Top 10 Cities With The Highest Cost of Living in Nigeria (2024)
The cost of living in Nigerian cities has been on a steady rise in recent years. High inflation rates, currency devaluation, and rising costs of housing, food, transportation have all contributed to making some Nigerian cities quite expensive to live in.
As Nigeria continues to urbanize rapidly, many cities are struggling to build the infrastructure and housing required to meet the needs of their growing populations. This further strains already limited resources and drives prices up even more. For those looking to move to or within Nigeria, it is important to understand where the highest cost of living currently is found.
TOP 10 CITIES WITH THE HIGHEST COST OF LIVING IN NIGERIA (2024)
Below are the top 10 Nigerian cities with the highest cost of living in 2024:
As Nigeria’s largest city and its economic heartbeat, it comes as no surprise that Lagos tops the list as being the most expensive place to live in the country.
Rent prices in areas like Lekki, Victoria Island and Ikoyi rival those of major global cities, while everyday costs like food, transportation and utilities continue to increase.
It is no surprise that Lagos ranks as the richest state in Nigeria.
The estimated cost of renting a 2 bedroom apartment in Lagos is ₦500,000 to ₦1 million
While the monthly food (basic provisions for one person) is up to a hundred thousand naira.
The rising population further strains infrastructure and makes congestion and housing deficits common issues facing residents.
Nigeria’s capital and second largest city has also become very expensive due to inbound migration of people and businesses.
The capital city has seen living costs rise rapidly as both people and businesses have flocked to the city.
Prime areas like Maitama, Asokoro and Wuse have astronomical rental prices. Even more peripheral areas still require big budgets to afford accommodation. Renting a two bedroom apartment in Abuja will cost you nothing less than 500 thousand naira.
Food, retail, utilities, school fees and more cost a premium here.
The center of Nigeria’s oil industry, Port Harcourt has a very high cost of living primarily driven by expensive housing.
Areas like Old GRA, New GRA, and parts of Port Harcourt Township demand extremely high rents. The rent for 2 bedroom apartment is between ₦300,000 to ₦500,000 on a monthly basis.
Even though income levels for oil industry professionals are also usually higher here, day-to-day expenses still consume a sizeable portion of paychecks.
Port Harcourt is located in Rivers state, one of the top oil producing states in Nigeria.
Another hub of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, Warri sees very high prices especially for housing.
Areas such as Effurun-Sapele Road, Airport Road, Igbudu, Edjeba, Osubi and Okere have housing that is in very high demand and short supply, which continues to push rental rates upwards.
Other costs like food and utilities also strain Warri residents’ budgets.
In vibrant Edo State, Benin City is an important educational, cultural and business center in the region.
Rising influxes of students and young graduates have created housing shortages across the city. Even remote areas far from amenities now demand expensive rents.
Food, transportation and utility costs also continue rising, making it very costly to live comfortably in Benin City.
As the capital of Imo State, Owerri has seen an upswing as an entertainment, manufacturing, and industrial hub.
Significant population growth and low housing stock have spiked rents in areas like Egbu, Akwakuma, Uratta Road, Wetheral Road and Government Reserved Areas.
Other basics like food, gas and utilities also come at a premium price here.
Owerri is also one of the richest cities in south-eastern Nigeria.
Abeokuta serves as the capital of Ogun State and as an important industrial center.
Congestion issues, housing demands and rising food costs have all contributed to a very high cost of living. New developments in areas like Laderin Estate, Obantoko, Ibara GRA, and Adatan strain local infrastructure but still attract higher rental rates.
Cultural facilities like Olumo Rock also draw tourists and transplants, increasing demand.
Uyo has an extremely high cost of living, driven by influxes of oil industry firms plus its role as the Akwa Ibom State capital. Housing deficits near important areas have driven costs sky-high.
Other basics like food, utilities, gas and services come at premium prices that take up large portions of incomes.
Its location as an important regional hub continues attracting new residents and driving demand.
As the capital city of Cross River State, Calabar has high living costs driven by housing shortages, especially in areas like State Housing, Diamond Hill, Ikot Ansa and Muritala Mohammed Highway.
Other expenses like food, transportation, utilities, health care and taxes also continue rising with demand.
Attractions like Tinapa Business Resort also continue driving significant tourism traffic into Calabar.
Rounding out the top 10 most expensive Nigerian cities is Enugu.
As capital of Enugu State, an important coal industry center, and notable educational hub, it has seen living costs rise tremendously in areas like the Government Reserved Areas and Independence Layout.
Housing, food costs, school fees, and transportation expenses all continue squeezing household budgets for average residents.
Infrastructure deficiencies also drive prices as demand rises.
The common thread making these 10 Nigerian cities most expensive to live in are housing shortages against rapid population growth. When demand exceeds supply for decent housing, rental and purchase prices skyrocket out of reach of average residents, consuming larger percentages of incomes. Combined with rising basics like food, gas and utilities plus strains on infrastructure, these cities have a remarkably high cost of living that looks to persist into the future.
For Nigerians and foreigners looking to relocate within the country, this list highlights where significant budgets are needed to maintain standards of living. When assessing jobs or housing, extra attention should be paid to the affordability in these cities identified as having the highest current cost of living nationwide. Understanding the expenses required for a comfortable lifestyle is an important first step to thriving in Nigeria’s fast-growing urban centers.