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. Thanks for this information but non south south cities were mention, cities like warri, auchi, asaba, calabar, benin city, PH and yenogoa except ikot ekpene and ikom. That means i should relocate to west or north

    • Calabar, ph and yenagoa are definitely expensive to live in compared to the cities in the list. Maybe warri and asaba may be cheaper though

    • Ikot Ekpene and Ikom are all in South-South.

  2. Sambisa forest too… :-D… you have weapons that you can use to protect yourself. The major sport in the area is archery and grenade throwing. There are tourist guides that can help you navigate it, cheerfully… :-D

    • @Philip…@least you have plenty of chibok girls and kidnapped fulani women for your luxury @ sambisa forest!!! Pls dont forget a bullet on your prick by shekau everytime you’re given the privilege to enjoy it! you’re welcome to the sambisa nightmare!

  3. I know of ilorin, very cheap to live but you have forgotten ekiti, the most peaceful & costless city in Nigeria . I pick Ilorin & Ekiti

  4. What of Ekiti state capital ? ADO. EKITI

  5. I agree with your ratings. Ilorin is unbelievably cheap , mordernised and peaceful , the last timeI was there 2yrs ago ,you can still board a taxi at N50, N100 if you can negotiate. Ikom is fantastic. You can your pounded yam in aboudance. Its close to the Ranch and Mfum border .life is lived fully without much stress.

    • You are talking of Ado of 2 years ago, Presently in Ibadan, you can still board a taxi as low as 20 Naira.

    • @olu abiola,u are suprised 2 get 50 naira cab in ilorin when u can stil get 20naira cab in ibadan,yes,i stay in both cities.

  6. I share same opinion with Sule,not because I’m from Kano the fact remains that,it is the cheapest city to live in comparison to the cities you have mentioned.This can be testified from the people that come to Kano from other sources.If you ask any of such persons,S/he tells you the truth,it is better than all these cities that have been pronounced in terms of cheaper life,hospitality,to mention but a few.

    • Kano my foot, go to Kano and get bombed, buhahahaha

    • Who wona get himself bombed to shreds? Abi na amputation? lol

  7. Great post! I actually scrolled past the link on my fb timeline but I asked myself “How much do you REALLY know about your beloved naija?” and here I am. Nice work.

    I’ve lived in Ibadan and Aba. The assessment of Ib is spot on…as for Aba, hmmm…that city is just TOO dirty!!! Chai! Plus the power situation is comatose (worse than the general national average I must say)…we basically lived on the gen set all through my stay.

    Hope to get to visit more Nigerian cities…and I’ll have you guys to thank for the inspiration.

  8. I have lived in ikom, a lovely place to live. Abeokuta is a wonderful place to live, cheap items and transportation compared to akure. Aba and onitsha are expensive ooo

  9. Lafia is quite cheap in all ramifications with conducive business enviroment

  10. Mangu is one among the towns in Nigeria that the cost of living is not only cheap, but free. Mangu a town in Plateau state, situated along Jos Pankshin road. It has a lots of hospitality industry, such as; Kerang volcanic mountain (home of popular Swan Water), Panyam fish farm, Mission compound Gindiri. Mangu has the biggest cereal and vegetable crops market in the North. And the most important of all, Mangu is peaceful.

  11. Where did u put ogbomoso? it is a peaceful place 2 live, wt very low cost of living. Cheap food stuff & accomodation. chai! it ws jst an amazing place 2 live.

  12. Beautiful post. Your observations are correct. I’ve lived in Kano, Zaria, Ife, Aba; and paid saveral visits to most of the other cities mentioned. @ Ikhide, Aba was dirty then, things have changed in that regard now. @ Kusimo, Aba is very cheap to live in, both before and now. Perhaps you’ve not heard the slangs that says “if you bend down, you go see Aba” May be you never bend my dear. If taking N50 or N100 fare is cheap, according to Olu, then may I remind you that there are distances you still pay N20 in Aba. Try bend.

  13. You try but there are many cities in Rivers state that you failed to mentioned, cities like Ahoada, Omoku, Bori,these cities are relatively cheap too

    • He choose only 10 and in no particular order. If he had chosen, say, 20 cities or towns, probably, the ones you mentioned could be among also. If he makes it 50, many more would be there.

  14. Try Akure for size, as the sun shines a thrillion glittering rays on a newly beautified tourists’ cities of Ondo state, the cheap cost of living makes it too inviting to resist

  15. Aba is 9ice, bt dey ave 2 kip dat place clean always. Dat d only biggest market in west african.

  16. Very good info for travellers and businessmen

  17. Very good Info. Quite interesting.

  18. my dear accommodation in Makurdi is a problem

  19. I quite agree with the information. I knew Ilorin must be there. I thought to myself that if Ilorin is not in the list then I cannot take the information as a product of a good research.

  20. Indeed Makurdi is a cheap city. If you want to live long and have huge savings, consider makurdi.

  21. nig is our sweet home,but if you want to live in a cheapest place go to the north,if not because of the in security & terrorist that have become problem to us,the north is the best place to stay than anywere in nig

  22. Akure is a nice place to reside, there is security for your life and properties

  23. Thanks for this refreshing write-up. Your first mention is Ikot Ekpene, however the picture you posted is within the heart of Uyo. It’s Ikot Ekpene road within Uyo city.

  24. Thank you for this information,
    Ikot Ekpene
    Aba
    Ibadan
    Ikom
    Ilorin
    Onitsha
    Ile-Ife
    Zaria
    Makurdi
    Abeokuta
    I agreed that is the main reason why I have my business at both Ibadan and Akure. I would like to include another 10 cities making 20 cheaper and peaceful please, such as:
    Akure
    Calabar,
    Asaba
    Osogbo
    Benin
    Yola
    Ondo city
    Minna
    Lokoja
    Ado-Ekiti

    The Iboland is very expensive, because their land is too small for their population, a plot of land in remote areas is N1 million.
    A plot of land in Yorubaland can be N500,000 in suburb of their cities, but it expensive in GRA or very good areas.

    Many thanks.

  25. which of this cities has good company which can employed the poor people here in nigeria

  26. i really need to know them ok one after the other

  27. Ugep should be on top of the list! Pls anyone here should comfirm it.

  28. Pls don’t even mention makurdi in anything. …. dat place is 50 Naira bus to the sun. Dat place is too hut, n accommodation is bad…

  29. The cheapest places to live in naija are:Maiduguri,Yobe and Adamawa.

  30. Adamwa,Yobe and Maiduguri the best cities!

  31. Having lived both in Ibadan and Abeokuta respectively.. I can say both are relatively cheap to say. But if you want a Lagos kind of lifestyle in terms of outings, social gatehering and fun. Ibadan is your best bet as its almost like living in Lagos without the stress and high standard of living.

    • In fact:yu r 100% correct….

  32. am not too sure about onitsa but am very sure of abeokuta and zaira.

  33. Wonderful research,but u only mentioned few cities in d north.There are many towns with lower cost of leaving.

  34. Mr Celeb, are u sure u’ve stayed in Lokoja be4? If u have u’ll knw it’s quite expensive 2live dere ranging frm accomodation 2 food stuff.

  35. Ibadan is vry ok and ilorin.

  36. as for me I don’t think I can leave elsewhere Dan IB n overseas even going to overseas is for work.IB is a place to start life u can’t leave small in lag I wonder y some rich man wasting money buying of 10m in Lagos yl some less privilege are out there in short IB is a good place

  37. I agree totally with the writer as I have lived, schooled or have had to visit some of the above mentioned places. Ilorin is quite cheap and peaceful compared to the Lagos I now lived. of a truth I am beginning to contemplate relocating

  38. Whn we talk of cheap,affordable,peaceful n cities 2 reside due 2 his affordability,we shuldnt mension places like d North such as Kano n Platu,cos there is no peace there n since there is no peace,is not affordable. Rivers,bayelsa very expnsiv. U can mension Benin,warri.asaba in d south n I wil beliv. Pls d North is a No go area. Sambisa forest is cheap 2 wit free chibok gals n free foods from…..

  39. Yea! You can live like a king in Abeokuta, i hav been to Abeokuta, ibadan, ife and i’m currently @ ilorin, evrytin in Abeokuta is so cheap, the highest transport fare in Abeokuta is #50 no matter ur destination and u dnt hav to run after bus unlike ibadan. Apart frm problem of cultism, ilorin is da home of hospitality, ile ife is cool also but who knws when da modakeke issue will rise again

  40. If you want a cheap and relatively developed area in the NigerDelta, then consider Omoku and Ahoada in Rivers State.

  41. Very good work.I once lived in Onitsha.It is an affordable place to live.You still have a 3 bedroom flat for N8k monthly.A drop still go for N20.Aba is also cheap.

  42. Where is jos plateau state, the writer did nt move round to see hw cheap the north is, he just base his research on the south n east, if nt bcos of the insecurity, northern cities are they cheapest

    • Infact, 70% of northern cities are cheap living in. But you know, no one wants to die young, or get blown into shreds. The security challenges makes it expensive.

  43. Really informative post and I’ve got to admit I wasn’t interested at first. Anyways, Ibadan, yaay! The city is like Lagos minus all the rigors. Awesome night life, great and affordable cost of living and foods aplenty. I know Ilorin is cool too though and I hope I’l get to explore Abeokuta soon enough. Someday, I’l check out most of those adorable Eastern cities. I’m sorry, but the North do not appeal to me.

  44. I’ve visited almost all the places mentioned,but Ibadan is the most ideal,modern facilities,cheaper things & a safe environment with the right population.

  45. I served in Ibadan, trust me I want to go back to Ibadan. Its cheap and easy to move around. Low cost and housing and transportation. Ibadan is the place to be

  46. What of lokoja, what will you say about that?

  47. You forgot Enugu,the cheapest and safest city

    • Enugu is modern and beautiful. Not so cheap, but relatively cheap, when compared to other cities of it’s standard.

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