Most Expensive States in Nigeria (Cost of Living)

In this post we have decided to look into the subject of the most expensive states in the country based on the cost of living in these states. And we have drilled it down to factors like cost of transportation, housing, food, clothing and personal care.

Most Expensive States in Nigeria to Live In

Generally, when we consider the most expensive states, it is in reference to the state capital. So, if you’re probably living in the outskirts of any of these states, these expenses may not necessarily apply to you.


Lagos is one of the most expensive states to live in and there are many reasons why this is true. For example, the state is the commercial hub of the country attracting many top-notch organizations hence this has led to massive development in the state and consequently a higher cost of living.

The cost of living in Lagos ranks 461st out of 526 cities in the world and the cost of living index of 32.67.

The cost of a 1-bedroom apartment in prominent parts of Lagos can cost between ₦300,000 – ₦500,000. outside of these areas, the cost is between ₦150,000.00 -₦300,000.00

On the other hand, a 3-bedroom apartment in prominent areas like Ikeja, Yaba, Surulere, Victoria Island and Lekki cost between ₦700,000.00 – ₦1,500,000.00. Outside of these centers, you should find a suitable apartment (3 bedrooms) that cost between ₦350,000 – ₦700,000.

It is often said that rent is the major cost in Lagos. Often times, residents that can’t afford to live in the central parts of Lagos usually resort to the outskirts which come at a cheaper cost but may be farther away from their place of work.

Overall, the influx of people in Lagos does not make the city a cheap one to live in. From transport fares to housing, to basic food items, the overall cost of living in Lagos cannot be considered cheap.


Abuja is the political capital of the country and the nation’s powerhouse hence it is home to most of the head offices of different firms, businesses, multinational firms, hotels, government establishments, and parastatals.

The city is organized and well-planned with good roads. Also. Abuja has a very high cost of living making it one of the most expensive cities in Nigeria.

A 1 bedroom apartment in the central locations in Abuja cost between ₦50,000 to ₦250,000. Outside of these areas, you can find a 1 bedroom apartment between ₦25,000 and ₦150,000

On the other hand, a 2 or 3 bedroom apartment cost as low as ₦100,000 and as high as ₦1,000,000.

From housing to basic food items, Abuja can be a lot to take in if you don’t have a fat source of income but without a doubt, this city is one of the most beautiful cities to live in Nigeria.

The transportation cost in Abuja also contributes to the cost as the means of transport are mainly cabs or taxi.

However, people that work in Abuja have found a way around some of these high cost by living in the outskirts of the city which is cheaper and commuting to work daily from their homes.


Port Harcourt is known as the treasure base of the country as it is one of the oil producing states. The expensive part of Rivers state is Port Harcourt which is a large industrial area and having quite a number of multinational firms, and businesses related to the petroleum industry. This probably explains why the state is one of the expensive states in the country.

Port Harcourt has a high number of upper and middle-class residents from the oil sector and this tends to drive up the cost of housing, feeding, schooling and transportation.

As expected, the cost of accommodation depends on the area of the state the house is located. Locations around the Government House in Port Harcourt and the Trans Amadi area are quite expensive. The cost of renting a duplex in this area falls between ₦700,000 and ₦2,000,000.

You’ll probably find a cheaper duplex if you decide to look beyond this area.

In term of transportation, it really makes more sense to move around in your private car if you stay in Port Harcourt. But if you don’t have a car, you have the option of boarding a bus, tricycle or taking a cab. The cost of cabs range between 700 and 2000 depending on where you’re going.


Imo state is another expensive place to live particularly Owerri, the capital of the state Imo state. Owerri is one of the commercial centers of the south-eastern part of Nigeria. Generally, accommodation and hotels are not cheap compared to other parts of the east like Aba.

Interestingly, Owerri hasn’t always been expensive but with the boost in tourist activities and the increasing number of tertiary institutions, the state has grown to become expensive. Some of the tourist centres in Imo include the Nekede zoo, Oguta lake, National Musuem, Mbari Cultural and Art Centre and many more. Also, the state is known for some special dishes like Ofe Owerri, Ofe Nsala, Ukwu Mango and Ofe Ugba.

The tertiary institution include the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State University, and the Polytechnics in Nekede and Oko.

The transformation taking place here is massive and fast, leaving visitors to get lost in its beauty and neatness. Although the cost of living here is expensive, it cannot be compared to cities like Abuja and Lagos.

Cross River

The part of Cross River that is expensive is Calabar, the capital city. The city is a seaport city and as a result of tourist attractions and carnivals, it has consistently experienced an influx of people, leading to significant rise in the cost of living. The tourist attractions in Calabar include the Obudu Cattle Ranch and Tinapa resort. Also, the city has a very friendly weather and the Christmas carnival in Calabar tends to attract a large gathering of people from different parts of the world.

Overall, Calabar is a beautiful city to live in but this comes at a price in terms of housing, feeding as well as the cost of other utilities.