April 22, 2024 1:08 am

7 (Seven) Regions With the Highest Cost of Living in Southeast Nigeria


One of Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones, the South East (sometimes hyphenated as the South-East), represents the country’s inland southeast both geographically and politically. 


Five states make up this region: Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo. 


Despite being the smallest geographical region, Nigeria’s economy largely benefits from the South East’s oil and natural gas reserves as well as its expanding industrialized sector. 


22 million people live in the region, which accounts for nearly 10% of the nation’s total population. 


The two most populated cities in Nigeria are Aba and Enugu, which are also the tenth and fourteenth most populous cities overall. 


Other significant cities in the southeast include Onitsha, Umuahia, Owerri, Nnewi, Awka, and Abakaliki (listed in order of population).


With more than twenty million residents, the zone has 85 local governments. 

There are around eleven commercial cities in the zone. In addition to agriculture, these are the main economic activities. 


The area is also referred to as a commercial and trading zone because it is home to small and medium-sized indigenous businesses that provide goods and services. 


Yam, cassava, rice, cocoyam, etc. are the primary agricultural products of the region. 


Crude oil, natural gas, bauxite, iron ore, sand and stone, lignite, clay, coal, tin, and columbite are among the natural resources and solid minerals found in the region.


Living in Southeast Nigeria can be very accommodating or extra cost demanding depending on the State or City you live in.


Generally, living in Southeast is not too cost demanding but not in every of its City.

Some cities in Southeast have very high cost of living and we will be listing seven with the highest cost of living.


This doesn’t mean the cities are not good or great, it means they’re urban and well developed and that skyrockets the cost of living in any place or region at all.


But, In this article, we’ve chosen to examine the topic of the most costly cities in the country’s southeast based on their cost of living. 


We have narrowed it down to elements like the price of accommodation, food, clothing, and personal care as well as transportation.




Owerri, Imo State


The state of Imo has Owerri as its capital. 

One of the commercial hubs in the southeast of Nigeria is Owerri. 


In general, lodging and motels are more expensive than they are in other eastern cities like Aba.


Oddly, Owerri hasn’t always been expensive, but with the growth of academic institutions and the increase in tourist activity, the city has become more pricey. 


The Nekede Ozo, Oguta Lake, National Museum, Mbari Cultural and Art Centre, and many others are just a few of the city’s tourist attractions. 


Ofe Owerri, Ofe Nsala, Ukwu Mango, and Ofe Ugba are just a few of the unique foods that are famous in the city.


The Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State University, and the polytechnics in Nekede and Oko are among the postsecondary institutions.


Visitors can become lost in its beauty and orderliness because of how quickly and dramatically the area is changing. 


Despite the fact that living costs here are high, they are not comparable to those in places like Abuja and Lagos.




Aba, Abia State


The capital of Abia State and located in the southeast of Nigeria is the city of Aba which has a very high cost of living based on verified statistics. 


Aba is a significant urban area and a key commercial hub in a region that is surrounded by minor towns and villages. 


The Ngwa are the native inhabitants of Aba. 

Aba, the most populous city in South Eastern Nigeria, is well recognized for its artisans. 


A 2016 estimate put the population of Aba at 2,534,265. “God’s own State” is the motto of the state. 


A product bearing the label “Made in Aba,” also known as “Aba Made,” denotes that it was entirely designed, created, and packaged in Aba, particularly when it comes to the design, fashion, food, manufacturing, craftsmanship, and engineering sectors.


Due to Aba’s absence of a regular garbage disposal system, rubbish from the numerous markets that dot the city accumulates in the streets, which causes a number of challenges with waste management. 


The Federal and State Governments have sought to address the waste management issues, but these efforts have not been successful. 

The economic center of eastern Nigeria is Aba. 


Well-known markets that provide the entire region with high-quality goods, supplies, cosmetics, etc. 

include Ariaria International Market, 

Ahia Ohuru (New Market), Eziukwu Road Market (Cemetery Market), 

Shopping Center (Ekeoha), etc.

Oil wells surround Aba, dividing it from the city of Port Harcourt. 


Aba is supplied with gas from the Imo River natural gas reservoir via a 30-kilometer (19-mile) pipeline. 


Along with pharmaceuticals, plastics, cement, and cosmetics, textiles and palm oil make up the majority of its economic output. 


With this commerce, the Ariaria International Market overtakes the Onitsha Main Market as Nigeria’s second-largest market.


The city is also home to a distillery, glass factory, and Heineken brewery. 

And lastly, it is well known for its crafts.


Aba is a very favorable environment for company or business development and has produced both millionaires and destitute individuals. 

How well you can take advantage of their high cost of living will determine that.




Enugu, Enugu State


In the South East of Nigeria, Enugu is one of the most expensive cities to live in.

Nigeria’s Enugu State is headquartered in Enugu. 

It’s in the southeast of Nigeria. 

8 million people called the city home, according to the Nigerian census of 2022. 


The two Igbo terms Én and gw, which translate to “hill top” and indicate the city’s mountainous topography, are the source of the name Enugu.

The urban market and the bottling industry are among the city’s industries. 


Enugu serves as one of the main shooting places for directors in the “Nollywood”-style Nigerian film industry. 

The Akanu Ibiam International Airport serves as Enugu’s primary airport.


Ogbete Market, Awkunanaw Market, and New Market are the three main urban marketplaces in Enugu. 

Garri is sold in large quantities in New Market.


Merchants from Onitsha, Aguleri, Abakaliki, and Aba, as well as merchants from other nearby cities, frequent Ogbete market. 

The Ogbete market also sells non-food items. 


A Mercedes assembly plant, as well as the production and manufacturing of machinery, pottery, tiles, steel, cement, asbestos, petroleum, and pharmaceuticals, are among the city’s other industries. 

Other industries include brewing and the bottling of soft drinks. 


For a while, Sosoliso Airlines’ headquarters were located on the grounds of Enugu’s Akanu Ibiam International Airport.


Following the civil war and the ensuing oil boom years, production of other significant cash crops like cocoa, groundnuts and groundnut oil, rubber, cassava, cotton and cotton seed, and lumber plummeted. 


As a result, Nigeria, which was previously a self-sufficient net exporter of agricultural goods, must import food, including the region known as Enugu State.




Onitsha, Anambra State


In the Southeast of Nigeria, Onitsha is one of the biggest cities in Africa and one of the most costly cities to live in.


In Nigeria’s Anambra State, the city of Onitsha may be found on the Niger River’s eastern bank. 


Onitsha, a large city, is renowned for its river port and for being a center for business, industry, and education. 


It is home to the Onitsha Main Market, which is the biggest market in Africa in terms of both geography and merchandise volume. 


Onitsha’s estimated city proper population in 2016 was 1,080,000. The expected population of Onitsha in early 2022 will be 1,553,000. 


Onitsha’s native Igbos are Igbo speakers of the Igbo language. 

Ndi Onicha is the name given to the Onitsha people.

Poor sanitary conditions are caused by incorrect disposal of solid waste in the city. 


The city’s high population and status as a commercial hub that attracts visitors from both within and outside of Nigeria are blamed for the city’s large quantity of waste production.


Through a joint venture, the state government convinced SABMiller to invest in Onitsha Brewery in 2012. 

The brewery began operations in August. 


It was the first significant investment made in Onitsha since Premier Breweries, the company that makes Premier Beer, started producing there in the early 1980s. 


It was revealed in January that improvements costing $110 million will quadruple the production of beer and malt beverages.




Awka, Anambra State


The state capital of Nigeria’s Anambra State is Awka. 

According to a 2018 estimate, there are more than 2.5 million people living in the city, up from an estimated 301,657 in the 2006 Nigerian census. 


The city is situated in the center of South East Nigeria’s highly populated Igbo heartland, 199.1 kilometers (123.7 miles) straight north of Port Harcourt.


Government is the main driver of Awka City’s economy because it is home to numerous state and federal agencies. 


The State Assembly, State Ministry of Health, State Ministry of Education, State Ministry of Lands, and State Ministry of Water are all located in Awka.

In the heart of the city is the Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS), a TV and radio station. 


There are several federal agencies operating in the city, including; 

the Federal Inland Revenue Service, 

the Federal Road Safety Commission, 

the Nigerian Immigration Service, 

the Corporate Affairs Commission, 

the Central Bank of Nigeria (which has a currency exchange facility in Awka), 

and the NTA Awka media station.


The construction of various new enterprises in recent years has significantly altered the appearance of Awka city. 


The headquarters of the partially state-owned Orient Petroleum Resources Ltd. are in Awka.


In order to accelerate the exploitation of the enormous crude oil deposits in the Anambra River basin, the business is prepared to build a refinery at Igbariam. 


Additionally, Juhel Nigeria built a parenteral medication manufacturing facility in the city.


Major Nigerian banks have established branches in the city, including; 

Access Bank, Bank PHB, 

Diamond Bank, Ecobank, 

FCMB, Fidelity Bank, 

First Bank, GTB, Intercontinental, 

Oceanic Bank, UBA, 

Union Bank, and Zenith Bank.




Nnewi, Anambra State


Southeast Nigeria’s Anambra State contains the economic and industrial city of Nnewi. 


It is situated in the southern region of Anambra State and is the second-largest and second-most populous city in the state. 


Nnewi North is the only local government area that makes up the metropolis of Nnewi. 

There are four quarters in Nnewi North: Otolo, Uruagu, Umudim, and Nnewichi. 


The first entirely Made-in-Nigeria motorcycle, the “NASENI M1,” was created in Nnewi, which also houses Nigeria’s first indigenous vehicle manufacturing facility.


As of 2005, there were around 2.5 million people living in the Nnewi Metropolitan Area and its satellite cities. 


Nnewi is larger than all other units in terms of dimensions because it was recorded in the 1953 census as the largest inland town in the Eastern states of Nigeria.


With an expected growth rate of 5.18% between 2020 and 2025, the city is predicted to have the twelfth-fastest growth on the African continent. 

Prominent Nigerians have ancestral ties to Nnewi.


As a city that is rapidly growing and a significant industrial and commercial centre in Africa, Nnewi sees a lot of financial activity, which makes it home to important banks and other financial organizations. 

The city and neighboring towns are scattered with industries. 


The region produces commercial quantities of palm oil, cosmetics, electric cables, books and stationery, motor and motorbike parts, and so on. 


Nkwo Nnewi markets, the largest spare parts market in Africa, 

Nwagbala market, 

Generator parts market, Electrical parts market, 

Nkwo Nnewi general market (Ime Afia), 

Nnewi Timber dealers market (ogbo osisi), Nwafor market, Eke Amaobi market, Eke Ochie market, 

Orie otube market, Okpuno Egbu market, etc. 

are some of its main trading centers.


The Nnewi people primarily rely on trade, production, and agriculture for their daily subsistence because these activities are their primary occupations. 


The majority of Ndi Nnewi (Nnewi people) cultivate their farm products in their mbb (home gardens) and ubi (out-station gardens) respectively. 

When these crops are harvested, they are often sold on the market. 


The majority of the top cash crops are groundnuts, melon, cotton, cocoa, rubber, maize, and others. 

A lot of food crops are also produced in huge amounts, including yams, cassava, cocoyams, breadfruit, and three-leaf yams.


The Ibeto Group of Companies, 

Cutix and ADswitch, Uru Industries Ltd, 

Omata Holdings Ltd, Cento Group of Companies, 

Coscharis of Companies Group, 

Innoson Group of Companies, 

Ebunso Nig. Ltd, John White Industries, Ejiamatu Group of Companies, 

Chicason Group, Louis Carter Group, etc. 

are just a few of the numerous significant indigenous manufacturing companies based in Nnewi. 


In the Nnewi cluster of spare parts factories, the vast majority of industrialists are also traders. 


Most of these traders produce one or more of the goods they specialize in selling as traders (typically automobile parts), and the majority of them started out by distributing their goods through their preexisting distribution networks. 

The industrial axis in eastern Nigeria includes Nnewi.


Through trade ties with exporters from Asia, the town has grown to incorporate an international character thanks to organizations with a strong cultural foundation that serve as sophisticated networks. 


The industrialization of the town of Nnewi has happened rather quickly over the past ten years. 

Over 20 medium- to large-scale industries have been developed in a range of industries. 


Residents of Nnewi have dominated the Nigerian motor-parts industry since 1970 by 80–90%. 

The main import and wholesale location for motor spare parts in Nigeria is Nkwo Nnewi Market. 


The Nnewi businessmen are employing thousands, supplying goods and services that are pertinent to the actual needs of Nigerian residents, and adapting foreign technology to local demands.


The city is home to the nation’s first auto manufacturing facility, and the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) created the nation’s first entirely Made-in-Nigeria motorcycle there. 


The Nnewi motorcycle spare parts market is well-known in West Africa. 


Additionally, a Chinese vehicle company and a businessman from Nnewi, Innocent Chukwuma, operate the country’s first auto plant.




Abakaliki, Ebonyi State


The state capital of Ebonyi State is Abakaliki, which is situated 64 kilometers (40 mi) southeast of Enugu in southeast Nigeria.


Igbo people make up the majority of the population. 

Before the Southeastern State was founded in 1967, it served as the provincial capital of Ogoja. 


The crossroads of the Enugu, Afikpo, and Ogoja Roads is where Abakaliki is located. 


Additionally, Abakaliki is home to a federal hospital, which has significantly improved access to affordable public healthcare in both the city and the state. 


In the metropolitan core, there have been significant infrastructure changes, including the building of roads, markets, shopping centers, and trans-Sahara fly-over bridges at the Presco and Spera-in-Deo junctions, among other things.


As in the past, Abakaliki is a major trading hub for agricultural goods such yams, cassava, rice, and both palm oil and palm kernels. 


Additionally, it is well-known for its nearby lead, zinc, salt, and limestone quarrying. 

They have several hotels and a golf course. 


Throughout the state, there are also small farms that raise chickens and eggs.

By 2022, Abakaliki will have a population of almost two million.


Finally, In addition to being significant industrial centers of the Southeast, these cities are also beautiful and have high costs of living.


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