigeria.
But it’s not a popular backpacking destination. It takes a certain type of traveller to take on this country.
We’re going to talk about how you can work and travel in Nigeria and get to see the real side of this country. Our travel guide to Nigeria has everything you need to know about making your way here(https://www.lonelyplanet.com/nigeria).
1. Improving Education in Nigeria
Nigeria’s education system suffers from a historical lack of funding. That’s why there are so many different organizations in the country dedicated to helping young people get the skills they need.
You’ll be able to improve the lives of young people across the country by joining a teaching programme. Some of these are based around teaching languages, whereas others focus on basic skills like reading and writing.
2. Raise Awareness of AIDS in Nigeria
Africa continues to have a serious problem with the AIDS virus. One of the main reasons why it continues to spread is a lack of awareness.
You’ll spend your time helping local organisations run health classes, convincing people to get checked, and educating people on what the virus is and how it spreads.
This sort of work in Nigeria could potentially save thousands of lives.
3. Participate in Conservation Work in Nigeria
Conservation work provides other volunteering opportunities in Nigeria for travellers. This is such a large and varied country that you can work with a range of animals and in a range of environments.
There’s a lot of work with birds in the Hadejia-Nguru Wetlands in the north of the country. You could be cataloguing these birds and helping to keep the environment clean.
There are also projects similar to this in locations like the Lekki Conservation Centre in the south of the country.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR NIGERIA
Nigeria has a visa policy that isn’t friendly to the world traveller. The only countries able to enter the country without a visa for 90 days are those in West Africa and Kenya. Outside of Africa, there are no countries able to take advantage of visa-free travel.
There have been plans to implement an e-visa scheme. However, the current incarnation of the visa-on-arrival is mainly aimed at business visitors and it still requires a trip to the embassy and a lot of paperwork. For more info click here.
The problem with work and travel in Nigeria is that there’s a lot of paperwork that comes with getting a visa from a Nigerian embassy.
That’s why we strongly recommend you have a position secured with a reputable organisation before you leave. This is one country where visa support comes highly recommended as Nigerian bureaucracy can be extremely complex and nonsensical.
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN NIGERIA
Spring time in Nigeria mainly consists of the shoulder season, so it’s still a good time to travel in Nigeria. However, should you want to work in Nigeria you should ideally consider working closer to urban areas like Lagos. When the rains hit it can make travel difficult, and there’s always variation as to when the rains come.
We recommend opting for community development projects in the slums of Lagos. There’s so much work to be done here and you’ll be able to make a big difference.
This could include connecting with younger people through education, improving homes in the slums, or helping to raise awareness of disease.
The summer season is the main rainy season of the year. We wouldn’t recommend work and travel in Nigeria throughout the north at this time of year. This is where the rains can be more intense. It can also make it difficult to travel around.
The best option for you is to choose indoor projects. Becoming a teacher and working in a school during the rainy season will give you the chance to make connections with young people and avoid the hazards that come with this type of weather.
Another type of summer work in Nigeria could involve working in the IT sector. Showing local businesses how to turn computing to their advantage can help them become more self-sufficient and better prepared to provide for their families.
Autumn brings the shoulder season again. The rains largely recede, although in certain parts of the country they may last longer. Humidity will still be high and it may take time to access more remote areas again.
You should refer back to both of the previous sections for an idea of the best volunteering opportunities in Nigeria in autumn
The winter season is the hottest and driest. Supporters of conservation efforts within the country should look to secure positions like this in winter.
Whether you’re working in the northern wetlands or the coastal areas, there will be lots of chances for you to support scientists in the study and protection of endangered wildlife.
Take note that many of these projects demand a minimum commitment of a month (sometimes even two).
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN NIGERIA
Nigerians are typically friendly people who want to find out more about foreigners. They’re not naturally hostile towards outsiders and it’s easy to make friends with the locals here.
You should bear in mind that in some northern areas the terrorist organisation Boko Haram continues to be active. They’re extremely violent and have been known to kidnap and murder Westerners. You should ensure that you have the latest information regarding hostile areas of Nigeria as the situation can change quickly.
You should also be aware of religious differences as you work and travel in Nigeria. The north is mainly Muslim and the south is mainly Christian. Take care to respect these differences, particularly if you’re a woman, so you don’t run into problems.
Do you have what it takes to book your next adventure to Nigeria?