How much is a Comfortable Entry Level Salary in Nigeria in 2013 and How Many People Earn Just That?

In many online forums the discussion on what is an acceptable salary is always ongoing. While inflation and other factors contribute to a growing cost of living in Nigeria and other parts of Africa salaries and wages unfortunately do not always rise along.

In 2013 things do not look like they are getting better in terms of cost of living. Things like rent, food, rates (power, water) etc keep increasing in cost.

Therefore the question arises, ”What is the average amount the average starting Nigerian worker can earn in 2013 for it to be an acceptable salary given the prevailing economic conditions?” What will be seen as an average acceptable entry level salary across telecom, oil and gas, services, education and indeed all sectors for a worker to be able to afford an acceptable standard of living? How Many People Already Earn a Comfortable Starting Salary in Nigeria?

We took the time to research and look into the answer to the above questions. In compiling our answers we interviewed several workers (that can be classified as middle class or average in income levels), scoured through tons of online discussions on the issue and conducted third party research.

While it may be difficult to claim a general average salary that will be good enough for all interests we explored and bring to you what we have found to be a reasonable estimation of what an average salary should be for Nigerians in 2013. But the fact is that what we put forward may be far from the reality on ground!

To get a hang of what a suitable average salary could be we first look at the basic costs of living facing the average worker;

Housing: For someone living in an apartment that is just okay enough we estimate a monthly cost of N12,000 – N15,000
Transportation: N10,000
Feeding: depends on the number of stomachs dependent on the entry level worker but we estimate between 1 – 3 persons depending on the worker for food daily. If cost of feeding each person a day is average N400 (could be far higher of course if meals are eaten out at restaurants) we arrive at N400 for each person per day maximum and multiply that by 3 persons and by thirty to get N36,000
Welfare (clothing, entertainment etc): We can assume N20,000 monthly will do for this
Miscellaneous (to cover other wants, and expenses that may need to be made including savings): N50,000

The above (very generous estimations) give a total N131, 000 on the extreme side for average entry level salary all things being equal, for the average Nigerian worker with at least a Higher National Diploma.

The real situation

From our findings the average salary scale for entry level workers (Degree/HND Holders) for some popular sectors and the percentage of the workforce they employ is as follows;

Oil & Gas (2%): N100, 000 – N140, 000
Telecom/IT (7%): N70, 000 – N110, 000
Banking & Financial Services (13%) – N50, 000 – N100, 000
Hospitality, Media, Services Sector (33%) – N30, 000 – N60, 000
Others (55%) – N15, 000 – N45, 000

From the above we deduce that majority of Nigerian workers at the entry level earn far below what would pass as a highly acceptable average salary given today’s economic situation.

We acknowledge the use of the following sources;

– Payscale
– Nairaland and a couple other discussion forums on career related issues
– Salary ranges on over 1,500 job vacancies published with us in the past one year
– Wikipedia
– Next Generation Nigeria

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  1. Adetula Ayo says:

    This is a stark reality. So disgusting, yet so true.

  2. olalekan John says:

    I disagree with the scale. The Average cost of transport and feeding for a portharcourt residence is N1,000

  3. oalekan John says:

    Sorry i mean the average cost of transport and feeding for a portharcourt Residence PER DAY is N1,000

  4. sukarna basak says:

    I received an email offering annual salary USD 23400.00 based on only 5 years experience as civil engineer from Bangladesh I cant believe this .Is it true or fake ?

    • ngcareers says:

      What is the name of the company? Did apply to the said position?
      Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

  5. sukarna basak says:

    sorry it was USD 234000.00

  6. sukarna basak says:

    Please help anybody from NIgeria.

  7. Maneesh says:

    i have a job offer of 8000 US$ in Nigeria. i have 10 years of engineering it OK?

  8. kamoru says:

    May God help us in this country

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