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5 Largest Cities In Nigeria

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Nigeria is a country identified as the giant of Africa. It is an emerging economy in Africa and also the most populous country in the continent with some of the largest cities in Africa located in Nigeria. The number of Nigerian cities has been increasing due to the economic progress these cities have been making. There has even been a high rate of the rural-to-urban migration in the Nigeria. The population in these cities in Nigeria varies just like cities in other countries in the world. Some of these cities have a large population with also a large area. The selling point of these urban dwellings are the economic opportunities and better infrastructures available.

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Below are 5 of the Largest cities in Nigeria.

  1. Lagos city 

Lagos

The population in Lagos is still disputed but it is estimated that there are over 21 million people in the metro area. Lagos is the most populous city in Nigeria. Ironically, Lagos is the smallest in area mass when compared to the other 36 states in the country. This city is the largest urban dwelling in Nigeria and Africa. The city was the capital of the country between 1960 and 1975. Lagos is a financial, commercial and educational centre in Nigeria. Industries that thrive in the city include textiles, automobile assembly, food and beverage processing, metal works, and pharmaceuticals.

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Lagos is also an important seaport and fishing zone. It is a major financial centre and would be the fifth largest economy in Africa if it were a country. Lagos is diverse in ethnicity due to local and global migration. The dominant ethnic group is the Yoruba tribe. Traffic congestion and pollution is an everyday thing in this urban city. Despite the economic growth, economic disparities among the population have become a phenomenon in Lagos. An estimated 66% of the people in Lagos are slum dwellers.

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  1. Kano city

The ancient city of Kano is the second largest city in Nigeria. It is also the largest Northern city in the country. It is mostly dominated by the Hausa and Fulani people with 98% of the population being Muslims. The city has over 3.5 million residents. The Hausa language is widely spoken in the region while official business language is English. It is known as the commercial hub of the North.

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Kano has a bustling industrial sector with industries such as textiles, food processing, plastics, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, cement, soap, metal works, and furniture. The city is also an agricultural centre for produce such as peanuts, wheat, cotton, millet, rice, and maize. Its metropolitan area covers a vast land of 499 SQ km. The city is the capital of the Kano Emirate.

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  1. Ibadan city

Ibadan is the capital of Oyo state and it has a population of over 3 million people. It was founded in the 18th Century by the Yoruba community, who are still predominant in the city to this day. Ibadan is located in south-western Nigeria in the southeastern part of Oyo state at about 119 kilometres (74 miles) northeast of Lago sand 120 kilometres (75 miles) East of the Nigerian international border with the Republic of Benin.

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ALSO READ: 6 Ancient Cities in Nigeria

The population is overwhelmingly Muslim followed by the minority Christians. During the British rule, Ibadan was known for its commercial and trade activities that flourished during that period. You can still find industries like cigarette manufacture, food processing, furniture, metal works, handicrafts, and soap in this city. Cacao and Cotton are the major agricultural products produced in the city.

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Ibadan is also a major educational centre and it is home to Nigeria’s first university, named the University of Ibadan. In the last few years there has been an increase in the population and rate migration in this city but not like Lagos.This situation has caused proliferation of slum dwellings, characterised by poor living conditions, poor sanitation, and open drainage system, which pose health hazards to Ibadan’s population. The traffic situation in Ibadan is not as bad as that of Lagos, but there has been an increase in the number of vehicles in the city.

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  1. Abuja city

Abuja

Abuja is the capital of Nigeria and it has an unofficial population of about 3 million people. Abuja is a modern city that was built in the 1980’s. The city is an administrative centre and hosts government offices and international embassies. This city is experiencing an annual growth of at least 35%, still retaining its position as the fastest-growing city on the African continent and one of the fastest-growing in the world. This we can see as the city is witnessing a huge influx of people into the city.

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This growth has led to the emergence of satellite towns, such as Karu Urban Area, Suleja, Gwagwalada, Lugbe, Kuje and smaller settlements towards which the planned city is sprawling. The City has an airport, rail system, and expressways. Abuja has been increasingly attracting foreign investors in mega projects, and this further contributes to the city’s economic growth. Major religious sites include the Nigerian National Mosque and the Nigerian National Christian Centre. Abuja is known for being one of the few purpose-built capital cities in Africa, as well as being one of the wealthiest.

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  1. Port Harcourt city

Port Harcourt

Port Harcourt is the capital of Rivers state, Nigeria, and also the largest city in the state. It was founded in 1912 by Frederick Lugard. The city boast of housing over 1.5 million people. The main industry in this city is petroleum.Crude oil was first discovered in Oloibiri in 1956. Through benefits of the Nigerian petroleum industry, Port Harcourt was further developed with aspects of modernisation such as overpasses, city blocks and substantial buildings. You can find a number of oil firms in the city like Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron.

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There are a number of institutions of tertiary education in Port Harcourt, mostly government-owned. These institutions include Rivers State University of Science and Technology, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State College of Arts and Science, Rivers State College of Health Science and Technology. Port Harcourt’s primary airport is Port Harcourt International Airport, located on the outskirts of the city.

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Jemimah Abimbola

A creative bibliophile, a lover of words, a tennis guru and a foodie.

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