The Most Expensive Cities in Nigeria: The Top 10

With the current state of the economy coupled with the presence of fuel scarcity rocking the economy, it’s no surprise that many Nigerians would like to know which cities in Nigeria are most expensive. While living in expensive cities in Nigeria can have its own demerits, residents are sure to enjoy comfort and luxury while staying there. Plus, for those who earn a robust income, living in an expensive city might be chock-full of opportunities.

On the other hand, if you earn little, life can constantly be full of hustles and struggles. Interestingly, the more expensive a city is, the more respect residents of such cities are given by Nigerians residing in other cities. While the fact that you reside in a certain city isn’t a major indication of your financial capability; for some, it is a show of class. Curious about the top most expensive cities located in Nigeria? What are you waiting for? Ready…..set….go!

1). Abuja

We all know that the Federal Capital Territory cannot be mentioned without the word “expensive” not coming to mind. Being the nation’s powerhouse, it’s therefore no surprise that Abuja made the list in the rank of the top most expensive cities in Nigeria.

Abuja is home to the crème de la crème of the society; ranging from politicians to  foreign expatriates, heads of states, multinational firms, hotels, government parastatals, and head offices of various companies. The presence of these people and establishments has led to the increased surge in the prices of things in the nation’s capital.

Therefore, it’s no surprise to find a detached 4 to 6 bedroom duplex in Maitama being sold at a jaw-dropping price of 500 million to 1 or 2 billion naira.

2). Port Harcourt

Home to Nigeria’s major source of income (oil), it’s no wonder that Port Harcourt is one of the most expensive cities to live in Nigeria. It boasts of a large number of industrial areas and multinational firms and businesses with dealings in the petroleum industry. The presence of oil and these firms makes it a home to a large percentage of foreign expatriates. With lots of oil workers earning a minimum of 1 to 5 million naira per month, it’s no surprise that the cost of living in Port Harcourt is very high. From apartments to groceries, education, and medical services, it’s very difficult to find cheap items.

While most employees of multinational firms can afford this extravagant lifestyle, an average resident finds it difficult to find a decent apartment at a reasonable rate. This had led to most indigenes and low-income earners residing in shanties and lacking basic toilet facilities, and portable water. Additionally, most of them find it difficult to afford medical services or send their children to school.

3). Lagos

Known as the commercial and biggest entertainment hub of Nigeria with an ever-growing population of over 21 million people; Lagos is home to a lot of businesses and diverse people. Where it lacks in land mass, it makes up for with population.  The daily influx of people into the city makes Lagos one of the most expensive Nigerian cities to live in. from transport fare to accommodation, food items, and education; the cost of living in Lagos cannot be deemed as cheap.

With its fame and mega city status, a 2 bedroom flat can go for as high as 450, 000 to 600,000 Naira in the not-so glamorous parts of Lagos. Likewise, the same apartment could cost as high as N1,500, 000 to 3 million naira in places like Ikoyi, Victoria Island, and Lekki.

4). Calabar

Blessed with tourist attractions such as Tinapa Resort, Obudu Cattle Ranch, Calabar River, World War I Cenotaph, Kwa Waterfalls, Mary Slessor’s House, Tortuga Island, among others; it’s no surprise that the beautiful seaport city is home to many Nigerians with a affluence.

The daily influx of people attributed to the city’s many tourist places and carnivals, has led to the increase in the cost of living in Calabar. Calabar is also reputed for its friendly weather, serene atmosphere, mouth-watering delicacies and hospitable people makes it a beautiful city to live in.

5). Warri

Warri is home to some of the richest and prominent men in Nigeria. Warri makes the 5th position in the list of most expensive cities in Nigeria because of the presence of oil. Just like Port Harcourt, Warri is an oil city. And the fact that it is an oil city makes it home to foreign multinationals and Nigerians who earn a staggering amount of income as employees of multinational oil firms.

6). Owerri

Owerri is the capital of Imo state and referred to as the “Heartland of the Igbo people”. Apart from being the capital of Imo state, Owerri is also the largest city in the state.

While Owerri is neither a commercial or industrial hub, the heavy presence of hotels and nightclubs makes the cost of living on the high side. In addition to the hotels located within the city, Owerri is home to four higher institutions (two universities and two polytechnics).

The presence of these tertiary institutions has also contributed to an increase in the cost of accommodation. While the cost of living might be expensive in Owerri, it’s relatively cheaper in comparison to cities like Lagos, Abuja, Warri and Port Harcourt.

7). Asaba

Situated at the edge of the River Niger, Asaba is a rapidly growing urban city and the capital city of Delta State. Asaba is a meeting point that connects through the Western, Northern and Eastern parts of Nigeria. It connects the North via the Niger River, and the east and west through the Niger Bridge. It’s no surprise therefore, that the city’s strategic location makes it one of the top most expensive cities in Nigeria to live in.

8). Kaduna

Surprised to find Kaduna on the list of the top most expensive cities in Nigeria? Don’t be! Kaduna is the second largest entertainment hub in the Northern part of Nigeria after Jos.

Unlike other Northern cities battling with cases of unrest and insurgency, Kaduna is a relative religious tolerance city even though it’s equally inhabited by Christians and Muslims. This in turn, has helped produced a conducive business environment suitable for attracting investors and boosting Kaduna’s economy.

Moreover, the strategic location of the city makes it one of the expensive Nigerian cities to live in. Kaduna is a revered agricultural and trade hub. This is due to its road network and very efficient rail transport system.

9). Enugu

Popularly referred to as the coal city, Enugu is the capital city of Enugu state and home to the only international airport in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria. Enugu’s position on the list of most expensive cities in Nigeria can be attributed to it’s the heavy presence of real-estate and security businesses. Apart from the availability of basic amenities in the city, the presence of many nightclubs makes it a source of attraction to visitors.

10). Aba

Famous for its made in Nigeria products, Aba is unarguably the largest industrial hub in Eastern Nigeria and the biggest city in Abia state. Ranking 10th on the list; most people find it difficult to understand how Aba made the list.

However, it’s safe to deduce that the increase in the production of locally made goods, large presence of buyers from different parts of Nigeria, and the daily influx of people has made Aba one of the most expensive Nigerian cities to live in.


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