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Nigeria

With a population of about 173 million people, Nigeria is the largest country in Africa, making up almost half of West Africa’s population.

Now an elected leadership, Nigeria's economy is booming but accelerating the creation of jobs for the youth is a major challenge, with unemployment on the rise and a quarter of all young people without a job.

ICS volunteers help identify viable businesses along the cocoa value chain, as well as supporting young people and women to engage with local co-operative organisations. Working with community volunteers, they also help create inclusive spaces for children.

Nigerian VSO volunteer Gregory attends a conference at the UN building in Bonn, Germany
© David McClenaghan / VSO
Nigerian VSO volunteer Gregory attends a conference at the UN building in Bonn, Germany

Get a good education

Nigeria's huge growth in population has caused big problems for education across the country. Children under 15 account for almost half of the country's population, with 40% of 6-11 year-olds not receiving any primary education.

The government has tried to tackle the situation by implementing the Universal Basic Education Act (UBE) in 2004, representing the country's strategy to fight illiteracy and make sure all children get a basic education.

VSO volunteers work with community volunteers to create 'Inclusive Neighbourhood Spaces' for children, where they are able to teach basic literacy and numeracy and also soft skills like personal hygeine and public speaking.

Cocoa farmer Kofi poses next to the beans in neighbouring Ghana
© Sanjay Awasthi / VSO
Cocoa farmer Kofi poses next to the beans in neighbouring Ghana

Earn a decent living

Cocoa is Nigeria's biggest agricultural export. It's the world's seventh largest producer of the crop and a source of jobs and employment for many across the country.

VSO volunteers work with the Farmers Development Union (FADU) community associations to identify opportunities and ideas for viable business along the cocoa value chain using ICT.

Volunteers also work towards strengthening community savings and loans associations and getting women and young people more involved in the activities of cooperative associations.

Jollof rice, a Nigerian delicacy, consumed across the whole of West Africa
© Shutterstock
Jollof rice, a Nigerian delicacy, consumed across the whole of West Africa

Living in Nigeria

There are multiple project locations in Nigeria, including Kwali and Ilesha. All placements in Nigeria see volunteers live with host families, usually with one other volunteer.

As with other placements, volunteers will be expected to eat like a local. Nigerian food offers a rich blend of traditional African carbohydrates such as yam and cassava. Their cuisine uses spice heavily, and particularly in the western and southern parts of the country.

And your work doesn't just stop with ICS. From running community awareness sessions on the importance of education, proper waste disposal and waste management and social inclusion to lessons on health sanitation and nutrition, you'll be active in the community.

Watch Georgia's a second a day video of life in Ifelodun, Nigeria

ICS partners working in Nigeria

VSO

Your ICS placement is about more than what you do while you're overseas.

Also see:

Entrepreneur Sarah Wanjiku talks to Balloon Ventures volunteers in Njoro, Kenya
© Stephen Nderitu / Balloon Ventures

Kenya

Challenges Worldwide volunteers work with small entrepreneurs, like this yam salesman
© Andrew Aitchison / Challenges Worldwide

Ghana