Lagos is Almost the Most Expensive City in Africa

I just heard someone say “but we knew that already.” 

But really. I knew it was expensive but I never really put a decent finger on exactly what it cost until now. 

So I’m thinking of being back in Nigeria at some point in the near future so I started looking around for information on cost of living-housing, food, transport. I decided to go ahead and do the same for a few other cities on the continent and then compare. 

I filtered on certain fixed criteria based on my own lifestyle choices so that, plus the obvious fact that Google gives basic rates mean that results may differ for those who actually live there. For instance, I looked at one to two bed apartment close to where I’d likely be working (like Lagos Island), upped my food and entertainment budget a bit (cos I imagine i’d have people over more in Lag than here). All said, I estimated a monthly spend of around $1,350 (over N500,000). I know the real figures may be much lower but for budgeting reasons, I’ll keep it at that.

Similar analysis across the continent show that I need to budget about $1300 for Johannesburg, $1250 for Cairo and Casablanca and just $800+ for Kigali and Nairobi. The only city I got a higher estimate than Lagos for was Dar Es Salam and I suspect that’s a result of tourist demand. And most of these cities have much lower crime statistics, better cleanness profiles and standard of living. 

So bottom line is, Lagos is mad costly, in a way I’m not sure is justified. Closer to when I’m moving I’ll want to get concrete estimates, and I’ll share that here too so maybe someone can link me to cheaper deals. The only hard criteria I have is that I don’t live anywhere that I have to do that long, infamous Lagos commute. I’m not in the business of shortening my life span with unnecessary frustration. 

Outside that, I can probably deal with most anything. We’ll see. 

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