It’s not easy being an undergraduate student in a Nigerian university. You need to learn how to make money in Nigeria as a student, as there are many things to buy: handouts, materials, past questions, etc. So many things to pay for, class dues, classmates’ contributions, etc. The list goes on.
You can’t always call home, maybe because of many personal reasons, and besides, you need to start learning to fend for yourself and learn how to make money.
It is the University, after which you’re on your own. You need to make money to supplement that which your parents give you.
This article is for every student in the situation I just described. If you want to learn to make money in Nigeria as a student, keep reading.
If you’re comfortable but still want to earn to cater for extra expenses or save, this is also for you.
Mind you, this is not a get-rich-scheme business. It’s a humble start-off for an entrepreneur.
The one thing to bear in mind before starting a business in school is services. Offer services.
People want to know what’s in it for them. You need to answer this.
Provide avenues to ease students’ discomfort, and you’ll see yourself smiling to the bank.
Nothing ever comes easy. Making money isn’t easy. But with the right market and determination, you’re sure to make enough to cater to your needs.
Before you embark on any venture:
- Find a market.
- Don’t just assume that people will patronize you, do your surveys
- Ask questions.
- Be observant.
- Talk to fellow students.
What do they need?
What do they lack?
How can you fill in that void?
What services will move the market?
What services will be stagnant?
Best 25 Ways To Make Money As an Undergraduate in The University
Below are applicable methods for making money in Nigeria as a student.
In a faculty of 3000 students, there are sure to be students born every day or every week of a month.
These students might want to celebrate their birthdays; that’s where your baking skills come to play.
Provide the student with cakes and snacks as refreshments on their special day. You can also add incentives like an extra cupcake for your customers or a 10% discount for first-time birthday celebrants.
Cakes sell the baker. If your cake is good, tastes delicious, and is soft, people will ask for the details.
One technique is to try and attend that particular birthday party, deliver the cake yourself, and offer to share the cake among guests. Let people know you baked that cake they’re munching.
I baked as an undergraduate. I still do. And personally, it was refreshing having extra cash. And then there’s the review after the cake has been eaten.
But before advertising yourself as a baker, make sure you can bake. That’s very important. Once you cross off this box, go into the world and cake the day.
You don’t have to be a genius to organize a tutorial. To be honest, you might not even know much about the course.
Yes, I know what you’re about to say: “how can you organize a tutorial when you know nothing about the course?”
The key is a survey. What courses are your classmates having issues with? What courses do they need help with?
What can you do to ease their stress?
Tutorial services can be divided into two types of people:
Those Who Know The Course
In this scenario, all you need to do is spread the word. Classmates always know the smart ones.
Drop little explanations in class and tell them you can teach them at so and so the price. The primary rule here is - understand the course.
Don’t apply this method if you are unsure about what the lecturer is teaching. “You can’t give what you don’t have” applies here.
Those Who Don’t Know The Course
You’re a regular Joe. You’re not well-grounded in the topic, but you know two or three people who are.
What To Do? Simple!
Get in touch with those people and learn about their free time. Make out time and introduce them to your class.
Let them offer a 30 minutes free tutorial on the topic causing headaches, then drop the time and date for the following tutorial.
By offering a taste of what they’ll be getting, you’re sure to get your classmates or schoolmates to attend the tutorials and pay the required fee.
After tutorials, share the money as agreed with the tutors.
Also, you get to learn for free.
As long as the university system exists, there must always be term papers, projects, and seminar presentations to type. It’s inevitable.
You can’t be a student in a Nigerian university and miss out on typing. One lecturer must always insist on typed assignments.
Leverage this fact and provide typing services to people. Some students only know how to turn on their laptops and watch movies.
Collect the job, and do the typing. Charge according to your time and typing expertise. Each type of work should have a different price.
E.g., Term papers will be less expensive than projects but more expensive than regular assignments.
As long as you do an impeccable job and tell people, your service will spread around the campus. Consider your competition and know how to gauge your price list.
How To Make Money As A Female Student In Nigeria
Ladies love to look beautiful. Who doesn’t? They love to stand out and appear excellent.
Take advantage of this.
Did you know that some students would rather spend more money on a wig that would last for a long time than make hair that would last for only a month?
Learn how to make wigs and supply and advertise to the girls in school. Yes, this might need initial capital; that’s where your pocket money comes in. Learn the skill and offer to make wigs for students.
You can either buy the hair and make the wig or simply make it with your hair. Last I checked, there are affordable wigs of 6,000naira. Imagine making 6,000naira wigs for five people; that’s 30,000naira.
Are you still wondering why people are in the wig business?
Please, find your market first. Don’t go making a wig of 50k for a regular student.
Convocations and graduation ceremonies are the busiest days in school. Everyone is frantic; bakers are baking, wig makers are “wigging” it, and one more aspect gains as well, you guessed it right, makeup artist.
Back in school, makeup artists always made cash during events. Why? It is because girls want to look good.
Makeup gets profit as you carry out services for people.
Take, for instance; you pay for makeup classes, 5,000naira. You get your makeup box with the necessary items for 10,000naira. At that moment, it looks expensive, true. But it’s not.
Imagine offering 3,000naira, or even 2,000naira, for minor face beats.
If you’re lucky to face beating ten people, that’s 20,000naira; you’ve gained an extra 5,000naira from your initial expenses.
And the good part is that the material doesn’t just finish after ten people. You could use the 10,000naira worth of material to face beat thirty people. I don’t need to keep calculating to inform you how much that would rile in.
Have you heard of a departmental and faculty night? Chances are, if you’re a student, you should know what this means. The “nights” are where you crown the Mr. and Miss of the department or faculty, with runners-up.
How does tailoring fit into all this?
Easy! During the pageantry, there are different categories: dinner, runway, occupation, etc. As a tailor/fashion designer, you could cater to the wardrobe of a contestant.
Provide that contestant with the outfits for that event and get paid. With just that act, you get publicity.
Another means of making money from sewing is offering repairs to damaged clothes in the hostel or lodge.
My former roommate was a tailor.
She offered contestants services and sewed girls’ clothes in the hostel.
Clothes speak for themselves.
One person wears the sewn clothe, and another sees it, and voila! Everyone is trooping in to get their clothes.
Sew for students. Offer it at student price and watch people come and patronize you.
P.S: You must know how to sew.
Manucures And Pedicures
Nail Polishing is one of the ways you can make money in Nigeria as a student.
What’s a cool look without the right nails? More often than not, saloons are usually far from the students; take advantage of this.
Give “manis” and “pedis”. For the advertisement, you could offer free manis to the first five people that patronize you. Make sure you sell with these people. Make your work neat and attractive. Let them go ahead and advertise for you without even knowing.
As the sun shines on the earth, so must you register for courses as a student!
Course registrations are always a crazy scene. Students are running helter-skelter trying to register before the portal gets shut down.
You, my dear friend, know how to register without a hitch. Pitch it to your class. If the cyber cafes charge 100 nairas for one, you can decide to charge 70 Naira or even 50naira if you bring another person.
Students like to be aloof; they’ll come running with their friends so that they can pay 50naira.
50naira for 200 students in a class, or even more, is approximately 10,000 naira. And I know you can’t spend 10,000 on data for registration. If you don’t have a laptop, borrow one from a friend for the day and run your “paroles.”
Or, you can strike a deal with a cyber cafe guy. Tell him you can get him 200 students to register and negotiate a price.
Ghana weaving, box braids, twisting… These are different weavings girls carry.
Aside from those who love wigs, we also have those who prefer their weaves.
Hair plaiting is a unisex job, but if you’re a girl in the hostel, your chances of landing a customer are higher than a visiting male.
Start with your roommates or lodge mates. Make hair for them. Let it be smooth and neat, and let it look good. Trust me. Girls have eyes. They’ll notice and ask.
Get a good price list.
In every school, they are professors that give inaugural lectures. Some ceremonies take place among the lecturers.
Put your ears to the ground, follow the program schedule on banners, and find out if ushers are needed. Offer services!
If possible, set up your team of ushers so that you have people to work with you anytime you’re needed.
How To Earn Money In Nigeria As A Male/Female Undergraduate Student On Campus
You’ve been told by many friends that you have a lovely voice. Okay, then, use your voice. Remember those departmental nights I mentioned earlier; the events need anchors.
You’ve probably heard of Ebuka. Ebuka is the host of this year’s Big brother. He gets paid to talk and host the show.
Now, I know school isn’t Big brother, but you can start from there. Spread the word. Meet with organizers and event planners in school and let them know you have what it takes to keep a crowd awake.
P.S: For this to work, you can’t be crowd-shy.
Oh, yes! You read that right. Event planning! I’ve already mentioned that there are events in school.
If you have a knack for organizing, this will work out well.
You know all the aspects of the events; you know a baker, MC, DJ, caterer, etc. What else? Start planning from a low scale.
Get in touch with the organizers, pitch your price and work with your “freelancers.”
What’s a birthday without a birthday shot? Male and female students love to get studio pictures for their birthdays.
Learn photography, meet the photographers in school, and start from there. You don’t have to dive into studio pictures just yet, no.
There’s also Phone photography. If you’re lucky enough to have a phone with high resolution, use your phone to take pictures.
Offer Passport Pictures
This reminds me of a guy back in school named Segun. Segun was an engineering student who went around the hostels every weekend.
How did you know Segun was around?
You would hear, “passports, 200naira for 20 copies. Come and take your passports. Your passports.”
Simple and straight to the point! He was so popular that every single girl and guy knew Segun. Once he stepped into the hostel, girls would finish his statement.
What did Segun do? Segun created a service. He eased the stress of dressing and walking for 2 hours to take a passport.
Did the girls take their pictures? You bet they did. Instead of walking far, they just applied powder and stepped out of their rooms. That’s it.
He went around with the red, white, or black background and set it up anywhere; instant passport, instant payment.
Don’t panic. I don’t mean turning to Mr Biggs suddenly (Although it’s not a bad idea).
Asides from the regular hostel-cooked food, students, like to eat “fast food.”
What’s fast food? Indomie and Egg or Bread and Egg with Tea – alias Mai shai. (Hausa word for tea seller is Mai shai.)
This fast food can easily be set up in the lodge or the hostel. Start small. Buy a carton of noodles (know the students’ favourite) and an egg crate. Then buy oil, onions, and pepper with takeaway plates.
Go door to door, and let them know you do fast food. One important thing to remember: be hygienic and prompt. When people come to you, be smart and quick about preparing the food.
Another aspect of getting a food stand is making popcorn. Mind you, getting a popcorn machine would cost you some serious cash. So I advise you stick to the non-capital-intensive food stand.
Read More: How To Start Laundry Business In Nigeria
Some students don’t just have the time to do their laundry. That’s another niche for you.
Offer laundry services. Go round the hostels and lodge and announce it.
Time the visitations on weekends; that is when people get their clothes out. You’ll be surprised at how many clothes you’ll be given.
In addition, you can also add fetching water to the services rendered. Take advantage of the needs of people. Make money for yourself so that you can invest to earn more money.
Sales Of Item
There’s nothing that can’t be sold in the hostel or lodge. Go door to door if need be.
I remember a line seller back then in school: “Good afternoon, I sell ladies’ bags at affordable prices from 500naira and above.”
Out of sheer curiosity, my roommates and I would let the person in and check out the products.
In the end, one person must buy a bag. It’s not “jazz.” It’s a simple business technique. Sometimes we buy out of guilt.
Making someone unpack all their goods without buying looked bad, so we tried and bought even if it was one item. Imagine this same thing happening in every room. That’s a jackpot for the seller—examples of what you can sell.
- Shoes and sandals
- Beauty products
- Hair products
- Phone Accessories
Selling items is almost like drop shipping. You get your items from cheaper markets and sell them at a comfortable price to students.
It was the year 2019. The Vice-Chancellor sent a memo around the hostels.
The message was clear: no more wallpaper in the hostel.
Yes, this was a significant loss to people who sold wallpapers. But do you know who gained the most? The artist, those who could draw: live drawings, graffiti, etc. They gained. Their services just went viral.
Everyone wanted a paint job. Not just any job, a paint job with designs on the wall.
Students Barney, Tinkerbelle, Mickey Mouse, Flowers, birds, etc., were examples of the art that went on the wall. Everyone wanted their wall to stand out.
How about those who drew caricatures and live or even commissioned portraits: money, my friend. One commissioned piece, framed and delivered, costs as much as 10,000 naira—just one piece.
This niche will suit you well if you flow well with pencils.
What’s the first thought that crossed your mind when you saw this subheading? Let me guess. You wondered how you could rent a shop, get clippers, buy a large mirror, get a small generator, etc.
That’s not what I mean. Let’s not forget you’re still a student; your studies are essential.
Have you heard of a small barbing salon? As the name implies, a small barbing saloon offers services at the client’s location. Get your Chaoba clippers and render services on the go.
This is not the illegal procurement of a hostel. It’s the assistance rendered to get a hostel.
As it is with sites, trying for hostels online is stressful. Everyone is logging in at the same time. The portal crashes and revives; it’s a cycle of chaos.
You see that laptop you have, get a modem, and apply for hostels for girls. Girls would pay to have someone constantly try for them. It increases their chances of getting a room.
Anything you put on looks peng. You influence people to either dress like you or buy what you wear.
Do you see the business opportunity here?
Model for cloth makers – let them pay you to wear their clothes. You get to do what comes naturally to you and still get paid. This works for both guys and girls.
Not every business model needs brawn. In writing, you’re using more of your brain.
I’m not saying you should copy and replicate peoples’ assignments. No.
Let’s say there’s a term paper topic: Ways to Make Money in Nigeria as a Student.
You can develop 30 ideas and share them in five term papers. Each term paper would focus on six ideas. You then sell these term papers to students.
Neat huh? No copying, no cheating, no similarity. There’s also the option of registering on various freelance writing sites like Freelancer, Fiverr, Upwork, Rev, etc.
To all the ‘Basket mouths’ reading this, leverage your funny side to pull in income for you. You’ve been told you’re funny. You can make people laugh.
Why not make people pay to see you? As a comedian, you can cohost with the anchor or even anchor the whole show.
Your small class hangouts, your mini picnics, use all the avenues to sell your craft.
The banners, the fliers, the posters, the handbills, the bulletins, who do you think creates all these? Graphic designers.
The departmental and faculty nights and the inter-class competitions; all need posters.
Advanced technology makes it easier to learn graphics design using apps like Canva.
You can also learn video animation.
There’s no limit to what you can learn or do.
Before any significant social event took place in school, there had to be a roadshow. The roadshow creates awareness as the van moves hostel by hostel till the whole school is covered.
Where does dancing come in? Dancers always go for roadshows. We had two major dance crews in school that drove everybody crazy: Steppers and robots.
If you came for a roadshow without these dancers, nobody would come out of their rooms to hear from you.
If you have the moves and know you can do well, join a dance crew or become a lone dancer.
Dancers are invited for events, nights, hangouts, etc. They bring energy to the party.
Do you move like Khaffy? If yes, don’t miss out on using your talent.
If you’re about to say dancing, doesn’t it pay? Kindly search Google for the name Khaffy!
You can play the violin, trumpet, cello, guitar, etc. What’s the latest trend? What are instrumentalists doing to earn money?
One trend I’ve noticed is the instrumentalist accompanying a baker to surprise a celebrant.
Another is being called to perform at events. And when I say instrument, I also mean your voice. Using your voice, you could be a singer or a spoken-word artiste.
You see that instrument you feel nobody would want to listen to; why not collaborate with bakers in school?
Meet organizers to give you 5 minutes on stage. Cancel out any iota of doubt and sell your craft.
I’m sure there are many more ways to make money in Nigeria as a student. But these suggestions are very applicable to every school.
You’ve read this far and are still undecided on what would work for you. I understand it’s not easy combining school and any type of work.
The questions should be, how dedicated are you? What are your strength and faults? Are you a writer? Do you love to look good? Dig in and search for your strongest suit.
How much do you want to make money in school?
Remember what I said about finding a market?
Don’t just wake up and pick a business. Find a market first; next should be your survey. After which, you start to implement what you’ve read.
You must have the will to combine whatever you choose and your studies.
So that’s it, guys; that’s my two cents on how to make money in Nigeria as a student.