Most important cities in Nigeria

Most important cities in Nigeria

Nigeria is one of the largest countries in West Africa. It ranks first on the continent regarding population. What makes Nigeria so unique?

Nigerian cities
Top-5 important cities in Nigeria
Source: UGC

Until 1991, the capital of Nigeria was the city of Lagos, located on the coast - one of the largest cities, not only in Africa but also in the world.

The largest city in Nigeria

To know Nigeria, it's not enough to spend a couple of weeks there. The cities of the country are filled with traditional African color and the unique charm of the continent. There are comfortable hotels, modern shopping complexes, as well as entertainment centers and also numerous tourist service excursions to the jungle, to picturesque lakes and other natural attractions.

Most important cities in Nigeria - Lagos city

Lagos city

  • Location: Lagos state, Nigeria
  • Urban area: 999.6 km2
  • Population: 13,340,000 people (estimated in 2015 data by Encyclopaedia Britannica)

At the time when modern Lagos was a place of settlement of the Yoruba tribe, it was called "Eko". Lagos is a port city located in the southwestern part of Nigeria. It is located on the island territories of the Atlantic Ocean. Lagos is the largest city in Nigeria, the second after Cairo regarding population in Africa and one of the fastest growing city in the world.

The largest city, Lagos, is located in the southwestern part of the Lagos Lagoon and is protected from the Atlantic Ocean by the sandbar of Bar Beach, which extends for 100 km. Currently, the city is expanding westward, capturing more and more of the continental territory. Lagos is the capital of Nigerian cinema – Nollywood.

It is not only a densely populated city, but it is developed both industrially and culturally. Lagos is the pearl of Nigeria.

Ex-capital of Nigeria
Lagos City
Source: Depositphotos

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Major cities in Nigeria

Lagos is not the only beautiful and important city in the country. If to name the few, the cities listed below are for sure the major cities.


  • Location: Oyo State, Nigeria
  • Area: 3080 km2
  • Population: over 3 million people
  • Industry: agriculture, cocoa trade, textile, food, and tobacco processing

Ibadan is located in the south-western part of Nigeria, in the center of the agricultural industry. This city ranks first in the production and sale of cocoa.

Ibadan is home to the first Television station in the whole Africa. This station is the pride of the city and is considered the main reference point. In addition to this station, University of Ibadan is the first higher educational institution in Nigeria.

Center of the agricultural industry
Source: Depositphotos

Benin City

  • Location: Edo State, Nigeria
  • Area: 1204 km2
  • Population: 1,147,188 million people ( 2006)
  • Industry: palm oil production, ivory and wood carving, chemical

The modern city is famous for its rubber industry, high-quality products of which give a significant profit to their owners and is the basis of the urban economy. Besides, a significant role in the prosperity of Benin City is chemical production, palm oil production and wood carving.

The modern city is famous for its higher educational institutions. There are several universities in Benin, including University of Benin, Ambrose Alli, Igbinedion, Benson Idahosa, as well as several private educational institutions.

A place of past epochs
Benin City
Source: Depositphotos

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Port Harcourt

  • Location: Rivers State, Nigeria
  • Area: 369 km2
  • Population: 1,382,592 people (2006)
  • Industry: export of tin, coal, wood, palm oil and cocoa; oil, food and tobacco processing, cars construction, metalworking

The new port city was named after Lewis Harcourt, the British colonial minister. Four years later, Port Harcourt received the status of main deep-water port of Nigeria.

During the 20th century, the city developed and expanded, making it the largest industrial city in Nigeria, as well as the leading export destination for Nigerian products: oil, tin, coal, wood, palm oil, and cocoa. Currently, the oil industry occupies an important place in the city's economy.

The basis of tourism in Port Harcourt is beaches and gardens, which are very popular among travelers and locals. The main beaches that attract tourists are the sandy beaches on the island of Bonnie. Here you can visit Finimu - a wildlife park. For those who like the history of the city, there is a National Museum in the city, where visitors are presented with traditional Nigerian ornaments of the XIX century, various art objects and, of course, sculptures.

The basis of tourism in Port Harcourt is beaches and gardens
Port Harcourt
Source: Depositphotos


  • Location: capital city of Nigeria, the center of the country
  • Area: 1769 km2
  • Population: 776,298 people (Census 2006), more recent estimates show that the population of the city exceeds 2 million

Abuja is the capital of Nigeria. At the beginning of its creation, it was used as a fortified temporary camp, but over time it began to expand rapidly, becoming a full-fledged city. Also, there is a perfectly developed and functional international airport in Abuja. The capital doesn't have a large-scale industry.

The capital of Nigeria
Source: Depositphotos

The major cities in Nigeria have unique architectural sights that adds to the cultural heritage of Nigeria. A large number of tourists visit these cities every year.

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