Expat oil and gas workers in Chad face soaring cost of living

Expat oil and gas workers in Chad face soaring cost of living

Expat oil and gas workers in Chad face soaring cost of living

Africa might not be the most popular location for ambitious expats used to their comforts, but the city of N’Djamena could spring a few scarey surprises.

Set on the very edge of the Sahara Desert is the African state of Chad and its capital N’Djamena. Expats in the oil and gas sector may have heard of the city or even visited once or twice, but for the rest of the expat world it could be located on the other side of the moon. For those brave expat souls who accept a relocation at a generous salary, the cost of living in this desert destination is through the roof!

Due to the state’s landlocked location, its almost total lack of infrastructure and its oil-dependent economy, prices of everything from rental accommodation through necessities to food and drink are higher than almost every other world expat destination. Rentals range upwards of $2,000 a month for a modern, two-bedroomed condo in the centre of the city, a price comparative with New York and London but in a far less comfortable and convenient location.

For expat professionals in the oil and gas sector, the above’s bad news but it’s even worse news for the locals, now pushed out to tin-roofed shacks on the edge of the city with no electricity, running water or made-up roads. Taxi drivers do their best to avoid huge potholes in the streets, and the roadsides are crammed with people selling mosquito nets and peanuts.

Sadly, Chad is just one a number of oil-rich African states where the massive contrast between the haves and have-nots is in expats’ faces from the moment they arrive. Many other oil-rich African states are suffering the same fate, with the soaring costs of housing, services and essential goods driving out locals in the race to maximise profits from oil and gas deposits.

As if that wasn’t enough, drought is now a major danger in the region, and costly military action against Nigeria-based Boko Haram terrorists doesn’t leave much cash for the local peoples’ environmental needs. Expats in theoil and gas sector considering relocating to Africa should prepare themselves for culture shock on a grand scale.

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