10 Cheapest Nigerian Cities to Live In

Many Nigerians grew up dreaming of living in Lagos or Abuja, which are known to be the most expensive cities in Nigeria. In reality, they can’t afford the cost of living in these cities because they come with high price tags. On the other hand, some Nigerians are looking for the cheapest cities to live in, places where our Naira will last a little longer, no matter their expenses.

Fortunately, there are cities that offer low cost of living with thriving economy, countless opportunities for investment and to earn money. The cities also offer laid back lifestyle, political stability and low cost housing.

Here are the 10 cheapest cities to live in Nigeria. These cities share one principal similarity, which is low cost of living.

1. Ikot Ekpene

Ikot Ekpene

Ikot Ekpene by Ikpa road

Photo Source: Aksg govt

Ikot Ekpene is known as the ‘Raffia City’, is situated in Akwa Ibom state. The city is famous for its commercial activities and raffia business. Ikot Ekpene is the regional centre of commerce; it is famous for its commercial activities where notable exports of palm products and ground crops come cheap. Housing is affordable as new apartment buildings have all the modern amenities. The city and its neighbouring areas are accessible with public transportation, which are cheap and plentiful.

2. Aba


Enitona Hotel in GRA, Aba North, Aba

Photo Source: Pjotter05 on Flickr

Low-cost housing in Aba has become a strong incentive for those who relocate to this quiet and peaceful city in Abia State. Houses are affordable, even to those with a median household income. Aba is a popular destination in the Eastern part of Nigeria, major economic contributions such as textiles, plastics, cement, cosmetics has contributed to the city’s affordability repute. The city has the largest market in West Africa, Ariaria International Market and that is why Fashion-savvy and business people visit this city for exportation and importation of goods. Food is very cheap because of the numerous villages surrounding this city and transportation is very affordable. The city’s oil wells and natural gas repository has given the city an added energy, attracting business travellers and investors from around the world.

3. Ibadan

Ibadan (2)


Photo Source: jbdodane on Flickr

Ibadan is no longer that ancient city that was struggling to adapt to modernization. A visit to Ibadan would convince you that it is a place to inhabit when compared the cost of living in Lagos or other major cities. Every modern amenities and ritz in any modern city in Nigeria can be found in Ibadan. Many of the older buildings have been renovated and the city now has a matchless blend of modern and conservative. From upscale neighbourhood, vibrant nightlife to cheap transportation, the city has it all. The low housing cost and high quality living standard has attracted many people to relocate to the city.

4. Ikom

Ikom Bridge

Ikom Bridge

Photo Source: Lapesoetan

Ikom is actually a small town, rather than a city but it’s far more expansive and modern compared to some other Nigerian towns. It’s somewhat more lively and cheaper than you might otherwise expect. Modern development has started to creep in and the city has beautiful tourist attraction sites such as Nigeria’s Stonehenge called Ikom Monoliths, Afi rain forest, Ikom town beach and Agbokim Waterfall. The city has almost everything a Nigerian could want, from fresh foods to low cost housing and a peaceful environment. For more of a standard family lifestyle, you will be happy you to relocate to Ikom. Obudu Cattle Ranch is not very far from the town.

5. Ilorin


Ilorin Roundabout

Photo Source: Mahfouzadedimeji

Prices for several things in Ilorin are cheaper than you can ever imagine. Ilorin is a blessed city with beautiful attractions, great educational facilities, natural resources, historical relics and health facilities for the residents. The city has no shortage of opportunities, the number of companies and businesses has boosted because the boundless business culture makes it an illustrious city for entrepreneurs and investors. Those who live here get anything they want since the city offers plenty ways to live cheaply. Housing is affordable, it is incredibly inexpensive to rent an apartment.

6. Onitsha



Photo Source: Juju Films on Flickr

At the present, Onitsha is more urbanized compare to the ancient Onitsha where crime was once the order of the day. The city is located in Anambra State and has now become a residence to those who want to live in an exciting and vibrating city. Public transportation goes everywhere and makes getting around very easy. The city has undergone various developmental efforts and has become a more livable city, particularly for families. From low cost of living to cheap housing, Onitsha got it all for you.

7. Ile Ife

Ile Ife (2)

Faculty of Medicine, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife,

Photo Source: T. Obi on Flickr

Ile Ife has many cultural sights and offer residents affordability of many things. Situated in Osun State, Ife is home to one of Africa’s largest ethnolinguistic groups and the famous the Natural History Museum of Nigeria and the Obafemi Awolowo University. The cost of living is cheap; abundant food and a sense of adventure is very widespread in the town. It is an entertaining place to call home and its becoming increasingly affluent with many successful businesses. The city is truly an amazing place to live, especially for young families.

8. Zaria

Zaria Road

Road leading to Zaria

Photo Source: Pjotter05 on Flickr

Zaria was formerly known as Zazzau, one city in the Northern Nigeria that is experiencing relative peace with no fear hanging in the air. It is the home of the largest university in Nigeria, Ahmadu Bello University and home to other famous schools in Nigeria. It is quiet and has lots of attractions sites like the Queen Amina Wall and other places. The cost of living in Zaria is very low. Goods and services are relatively affordable and transportation is cheap too. The city is an ideal place to live; the residents are rewarded with a interesting culture and low prices on everything they want.

9. Makurdi



Photo Source: Pjotter05 on Flickr

Makurdi ‘s motto is ‘The Food Basket Of The Nation’, it is the capital of Benue and unlike most capital cities that are very expensive to live in, Makurdi cuts a clear line in being an affordable place to reside. Tourism is a rapidly growing part of the local economy, the infrastructure is well developed and residents get overall satisfaction as life in Makurdi is simpler than in other major cities. The cost of living is low and buying a property (Land or house) is very easy.

10. Abeokuta


Olumo Rock & Abeokuta City

Photo Source: jbdodane on Flickr

Abeokuta is the capital of Ogun State and a vibrant city merged with cosmopolitan vibes.  The city offers low cost of living, cheap housing, quality educational facilities and modern amenities. Living in Abeokuta is reasonable and diverse. Enjoy cheap amazing foods, stellar public transportation and excellent health care facilities. You can live like a king in Abeokuta, make more, spend less and save more.

If you live in any of these cities, kindly share your experience with us in the comment below.


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Our Readers Comments

  1. ibadan and abeokuta is the best place to live things are very cheap

  2. Ibadan might be taken to be one of the cheapest cities as reported here in terms of transportation but not in food or accommodation for those who has created a better standard of living for themselves . Though peacefull if you don’t go beyond your bound. Preferring, lying, cheating and stealing is like a culture in the city, as well as laziness among the men and women folks that is why cheap adultery is rampant. Business opportunities is at zero level. Not even from the government secretariat compared with neighboring states. I lived in the city of Ibadan for five years up,till last quarter of last year and still very much in touch with the place so my report is very affirmative. Let’s be wary of misleading post. Please.

  3. Ibadan is one of the cheapest place to live in.

  4. interesting post. Makurdi is indeed a cheap and peaceful town.. Food is really affordable..and life is lived without rush or stress. oo..and there are lots of musically talented people in the city..for music lovers, u Wd not look far for a concert or club.!

  5. I live in Ibadan over 35 year and I can say that the city of Ibadan is now having a good shape of infrastructure, come to Ibadan and enjoy ur life

    • abakaliki is more cheaper than you can think of

  6. Agreed Ibadan and ilorin are cheap.Offa and its environs are also cheap in accommodation and food.Have you been to owode market at Offa?

  7. Ile-ife is a no go area o, except you want to live in a ramshackle house and or eat foods that will make you purge out your intestine. Cost of transportation is cheap but the exploitation is too much, everybody in ife wants to use the best of cars… In this life on mine I’ve seen the most expensive cars in ife, they are everywhere like okadas ranging from R royse_porche(both car and jeep)_Bently_ just name dem. House rent is killing, a self contain which is more like a room with other divisions cropped out of it is nothing less dan 120k. You want to rent a two bedroom flat, u don buy land else where. Goto the market with 3k, you can never cook a reasonable soup. All the same, its a place where if you have your money, succeeding in your business as far as you’re not dubious isn’t a problem, in less than a year,Gbam!! You don buy ride, in a year,you don go buy land for ibadan, b4 d end of the second year, iyanu ti se le. But if you’re not a hustler, no come ife o. And when u arrive Na single room of @ least 40k you go first rent and share two toilet and bathrooms with about 20 rooms. God help you, each room has d minimum of about 2 people makes 40 of you sharing. but if you hustle aright b4 d next rent, you don dey self contain. Na fact o. LOL!!!. 4 me I think ibadan is d coolest for those in the SOUTH-WEST. God job oga

  8. emanated from Ibadan but staying and working in lagos…to say nothing but truth Ibadan is the best place to live in term of everything including politically inclined…i’m thinking of going back home.

  9. I agreed with you on Ibadan, Ile-Ife and Ilorin. They are very cheap and nice place to live. You can even buy bread in Ilorin as low as #30.

  10. I agreed with you on Ibadan, Ile-Ife and Ilorin. They are very cheap and nice places to live. You can even buy bread in Ilorin as low as #30.

  11. the fact dat u mention makurdi in ur article, am force nt 2 Believing any of dat story


  12. No body is talking abt Awka.

  13. Makurdi is indeed one of the cheapest places to leave in Nigeria but the famous city of Gboko is far more cheaper and safer than all.

  14. Eko for sure joor

  15. Ibadan is the best

  16. 4 me Enugu is the cheapest place i have seen, very very cheap,food everywhere as cheap as penut ,security fantastic nothing u want u will not see

  17. For me akure is cheap and very much indeed housing, food stuff and boy compared to other cities the light is above average plus its peaceful and the people are so so friendly I love Akure …and before you think am repping it because am from the south west am not am from the south east !!

  18. In fact:i was born in ibadan buh grew up in Abeokuta:buh im presently schooling in Unilag….in fact: ibdn is d best among d cities aforementioned…in fact:dia r just litu differnces btw ibdn nd Lagos…After my Education::its ibdn m coming 2 settle down…Good research…..

  19. Come to badagry lagos you will be suprised that living is cheaper and best.food,housing,and many more…

    • Hi Arishekola,

      I love Badagry too!

  20. I can’t believe Aba and Onitsha figure in this list. There is no way they’d rank as one of the cheapest towns to live in. What happened to Enugu, Akure, Ado Ekiti, Jos? was the research limited to the southern part of the country? If it is then state it. I can go on and on about Northern towns where is utterly cheap to reside.

    • True Paul … what happened to …, Jos? I lived in Jos for God knows how, it is cheap and affordable. if not for insurgences, it would have been a haven for many… God bless Nigeria.

    • Lol Ekiti ain’t cheap for shit!

  21. Who ever made the choice of the image to all town most insane to think that Zaria has no better location than the trash you people used

    • Hi Yunus,

      We would be glad if you could send us an image of your Zaria to us. Please send it to info@travelstart.com.ng. Thanks.

  22. Gombe is the cheapest city to stay in Nigeria

  23. see how your project zaria?????????

  24. Zaria! Lol.. I don die!!! If this isn’t actually how beautiful Zaria looks, I think this picture can automatically dissuade anyone from even stepping his foot on Zaria…lwkmd

  25. every body thinks his town is the cheapest.

  26. I am happy to come your blog . it’s very helpful for visitor

  27. I am happy to come your blog . it’s very helpful for visitor learn more about me

  28. Am thinking of startin a new life in one of di$ citys in nigeria but i dont know the city dat wil suit me in terms of business, nd accomodation.

    • Hi Genesis, I think It really depends on the kind of business you want to do.

    • Nice Research, I think this research is based on major cities and not towns, I can see people mentioning towns. City and Town are two different things. Ibadan is a very cool place to relocate aside Lagos or Abuja. It’s close to Lagos, Abeokuta, Oshogbo. I know several people working in Lagos and do come from Ibadan daily. In Ibadan it depends on which part of Ibadan you want to stay and what kind of apartment. Transport is very cheap, feeding is cheap too if you don’t eat out (If you make your food yourself). Ibadan people are accomodating, it’s in there eulogy “Ibadan ti o gba onile to gba lejo”. Visitors are accepted in Ibadan in literal meaning. Life style is excellent and a good place to do business.

  29. Ibadan is really cheap in terms of Food, transportation and House rents, but the business growth is very slow, as the city is filled with professionals like teachers, doctors e.t.c and so many retirees , its not a good place for a young vibrant person to start a life

  30. Ikot Ekpene is the cheapest place to live…come to think of it,ikot ekpene is cheap in terms of accomodation,transportation,food supply etc. and even the business sector is encouraging

  31. Nice post.. but the first picture you posted is actually Uyo not ikot ekpene. Actually the cheapest and best place to live in Akwaibom is Ikot Abasi. Houses are cheap and there is light because of the power station. Light is a big deal. I have stayed in Uyo, no light.

  32. Nice Comments From Everyone Down Here, I’m Thinking Of Relocating From Owerri Because Of The Cost Of Living. I’m Sill Young Just Looking For A Cheap Environment To Start A Living

  33. Thanks for this information I love uyo but there’s no light. Nobody talked about ilorin.

  34. Hi everyone. I am Elite, am currently in Lagos. But I plan to relocate to any relatively peaceful and affordable city, preferably down south-east.
    I am not bouyant financially(so may not have resources to afford luxury; fat rents) but desire to have a start over and an opprtunity to work and earn my way up. So does anyone have a place in mind, for a young, willing hardworking youth?

  35. Please can somebody give more insights about gboko

  36. Please can anyone give me more information about Onitsha or Aba… Bcos i love to settle down in one of the city.

  37. Makurdi cheap! Then you have not lived in a cheap town. Everything is expensive here they even want to exploit you when it comes to what they farm like mangoes etc. For people who live in places like Lagos they will say Makurdi is cheap but if you have lived in Jos, Akure,Ibadan,Abeokuta you wont say that. Another thing to consider is social life if drinking and eatting meat doesnt bore you then you will love Makurdi but if you love hanging out in gardens shoping in fine super markets etc then forget Makurdi. I moved into this town four years ago and i will give anything to move out

  38. Please leave your comment…What of OGOJA, Just try and see.

  39. What Of OGOJA? Just Try and see.

  40. Abeokuta is one of the best place to live. you can only get cheap accommodation and cheap things at non student location. I lived in Abeokuta for 2yrs studying at Mapoly. Try Abeokuta you will enjoy it

  41. What are the businesses that are IDEAL to run in Ilorin ?

  42. I believe abeokuta still remain d cheapest cities in nigeria,a room in some place is just #1000 per month,#100 food is ok for u etc

  43. Ilorin is the best

  44. Zaria is also a very cheap and affordable place to leave, its just quite unfortunate with the recent killing in the north. Zaria to me is one of the cheapest city to leave in thiz country, although av not being to some places mentioned here despite the face that i enjoy travelling. Have being to Aba, Onisha and Abeokuta, but i still rate Zaria ahead of thiz cities i just mentioned. In terms of cost of leaving Zaria is cool.
    Buddiepimpy Says So.

  45. I wish to relocate out to Lagos because am tired of the crazy traffic, exorbitant house rent, high cost of living and doing business, which is actually what brought me here. But from the looks of things, the information in this article is not reliable and beside the comments made are based on opinions and not fact. And to make matters worst majority of those that commented are not presently living in this states.

  46. i bet u try ikom…. a land with great opportunity to thrive, low cost of commodities cheap transportation #a drop is #50.. loving and caring, ikom have a very wide market, they is everything need u can find it they… and in case you don’t know ikom got the highest swag compare to d rest of other local Government in Cross River State…

  47. Compared to Lagos and Abuja the listed cities are cheap but not as cheap as listed, in abeokuta you can’t buy food for 100 naira and be satisfied (except you no want chop meat).bread for 30 naira is joke. And 1000 naira house is not convenient at all(no water system).ibadan is not cheap as much as you think a plot of land can go as high as 40million naira (bodija)

  48. Abeokuta comprises of Egba, Owu and Yewa who are sorrounded by large size of land which can be used for the cultivation, rearing and feeds production.
    Therefore, it should awake and be more productive than Ikpot Ekpene because it has all these materials to compete and perform more.

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