What is the average cost of living in Nigeria? Compare the stats now

What is the average cost of living in Nigeria? Compare the stats now

The cost of living refers to the amount of cash needed to cater to basic expenses, e.g., housing, food, taxes, and healthcare. Numerous people have complained that the cost of living in Nigeria has gone up. This is a global phenomenon that is not exclusive to the country. Many households have had to tighten their monthly budgets to survive.

cost of living in Nigeria in 2023
Merchandise is displayed in a market. Photo: pexels.com, @Ernesto Perez (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Compared to a decade ago, the cost of living in Nigeria in 2023 is significantly higher. Things cost more than they did back then, and many families have not experienced an upward change in their monthly or annual income.

Cost of living in Nigeria

Numerous people have complained about the high cost of living in Nigeria in 2023, but do you know what that means?

It means that the amount of money people need to spend on basic goods or services has increased. Many countries are experiencing a higher cost of living post the coronavirus pandemic.

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What is the average cost of living in Nigeria?

Below is a breakdown of the cost of living in the country. Note that the figures given are estimates or averages. The exact amount may differ from one location to another.

Bear in mind that the cost of living is higher in towns and cities than in rural areas. The average monthly expense for a family of four is ₦1,109,034, and the average monthly expense for a single person is about ₦310,669 (without rent).

Since it is not possible to list the average prices of all household items, only the major ones will be included.

Accommodation/ rent

The amount of rent payable in the country has increased in the last few years due to increased demand. Here are the average prices for various units.

Unit sizePrice in ₦
1-bedroom unit in the the city centre457,453 per month
1-bedroom unit in the outskirts of cities298,632 per month
3-bedroom unit in the city centre1,011,162 per month
3-bedroom unit in the outskirts of cities655,833 per month
Buying an apartment in city centre483,100 per square metre
Buying an apartment in the outskirts of cities199,700 per square metre

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Food prices in Nigeria

Increased food prices are one of the most pressing issues in the country in 2023. How much is the cost of living in Nigeria? Here is a breakdown of the average cost of food items.

Food itemPrice in ₦
1 meal in an inexpensive restaurant1,500
3-course meal for 2 in a mid-range restaurant20,000
Combo meal at McDonald's/ KFC3,000
1 litre of regular milk1,585
500g fresh white bread778
1kg white rice1,272
1 dozen regular eggs1,049
1kg local cheese2,499
1kg chicken fillet2,671
1kg beef2,991
1kg apples1,945
1kg ripe bananas1,226
1kg oranges992
1kg tomatoes1,217
1kg potatoes1,298
1kg onions772
1 head lettuce594
1.5 litre drinking water249
1 mid-range bottle of wine3,000
1 domestic beer (0.5 litres)490
Imported beer (0.33 litres)644
20-pack cigarettes750


Numerous Nigerians use public means to commute from one point to another. Some, especially the middle class, have purchased small cars to facilitate easier movement.

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MeansPrice in ₦
One-way local transport ticket370
Monthly bus pass15,850
1km on a taxi (regular tariff)1,000
Taxi 1 hour waiting (normal tariff)2,000
1-litre fuel188
Buying a Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline/ its equivalent 8,000,000
Buying a Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort/ its equivalent 13,375,000

Clothing and shoes

Clothes and shoes are basic needs. Here is a breakdown of the amount you can expect to spend on these items.

ItemPrice in ₦
1 pair of jeans (brand new)8,620
1 summer Zara dress/ equivalent chain store13,500
1 pair of midrange Nike running shoes31,727
1 pair of men's leather business shoes28,960

Basic household utilities

Running a household comes with other expenses besides rent. Here is a breakdown of the average cost of utilities.

UtilityPrice in ₦
60 Mbps Internet (unlimited Data) 22,928
Phone monthly combo plan (calls and 10GB data)5,000
Electricity, heating, cooling, water, & garbage in an apartment16,332

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Childcare and leisure

Here is the average cost of childcare and leisure in the country.

ActivityPrice in ₦
Day private kindergarten for 1 child48,526 per month
International primary school for 1 child1,155,263 per year
Gym subscription for 1 adult18,453 per month
Tennis court rent over the weekend5,000 per hour
1 cinema seat4,000 per movie

Causes of high cost of living in Nigeria

One of the main causes of the current cost of living in the country is that the federal and state governments have been spending more money than they have been making. The situation has been worsened by the factors listed below.

  • The continuing loss of value of the Naira against the dollar
  • Increased insecurity among farming communities
  • Increased cost of production in cottage, medium, and large companies
  • The economic policies put in place by the government
  • Increased cost of fuel that affects all sectors of the economy
  • A gigantic national debt and increased government borrowing
  • High taxation rates in the country
  • High rate of unemployment, especially among the youth

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cost of living in Nigeria in 2023
A woman smiling as she gets groceries from a convenience store. Photo: pexels.com, @RF._.studio
Source: UGC

Effects of high cost of living in Nigeria

The burden of the high cost of living is mainly felt by the low and medium-income groups who can no longer afford basic human needs without straining. Here is a look at the consequences of the rising prices of basic commodities.

  • People experience reduced purchasing power, leading to a lower quality of life.
  • Food insecurity, malnutrition, and hunger increase.
  • The poor become poorer, making it extremely hard to break the cycle of poverty in families.
  • Unemployment increases because people are retrenched as firms scale down operations.
  • It leads to higher prices for real estate, rendering numerous people unable to build their own homes.
  • People's mental and emotional well-being is compromised by the high-stress levels that come with the inability to meet basic needs.
  • Increased health inequity between the poor and the rich.

What is the cost of living in Nigeria?

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The cost of living in the country has gone up significantly in recent years. A single person's total monthly expenditure is about ₦310,669 without rent.

How much is typical rent in Nigeria?

The typical rent for a one-bedroom apartment outside the city is ₦457,453 in the city centre and ₦298,632 outside the city centre.

What is the cost of living in Ghana vs Nigeria?

The average cost of living in Ghana is about 11% cheaper than in Nigeria.

The cost of living in Nigeria has been rising gradually over the last few years. This has been a global phenomenon, especially after the coronavirus pandemic.

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