Lagos - Post Report Question and Answers

What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

Within the diplomatic community there is a pool of household help that is very cost-effective. - Mar 2024

Stewards cost about US $250 per month for fulltime. Many nannys and drivers available. Good cooks a little harder to find, but you might do better with those from Benin or other French colonized countries. Stewards may be male or female, and there are some advantages to hiring a male. - Aug 2020

Mission employees usually employ a maid/nanny (called a steward here) or a driver. Mission employees tend to pay more than locals would and salaries are around US$250 a month. Work quality can vary, but a number of household help have been with mission families for a while and often get picked up by new families when old ones depart. Additionally, you can hire coaches for tennis and swimming for a decent amount. - Jul 2020

We paid our nanny the equivalent of $300 USD/month for not-quite-fulltime and our steward $75/month for cleaning once a week. I think many people pay their nannies a bit more. We did not employ a driver during our time at post, though we were in the minority. It's pretty easy to borrow someone else's for occasional driving in less ideal situations (to Balogun/Lekki markets, out to dinner, etc.) Drivers make less than nannies and stewards. - Jun 2019

Household help is cheap and there tends to be a pool of folks who stay on with consulate families. We had some trouble with a driver and had to fire him for joyriding in our car; very surprising to us, considering that we felt we paid him a good wage, and his housing depended on continued employment. - Aug 2018

Very affordable and very good. It seems that most Americans pay their household staff about 2x-3x what Nigerians pay, but it's worth it. Most people employ stewards at least part-time, and many use drivers part-time as well. Going rate is about $3/hr. Childcare costs a bit more. - Mar 2018

Very affordable. Most people pay around $25 a day for help. This includes a full apartment cleaning, laundry, ironing, and assorted duties. Drivers cost about $300 per month. Nannies are more expensive but are worth it. - May 2016

Readily available. US$250 monthly for full time. The quality of help depends on your point of view though. - Nov 2015

Widely available, though quality of service varies. Cost ranges from US$80-$150 per month. Most embassy housing includes detached live-in space for domestic help. Drivers are also very useful as traffic and road conditions are horrendous. - Dec 2011

plenty of people needing work, not all reliable. Cooks, housekeeper/steward, houseboy/girl, driver, gardener. Cost is relatively inexpensive (US$100-150 range for full-time, live-in housekeeper). Best to get referral & check references carefully. - Sep 2008

Abundant, cheap, don't hire a Nigerian. Hire someone from Benin, or Ghana. - May 2008

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