Top 13 Largest Cities In Nigeria (2024

What are the 13 largest cities in Nigeria today?

36 states and 774 local governments make up the vast nation of Nigeria. Executive decisions are made in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. West Africa contains Nigeria.

There are numerous ethnic groups, including Yoruba, Hausa, and Igbo, spread over the 36 states that make up the nation. Millions of individuals in the nation speak many different languages. Additionally, the nation is home to many tourist hotspots thanks to its numerous attraction locations.

Although there are numerous cities in the nation, a few stand out for a variety of reasons, including their particularly high population density, size, and number of tourist attractions.

We will talk about 13 of the country’s largest cities here.

What are the thirteen largest cities in Nigeria? Read on to find out…

Largest Cities in Nigeria

What are the 13 largest cities in Nigeria? This section contains the largest cities in Nigeria, arranged in no particular order.


Nigeria’s most populous and well-known city is without a doubt, Lagos. More than 21 million people are living there. It ranks as the second-largest metropolis in Africa and as the biggest in Nigeria.

Lagos houses the largest seaport in the nation because it is completely encircled by water. As a result of their deep seaports, which also provide a natural harbour for their ocean-moving vehicles, Tin Can Island and Apapa ports are the two most important seaports in Lagos State.

Ikorodu, Eti-Osa, Oshodi-Isolo, Alimosho, Mosholu-Yaba, Ojo, and Victoria Island are just a few of the several local government areas (LGAs) of Lagos City. The city of Lagos, which serves as “home to international visitors,” includes several tourist destinations.


With over 10 million residents, it is the second-largest metropolis in Nigeria. The Northern region of the nation is where it is situated. Nigeria’s largest manufacturing and commercial city are located there. The main economic activity includes the manufacture of textiles, cotton, groundnut processing, metalworking, and salt processing.

Kano also offers stunning hotels, excellent museums, and lovely parks and leisure areas where you can relax. It is also one of the states in Nigeria that is expanding the fastest both economically and in other ways.


The capital of Oyo state and the third-largest city in Nigeria is Ibadan. Oyo state is located in the southwest of the country. Approximately 2 million individuals call it home.

Eba Odan, which in Yoruba means “at the edge of the meadow,” was the city’s previous name before becoming Ibadan. As there are around 160 kilometres between the two cities, it was initially developed as a land connection to Lagos State.

Several sizable hotels, eateries, retail centres, zoos, and other tourist attractions can be found in Ibadan city. Ibadan City is home to the University of Ibadan, which was the first university established in Nigeria.

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Port Harcourt is the fourth-most populous city in Nigeria. the state’s capital in Rivers. The city’s population has significantly increased from its original 300,000 inhabitants to its current 2 million residents. It is one of the wealthiest cities in Nigeria and has a high GDP.

Since oil was discovered in Port Harcourt city in the 1950s, the city has been a significant producer of oil for the nation. Port Harcourt is abundant in minerals like oil, gas, rubber, and timber. Additionally, there are numerous plantations for rubber, cocoa, and palm oil trees.

Due to its proximity to the sea, Port Harcourt can have seaports. There is a sizable airport there as well, making it a popular destination for many international travellers. Because of its proximity to rivers, waterfalls, and mountains, Port Harcourt is also picturesque and a popular travel destination for both domestic and foreign visitors.


The fifth-largest city in Nigeria is Kaduna. Around 1.5 million individuals call it home. In Nigeria’s, North West, close to Jos, plateau state, is a metropolitan area called Kaduna city. Also, it is 800 feet above sea level.

Residents of Kaduna City come from a variety of ethnic groups, including the Yoruba and the Igbo. Hausa is the primary language spoken in Kaduna City, which has a large Hausa and Fulani population. Muslims make up the majority of Kaduna.

Food processing, brewing, leatherworking, and textile manufacturing are the city’s top revenue generators. Additionally, Kaduna has an international airport that brings money into the state. Flights to Port Harcourt, Lagos, and Abuja, as well as international flights to Turkey and other nations, depart from Kaduna International Airport.

Additionally, numerous firms provide vehicle transportation between Nigeria and other African nations close by.


The city of Abuja is located in Nigeria’s capital state Abuja. It is situated in the middle of Nigeria and has developed from a little village to a well-known Nigerian metropolitan centre. The Aso Rock, the presidential residence, is situated in the Federal Capital Territory. As of 2011, about 2 million people were living in the city. It is one of Nigeria’s fastest-growing cities and is classified as the 65th largest city in West Africa.

Since becoming the nation’s capital, Abuja has had fast economic growth and expanded into a significant financial hub for Nigeria. English and Hausa are the two most common languages used, while many international residents also speak French.

The governmental decisions that affect the entire nation are decided in Abuja. It is home to several important national buildings, including the National Assembly, the Central Bank of Nigeria, and the National Secretariat.

Benin City

Benin City is a Nigerian city in the Edo State that was once the seat of the Benin Empire. Even though Edo is the primary language used by the populace, the city is also home to significant populations of Igala, Egun, Fon, and Yoruba.

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As of 2015, Benin City was home to approximately 1.5 million people. Bronze casters who operate along Igun Street are well-known throughout the city for their work.

In addition, Benin City has a national museum that displays bronze plaques and terracotta sculptures on its walls and traces the history of the Benin empire.


Jos Metropolis, the administrative centre and main city of Plateau State, is also referred to as “J-Town” by locals. It had about 900,000 people living there as of the 2006 Census. About 4,062 feet above sea level, the city may be found.

Hills and valleys make up the landscape where the City of Jos is located. It’s a key place for trading because of this. Since Jos has access to the sea via Baro Port, a variety of transportation options have helped to make it a cosmopolitan metropolis. Due to a steady increase in commercial activity, Jos, which was once a significant centre for tin mining, is now the state’s trading centre.


Kwara State, in Western Nigeria, is home to Ilorin, the state capital. It was the 9th largest city in Nigeria according to the 2006 census, with a population of about 800,000.

Farming is practised in a big area of rich soil in the city. Along with these, it possesses a variety of other natural resources, including pure gold in Kaifiam, kaolin and clay in Idofian, limestone and dolomite in Oreke, and a variety of other minerals.

The largest cashew processing facility in Africa has been established by Olam International in Ilorin, which has emerged as the centre of Nigeria’s cashew processing. More than 2000 people are employed by the plant, which processes 100 MT of cashews each day.


Enugu State, Nigeria, contains the city of Enugu. Enugu is also one of the largest cities in Nigeria today. In Nigeria, Enugu lies in the country’s geopolitical south. 800,000 or more people called the city home as of 2006. Because of its high topography, the city’s name, Nan, is Enugu, which signifies hilltop.

The urban market and bottling businesses are two sources of revenue in Enugu. Akanu Ibiam International Airport serves the city of Enugu as well. Nollywood, the name given to the Nigerian film industry, frequently shoots in this city.


In the southern part of Nigeria, close to the Cameroon border, is the port city of Calabar. It is situated in the state of Cross River’s capital. Roughly 600,000 people were living there as of 2006. Efik is primarily used by the locals as their primary language. The city is considered Nigeria’s cleanest and most environmentally friendly city. Calabar is also one of the largest cities in Nigeria.

One of the earliest slave trade ports in the nation was Calabar City, which was involved in the practice in the 1920s. Due to Calabar’s riverine location, goods can be transported from this state to other Nigerian states as well as foreign nations. Previously, it was referred to as the “portal to the West Coast.”

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Natural resources like crude oil are present in the Niger Delta. One of the major ports from which oil is exported in that area is Calabar. Numerous oil corporations are now operating in Calabar as a result of this.

There are three seaports in Calabar: the Bonny Free Trade Zone, the Tinapa Free Trade Zone, and the Calabar Free Trade Zone. The University of Calabar, one of Nigeria’s largest universities, is situated there. Additionally, there are several state-owned tertiary institutions nearby.


Amongst the largest cities in Nigeria is Warri. Warri, the 91st-ranked city in Africa, is the 12th-largest city in Nigeria. With a population of about 600,000, it serves as the seat of government for Delta State.

The Warri River, which runs through the city, is the source of its name. The river is significant to the city since it provides citizens with access to food, water, transit, and work. Due to Nigeria’s increased oil output during the past few years, the city has grown quickly.

Urhobos are the dominant ethnic group in Warri; other ethnicities there include Edos, Igbos, Itsekiri, Ijaws, and others.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s production, export, and refining of crude oil are Warri’s primary sources of income (NNPC). Shipbuilding, engineering, construction, metal manufacturing, and assembly work are some more industries that generate income.


Ile-Ife appears on our list of the thirteen largest cities in Nigeria which is situated in the Nigerian state of Osun. It can be found in the southwestern part of Nigeria. About 500,000 people called it home as per the 2006 census. Among the various cities in Osun state, Ife city is the largest.

As the location of the forefathers of the Yoruba people, Ife City is the oldest city in Nigeria. The population is made up of a variety of ethnic groups, and it is equally split between Christians, Muslims, and followers of traditional religions.

Ife, Osun state, is also home to the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University. In addition to working at the city’s primary institution, the people primarily engage in trading.

Final Thoughts

Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city with roughly 21 million citizens, is one of the country’s many large cities that contribute to its size. Each of these cities is unique in its way and contributes to the nation’s revenue generation. Although there are more sizable cities across the nation, these are the 13 largest cities in Nigeria.

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