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How middle class Nigerians spend their money

Standard Chartered bank, in partnership with research consultancy GlobeScan, yesterday released a study offering insight into the aspirations of middle class consumers in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya. Over the next three weeks, How we made it in Africa will take a look at consumer trends in each of these three countries, starting with Nigeria.

Researchers conducted face to face interviews with 1,000 middle class Nigerians. Respondents were classed as “affluent” or “emerging affluent” based on their household belongings and activities such as accessing the internet. Affluent Nigerians comprise approximately 5% of the population, while the emerging affluent make up about 25%.

Below are some of the key takeaways from the study.

Self-employed: The vast majority, or 39%, of the middle class Nigerians work for themselves, while 19% indicated they are students. Other areas of employment include: public sector (8%), local companies (5%), a family member’s business (3%), and international firms (1%). Interestingly, 15% said they are unemployed.

Nigeria rising: Despite Nigeria’s infrastructure, corruption and security challenges, the majority of consumers expect economic growth to continue. Some 30% of respondents indicated that they have “complete confidence” in the growth prospects of their country, while 36% said they have “some confidence”.

Wealth means money in the bank: For 52% of Nigerians, having savings make them feel wealthier. A sense of prosperity is also achieved through owning goods such as cars, clothing and technology (28%), and living in the right neighbourhood (16%).

Keeping up with the Joneses: When it comes to spending, the top five activities that Nigerians plan to splurge on over the next five years are: making improvements to their housing conditions (95%), buying the latest technology goods (91%), purchasing new household products/ appliances (88%), picking up a new car or motorcycle (85%), and moving to a better neighbourhood (84%).

Low internet usage: Standard Chartered’s research reveals relatively limited internet use among middle class Nigerians. Just over half said they use the internet for social networking, but other activities such as keeping up to date with current affairs (34%), studying/education (28%), shopping (8%) and online banking (6%) enjoy less popularity.

Ambitions to travel: In terms of personal travel, the top three destinations Nigerians anticipate to visit in the next five years are Europe (37%), the Americas (34%) and South Africa (17%). For business travel, the majority of respondents expect to visit Europe (30%), followed by the Americas (29%) and Greater China (24%).

Visit How we made it in Africa next week Monday for more insight into middle class consumers in Ghana.

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  • Thanks for the article. There are a couple of things that I find interesting about this article. First is that “Affluent Nigerians comprise approximately 5% of the population, while the emerging affluent make up about 25%.” That’s about 30% of the population. Although your sample space is small, the records are inspiring. Then is the 39% who are self employed, the entrepreneurial ecosystem is sure getting better: We are really making it in Africa.

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