Biggest consumer markets in Nigeria: Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Ibadan, PH – BI

On the criteria adopted in coming to this conclusion, FUMI adopted Economic activity- the GDP for the city’s actual geospatial footprint; Economic Power of Consumers- the number of people living in a home with a car, motorbike, television, or refrigerator; and Connectivity level – how networked is the city by trade and air travel.

Here are the five biggest consumer markets in Nigeria, which are also among top twenty in Africa:


The economic and commercial strengths of this coastal city have been the topic of major fora and conference, both within and outside the country. It has a projected population of over 25 million people.

Lagos is the fifth largest economy in Africa and second largest metropolitan city in Nigeria. In the last few years, the city has been the major destination of foreign capital inflows (FCI) into Nigeria, accounting for over 95% of all FCI in Nigeria.

Recent statistics also show that Lagos has the most value tech ecosystem in Africa, alongside the presence of major markets satisfying the need of many neighbouring countries.

Also in the city is the Lekki Free Trade Zone, which at present has over 120 FDIs operating and undergoing development within the zone.
The Neighbouring state of Ogun has also benefitted from the positive externalities of Lagos in terms development of many suburban cities such as Mowe, Ibafo, Agbara among others.

Based on this fact, entrepreneurs can be best assured that their businesses and products have a high rate of survival if sited in the city.


Abuja is the Federal capital of Nigeria, hence it can be described as the city of government. It is also a civil servant city, while the return of democracy in 1999 has changed the configuration of the city from a civil servant to a major economic and political centre in the country.

In terms of commercial prowess, the city is not strong as Lagos but the purchasing power of average household in the city is high.

Just like Lagos, the population of Abuja is fast increasing, and as at last count, the population of the city is three million making it the fourth largest metropolitan city in Nigeria.

For this city, consumer goods and services related products are sure bet for survival.
Abuja is generally noted as a consumer state.


The city of Kano has been noted as a commercial for the Northern part of the Nigeria, and the Sahel desert. This would explain the main reason for its classic and metropolitan status in Nigeria.

Kano is the second largest metropolitan city in Nigeria, with a population of around 21 million people mainly merchants from another part of the Northern states and neighbouring countries of Nigeria, Chad, Mali, Senegal and Sudan.

Just like Ibadan is a major gateway city to the South-Western Nigeria, Kano is a commercial linkage city to most of the cited states in Nigeria.

So, entrepreneurs with consumer related products and services and hope to capture the northern hemisphere of the country should consider having Kano as its operational centre.


Just as Lagos is the commercial hub of Nigeria, the ancient city of Ibadan is the commercial hub of south-west Nigeria. It has a population of around 3.4 million people with a population growth rate of about 2.5% (NPC Census, 2006).

Being the former capital of the old Western regional government, it has remained a city of familiarity and leisure to most workers and entrepreneurs in Lagos.

Ibadan is the third largest metropolitan city in Nigeria, and also housed the first university in Nigeria, as a result of this its residents are a mixture of middle and lower income classes of household in the city.

The presence of many federal government institutions – most concentrated, and multinationals such as American-Nigerian Tobacco company, Saro Agro-Allied limited e.t.c tend to contribute to the market size of the city.

Ibadan is also the interchange city for travellers to all part of the country, thus making a first –stop for most Agricultural produce coming into the region.

Ibadan is an industrial hub and consumer based city. It being the first stop for major agricultural products indicates close of raw materials to these industrials while the demographic size of the city also indicates a high consumer base.


Port Harcourt is an elite city in the South-South region of the country. The city also has the presence of largest comity of oil multinationals in the country, as a result, it serves as home to most oil and gas industry workers.

Port Harcourt has the presence of high incomes earning Nigerians and expatriates, so it is a major consumer products market in Nigeria.

Due to the large consumer market in the city, many industries with pan-Nigerian focus/spread are setting up their industries in the city.

It has diversified the income household pattern of the community to also include middle-income earners who are employees of manufacturing industries and educational institutions operating in the city.

For Port Harcourt, it is a consumer city like Abuja but with a little touch industries.

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