Side hustles that can get you through the Nigerian recession


It’s official. Nigeria is going through a recession. Goods are costlier than ever, and the economy is getting worse. But in spite of this, some people are making more money than they have ever made. And this is not because they are smarter, better-looking or closer to God than you. This is not because they are gambling with other people’s money from the future, either.  They just know one thing that you don’t, and that one thing is enough to completely weather them through these trying times. Without further ado, I have put together a list of side hustles which can earn you extra money to cover all these prices and help you return to a sense of normality. You don’t even have to spend much for these – just know where to look. Let’s go:

1. Real Estate Broker

Image Credit: Andre Robillard, Unsplash

Last weekend, my mum took time out of her busy schedule to drive 15 minutes to give ₦50,000 to a woman she hardly knew. She had met the lady at church a couple of weeks prior and told her about a flat she was trying to rent for ₦500,000. The lady found a tenant for my mum, and automatically earned ₦50,000. Just for a referral! That’s the way it works around here. 10% automatic “agency fees” for property referrals. You can make 10% of the price of renting or buying a property, just by connecting property owners with buyers or tenants. I was speaking to a guy who had a property for sale from a “distressed owner”. Things had been very difficult for him until he got into the business a year ago. He goes to estate agents (especially those stuck in the past, and have no idea about advertising online) and gets a list of their properties for sale and for rent. He then puts them on as well as a private WhatsApp group. When a sale is made, he gets a 10% cut, whether it’s rent on a ₦500,000 property, or sale of a ₦5m property. The only capital required is your data subscription and a bit of legwork to begin with.

2. Uber Driver

Image credit: Peter Kasprzyk, Unsplash

If you live in Lagos or Abuja and can drive (or you have access to a car) then you can make some extra income by being an Uber partner. Uber partners can be drivers, car owners or even car owners and drivers. Through the app, Uber notifies partners of people close to them who need a taxi. The partners collect and drop off the passengers, payment is deducted directly from the passengers account and the partner is paid directly in to his/her account (minus a 20% Uber fee). The registration process is outlined in-depth over here and you can register as a partner using this link.

Related: How to register as an Uber partner and earn up to N250,000 monthly 

3. Wedding/Party MC

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If you’re a social person who enjoys attending weddings and speaking in public, you can consider a side hustle as a wedding MC. The recession hasn’t stopped people from marrying each other. In fact, weddings are one event which most people don’t compromise on, and an MC is a vital part of each wedding. If you charge ₦35,000 for each wedding, and officiate a wedding each weekend, that’s an extra ₦140,000 in your pocket each month – some people’s monthly salary! MyWeddingNigeria explains what the duties of a good wedding MC are, so check out this guide from their website.

4. Leaflet Printer/ Distributor

Image Credit:

This is a very easy hustle to get into. Every business needs marketing, and if anything, in these times, business need to market more to gain new customer to help them balance the books. How this works is that you can offer businesses a flyer printing and distribution service. Use a flyer printing service such as Printivo to print the flyers, and then recruit people to distribute them in shopping malls, banks, car windshieds in churches etc.

Related: How to start a flyer distribution/marketing business

5. Sell your art and designs to a global audience

Image Credit: Reynolds, Unsplash

If you’re artistic (or even know someone who is), you can sell T-shirts with your artwork printed on them, with little or no capital. All you need to do is sign up to print-on-demand websites, and they showcase your artwork to a global audience. In this guide, we explain how the whole process works, and also provide a list of international websites that offer this service.

Related: How to sell your designs internationally and earn $$$

6. Content Writer

Image credit: Aleksi Tappura, Unsplash

If you love writing, you can very easily offer a content writing side hustle. Most businesses online need copywriters, and there are ALWAYS jobs available if you know where to look. Join content writing groups on Facebook, and you will be kept very busy.

7. Website reviewer

Image Credit: William Iven, Unsplash

If you have a data subscription, and the ability to record a video, you can make money testing websites for clients. You get paid up to $10 per website you review,so if you multiply this by X, you can make some serious money in no time. All you have to do is provide feedback on the design and general performance of a website, and companies will be willing to pay you for this.

I hope some of these appeal to you. If you have any questions about any, please feel free to ask them in the comments section. My team and I have done a lot of research over these and we’re always willing to help/answer your questions.

I'm an grammar-obsessed writer with a passion for finance, innovation, lifestyle design, tech, healthy eating and who knows what else. Nothing makes my day like a nice, chunky comment on one of my posts to sink my teeth into. So go on, make my day :-)


  • Nice, nice, nice. I just wish the way Nigeria was set up is easy to make money. There’s light and data prices to battle with but I hate to be only a messenger of doom, so I’ll add mine. You can be a pastor, prophet or vision seer, you can go into runs. Male or female or you can start out by being peculiar. See bobrisky naa. That guy used to be booed on my street when he just started…
    Before I write article for free on … make I sign out. My name is Chukulee

    Chukulee December 10, 2016 3:44 pm
    • LOL! There are positives and negatives oh. Having lived in the UK, I think it is easy to make money in Naija. Because you can’t take an agency fee in the UK without being an agent – which in turn means you will incorporate a company, register for taxes, get an office etc etc

      Ethan Okoli December 14, 2016 12:26 pm
  • Hustle in 9ja is not easy but these are great ideas cos man must wak. Good job Mr pepe

    LA Bumzy December 11, 2016 2:10 am
  • Does this mean I can’t be a website reviewer without having a pc

    Olola January 6, 2017 7:35 pm
    • Hi Ololade,

      You do need a PC as they are mostly testing the site performance on a PC

      Ethan Okoli January 7, 2017 9:47 am

    BARIDAM January 6, 2017 11:28 pm
    • Hi Baridam, check out Or ask specific questions and I might be able to help

      Ethan Okoli January 7, 2017 9:46 am
  • Thanks for this post! Please could you point me in the direction of content writing forums (or is it fora? lol) on Facebook and anywhere else? Thanks

    Allie January 17, 2017 8:12 am
  • For someone who is trying to start up a career in content writing, how does it work? Please explain a little more.

    favour January 20, 2017 8:02 am
  • Hi,

    I’m interested in reviewing websites. How do i connect with them?

    Sistah February 24, 2017 2:28 pm
  • Pls am very much interested in d content writing, can u give more info on how 2 go abt it. Thanks!

    Ayoade Grace April 9, 2017 7:17 pm
    • Hi Grace,

      I know someone who is planning something in the next few weeks. I will e-mail you details soon.

      Ethan Okoli April 14, 2017 1:16 pm
  • Hi ETHAN. Could you please let me know if you have any content writing gigs. Thanks

    glow May 27, 2017 6:10 am
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