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

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)

Ibadan

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

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

Onitsha

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

Makurdi

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

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. I have been to all the places you mentioned and agree with your assessment of it all except for Abeokuta where i live presently. You may need to reconduct your research on the cost of living and you will realise that it is on the high side without any justification for it. Food and food items are very costly there.

  2. Truly Ilorin is cheap to live in, as in very cheap in terms of renting an apartment, good schools and good number of high institutions. Though job opportunities are very few but a thriving place for businesses in case you are an entrepreneur.

    • The main cause of this is the proximity of Abeokuta to Lagos {an expensive city }

  3. any info about Owerri IMO state

  4. Plz is there any info about Lokoja or Ajaokuta?

    • Living in Ajaokuta is relatively cheap, but Life in Lokoja is a little expensive as food is not cheap, but housing and transportation is not all that expensive, but at least much more cheaper than life in Lagos.

  5. Among all,i well know about the yoruba cities of ibadan,ilorin and abeokuta,especially the latest where the cost of living is very low,enjoy good electricity and education .

  6. Pls, am considering ikot ekpene, ibadan and onisha. Though i find it hard to believe wht u said abt aba, u forgot to mention d dirtiness of aba, n of cos d bad roads. So pls, i need more info on dis 3 cities i mentioned earlier

  7. Thank you for this good work you are doing. Please keep it going. I hope you realise that this is one of the very few positive things happening in journalism and people information in Nigeria. Other things we read are so negative, often so false and fear- instilling in readers in a way that keep them from growing and enjoying the great gifts God has given to Nigeria.
    Kindly write more on how the people can be encouraged to make moves that will help them take advantages such as this while actions of local, state and national leaders that tend to stand in the way of progress in this direction get exposed.
    Again, thank you and well done.

  8. Why not mentioned kano? With no any doubt kano is the cheapest city in nigeria.No cost for place to reside,find food at low price.Research your analysis.

    • Kano…. yeah, I think they are listing the more peaceful places to stay o.

  9. You have aptly described Abeokuta. One can live like a King within little income. It would amaze you how many people who work in Lagos are resident in Abeokuta. Serene yet alive, happy people who know how to relax. One doesn’t have to move far to get anything.
    Current of development and expansion however may affect accommodation costs within the centre

  10. Yes,Abeokuta is cheap to live in,peaceful and when it comes to transportation, its so easy, just stand in front of your house and a cab will stop in front of you to know where you going and if your house is not close to the road, just a few steps will do. But Abeokuta is not an industrial place,it is a place for small and medium scale enterprises.

  11. God List. I would have added Calabar to the List too.

  12. Why is Lokoja very very expensive despite the fact that it is a civil servant state? The cost of living in Lokoja is unbelievably outrageous and must urgently be arrested in order to attract investors. We hope the PDP Government is listening.

  13. Yes ,Abeokuta is very cheap to live,there is no stress about going around., and very peacefull

  14. Have you been to Katsina? It’s peaceful, calm, and very affordable.

  15. Only jobs issue,i stay in ilorin.atleast i rented a two bedroom flat for 100k,try that in lag.u hear winds

  16. Dear Kemi, It’s a good job you’re doing out there, and I will like to be a contributor. Please, mail your mail so I can linke you up on linked-in. Thanks.

  17. i quite agree with you except for ile-ife, is very boring to live in, i ll rather call it a town not a city

  18. Good report on Makurdi city. Here we live in peace and invite well-meaning Nigerians and foreigners to come and invest here.

  19. I think Ibadan is one of the cheapest place to live, u can actually rent a 3 bedroom flat for 100k, Food is cheap, transport is more or less free and so on

    • Which part of ibadan is dt, u’re joking, a 3 bedroom can cost as much as 500k, where i live in oluyole estate is like 300k.

  20. Indeed, Ikom and Ibadan are affordable to live in, they are also peaceful and lively. Ikom is also hospitable with tourist sites, good terrain and good road network. They also have lot of cocoa production which you can venture into as a lucrative business.

  21. welldone sir/ma. you are doing a great job

  22. Someone just mentioned Kano. ok. It’s cheap but… ‘what shall it profit a man to get it cheap and get B****d. Abakaliki cheap pass.

  23. Jos is d cheapest city in Nigeria

  24. what of osogbo town i thought is very cheap to live in osogbo,osun state.

  25. I feel you, cost of living in Ibadan is relatively low and the city is quite enjoyable and expanding daily… I use to dream of living in Abj but now I would not trade IB city for it except of course the job offer is extremely juicy!!!

  26. Nice Job here, Keep it up…
    Being positive is a choice but necessity, your write-up definitely promoting the goods and positivity of our dear country….THUMB UP

  27. Why not add Owerri, i think it has all the attributes menioned here to detemine a cheap place to live including peaceful atmosphere.

    • Do not mention Owerri again because everything in owerri is very expensive. Accomodation,transportation and even feeding. There is no job opportunity in owerri except hotel

  28. This post is so refreshing and beautiful, and the post about Katsina is true.It is a quiet and affordable place. We need to know more about our country and promote tourism within.

  29. Ilorin is the most cheapest of all keep it up

  30. Abeokuta is so so true..

  31. there is a mistake here Ibadan suposs to be number one

  32. is not all about cheap things but how much do you make at end of the day

  33. if jos is excluded in this work of yours,it might prove that your research was not well done.i suggest a better for the sake of all.

  34. Wow! I love this wonderful writeups,keep it up.This is actually what many of us have been longing to read online,educative and inspiring message instead of the mind corrupting ones..I must say,you’ve really done a great job.Ride on!

  35. Good writeup/well resarched reside in egba and every thing you wrote are true.Know some folks that work in Lagos and reside in egba/ibadan is ok also have something doing there also with#1.500 goes to ibadan to and fro

  36. Abeokuta is affordable,except only that some self-centered house owners has hiked d price of house(rent) in some areas closer to the higher institutions of learning in the city.They know students will have no choice cos they won’t wanna live far away from their schs.However it is still far more affordable,compared to Lag & Abj.Transportation there is fantastic,there are several markets that caters for food @ amazing prices,porche schools & even government owned schools that are up to standard,healthcare,electricity,u just name it!Moreover,Egba People knows their onion when it come to having fun,day or night.There are a number of fun -spots/hang-outs in a comfortable & secure enviroments,and won’t tear ur pocket some will even give lagos a hot chase!

  37. Abeokuta is affordable,except only that some self-centered house owners has hiked d price of house(rent) in some areas closer to the higher institutions of learning in the city.They know students will have no choice cos they won’t wanna live far away from their schs.However it is still far more affordable,compared to Lag & Abj.Transportation there is fantastic,there are several markets that caters for food @ amazing prices,porche schools & even government owned schools that are up to standard,healthcare,electricity,u just name it!Moreover,Egba People knows their onion when it come to having fun,day or night.There are a number of fun -spots/hang-outs in a comfortable & secure enviroments,and won’t tear ur pocket ,some will even give those of lagos a hot chase!

  38. I lived in Ife for basically all my life before I moved to the US and I love love the town!!! Its a good place for the family, studying etc Electricity is also very good in most places.

  39. I dont believe with you people, becouse kano is the cheapest city in nigeria because of the following reason:-
    1. House rent 1000 naira per month. 2. Plate of food with meat N100. 3. Pure water N5 4. Transportation within the city N50 / N100.

  40. very Objective.

  41. I quite agree with the inclusion of Ibadan, but one thing i’m not sure of is the possibility of job avalanche.

  42. Well I don’t know about other places, but IB is a great place to be. Noon compare to lag sha !

  43. I live in Aba.Aba is truly affordable and relatively peaceful.Just come with a pair of rainboot to help you through the muddy roads;prepare your mind to drink borehole water because the water scheme is simply non-existent.Pls don’t forget to come with ‘I better pass my neighbour’,otherwise…..

  44. Owerri is expensive to live in. a good two bedroom flat goes between N240K to N360K. transportation is high, etc

  45. Why is Minna, Niger state not on your list researcher?

  46. I quite believe wit ur list,but will like to know more abt Ikom and Ikotekpene

  47. What of katsina

  48. Did U consider Jalingo, B/Kebbi, Sokoto, Gusau, Dutse, Gombe and Komtagora ? They‘re all pretty cheap to live in.

  49. Gud work i think with everything you have said,Abeokuta is the most beneficiary place to stay with low cost of living and affordable..why will you mention a northern state when you know living in any northern state right now is suicide

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