Top 10 Biggest Markets In Nigeria
As the most populous nation in Africa, Nigeria is expected to have some of the busiest and biggest markets in the whole of West Africa and Africa and it definitely does. The country is known to be one of the most sought-after hubs for consumer goods worldwide.
Depending on your list, it would take about 3 to 4 hours to get your shopping done as most of the busiest and biggest markets in Nigeria are in an open space, which means you would have to walk long distances to locate the specific shop that sells the product you require.
In this list we are going to talk about the biggest markets in Nigeria and their locations, we are also going to exclude certain markets like malls.
This list goes in no particular order and lists mostly the biggest and busiest markets in Nigeria who are not only filled with people during the festive season but also during normal days.
The Largest Markets In Nigeria
1. Onitsha International Marine Market, Onitsha, Anambra State
The Onitsha International Marine Market is known as the biggest market in Nigeria and West Africa and takes home this trophy for a reason. The market offers one of the widest ranges of products and services in Africa, which means you can get any kind of product you are looking for in this market.
Another reason why the Onitsha Main Market is so popular is that the products in the market are sold at a more affordable rate compared to other markets on our list.
People including retailers from every part of the country come to this market to purchase goods directly from the wholesalers and manufacturers which makes the market quite busy most of the time. If you are planning to shop in the Onitsha International Market during the festive season, then get ready to spend an entire day shopping in the ever busy large market.
Shopping in the Onitsha Market is quite fun, but requires discipline and great bargaining skills as you could be easily distracted by the abundance of products you might not be able to afford and you would easily be cheated if you don’t know how to bargain.
2. Ariaria International Market, Aba, Abia State
Known as the China of Africa, the Ariaria International Market is the second largest market in Eastern Nigeria. The market is known to have an abundance of Nigerian made goods.
The market also has a section for manufacturers, where a range of products are made by hand and sold on the spot. Although some people like to tag the products of the Ariaria International Market cheap and inferior due to the fact that they are replicas of international brands, this hasn’t stopped many traders from patronizing the ever busy market.
The market which is also known as one of the largest leather shoe-making markets in Nigeria and West Africa boasts of an estimated two million traders making sales in the region daily.
Once again, you would have to step up your bargaining skills if you want to get the best out of this market.
3. Alaba International Market, Ojo, Lagos State
Known as the largest electronics market in Africa, the Alaba International Market is your go-to destination for all kinds of electronic products from both local and international brands. The market which is known as one of the economic hubs of Nigeria offers goods at a fairly affordable rate which makes it a great choice for retailers and consumers.
Today the market has moved online (although sales still go in its physical location), due to the intervention of the Management Association of the market, in a view to develop the market and modernize the operation of business, the Association introduced the alabaelectronics.com to help buyers and sellers make transactions within the shortest period of time and also enable buyers to make purchases even when the physical stores in the market are closed.
Once again, taking a stroll through the Alaba International Market to purchase any product is quite exhausting and you’d have to be careful to prevent being scammed or robbed of your money and valuables.
4. Oshodi Market, Oshodi, Lagos State
Oshodi market is one of the largest markets in Lagos and Nigeria. The market just like the Onitsha market is known to host a large range of products and services making it one of the largest multipurpose markets in Nigeria.
Unfortunately, the market was razed in January 2016 under the directive of the Lagos state government who claimed that the market was promoting several criminal activities. The government, however, asked the traders to relocate to the new market location which was already built by the former state governor Babatunde Fashola.
Ever since traders have bounced back and the market has regained its former glory as one of the biggest and busiest markets in Lagos.
5. Balogun Market, Lagos Island, Lagos State
Unlike other markets on our list, the Balogun Ajeniya Market does not have a specific location as it sprawls across many streets on the Lagos Island. This makes the market one of the biggest markets in Nigeria. The main market is located in Balogun Street and all the houses along the area have been converted to shops. The road is not left out as many traders take to displaying their wares on the road causing a traffic jam of people and vehicles.
Just like the Alaba International Market which is known for electronics, the Balogun Market is known to be the best market to buy fabrics wears, and shoes. This is not only because of the large variety of fabrics, wears and shoes available but also due to the affordability of these products in the market.
Just like most other markets, you would need to be good at bargaining. It is also advisable to take a guide with you when buying products in the Balogun Market to get a much better service.
6. Idumota Market, Lagos Island, Lagos State
Looking for a market where you can get the best collection of Nollywood movies, then Idumota market is the right place to be.
If you do watch Nollywood movies a lot, then you would have seen this market address on the front of the Video CD of most home movies, and this is because this market has the largest collection of Nollywood movies as most Nollywood distributors from all over Nigeria have their offices and shops in this market.
This market is quite crowded during any time of the day irrespective of the season so you would need to get to the market as early as 7 am to prevent the human traffic jam you would meet at the ever-busy market.
One secret to buying at a cheaper rate in the Idumota market is to go deeper into the market. Most buyers stop at the entrance of the market to buy their goods which are quite cheaper, but you would be surprised that you could get that same product for half the price if you go deeper into the market.
The Idumota market is not only known for Home videos, but also for its variety of shoes, jewelries, fabrics, and electronics.
7. Kurmi Market, Kano, Kano State
Founded by a king, you would expect the Kurmi Market to look like royalty. Well, we would say it certainly does as it is not only the oldest market in Nigeria but also the biggest in Kano State which makes it the King of Markets.
The Kasuwar Kurmi Market as it is popularly called was founded by King Muhammad Rumfa in the 15th century as a result of the growing commercial activities in the city. The market was renowned for it’s busting textile trade with services like weaving, leather making, and cloth dyeing.
Today the Kurmi Market is known for its hand-made textiles made by mostly traditional traders. If you are looking for somewhere to buy some good, quality textile material then the Kurmi Market is your best option.
8. Nkwo Nnewi, Nnewi, Anambra State
Located in the second largest city in Anambra state, the Nkwo Nnewi is often referred to as the Japan of Africa as it is the largest spare parts market in West Africa.
The market boasts of the most affordable and the largest collection of spare parts from all over the world. Unlike other markets on our list, this market is heavily influenced by the Igbo culture as most of the traders are of the Igbo tribe.
If you wish to make a purchase in this market, then it would be advisable to get a tour guide who is conversant in the Igbo language. You would also need to improve your bargaining skills to prevent paying outrageous prices for goods.
9. Ogbete Main Market, Enugu, Enugu State
The Ogbete Main Market is known to be the cheapest and largest market to get almost any product imaginable among the many other markets in the coal city of Enugu.
The market is open for 6 days a week and is known to be busy every day. Compared to other markets in our list, products in this market are relatively cheap, so you wouldn’t have to worry about getting cheated or getting frightened with outrageous prices.
10. Computer Village, Otigba, Ikeja, Lagos State
The Computer village is the largest ICT accessory market in Nigeria and Africa. Unlike, other markets in our list, it is located in an area originally planned for residential buildings and offices.
The market is not only known for its large collection of ICT accessories, it also deals in the repair of computers and mobile phones offering opportunities to a large number of computer technicians and engineers.
Although this is the best option if you are looking for rare and very affordable phones, you would want to take caution as this market has some very bad reputations. There have been many reports of loss of valuables, money and also being duped by some of the market traders who offer counterfeit products and services.
Once again, it is advised you take a tour guide who is familiar with the market and the system of operation for a more satisfactory experience.
That concludes our list of the Top 10 biggest markets in Nigeria. These markets offer almost every products and service on the planet and they offer them at the cheapest prices available.
Remember to take precautions when buying at the markets listed above, as the market might be a breeding ground for social vices who take advantage of the rowdiness of the market to go about their fraudulent activities.