Top 10 richest local governments in Nigeria: Which ones are they?

Aug 8, 2023 | Uncategorized


Nigeria is blessed with a diverse economy that boasts an abundance of natural resources. The country’s governance system comprises 36 semi-autonomous states working under a national government. Within these states are 774 local governments that play a vital role in the nation’s economic development. Some are filthy rich, while others depend wholly on the federal budgetary allocation. Which are the richest local governments in Nigeria?

What is the third richest LGA in Nigeria?
Colored waving flag of Nigeria on sunny blue sky background. Photo: Vector
Source: Getty Images

A state’s wealth can be measured using four key indicators: ecological footprint, life expectancy, inequality, and well-being. In the context of Nigeria, the wealth of Local Government Areas (LGAs) is evaluated based on factors such as the presence of minerals, oil and gas reserves, fertile agricultural lands, and their capacity to leverage strategic locations to attract investments. This article delves into the top 10 wealthiest Local Government Areas in Nigeria.

The richest local governments in Nigeria

Here is a comprehensive list of Nigeria’s ten wealthiest local governments, including the state they are located in, population, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimates, main economic activities, and land area in square kilometres.

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1. Lagos Island

  • Created: 1968
  • GDP: $30 billion
  • Population: 315,000
  • Land area: 9.26 square kilometres
  • Notable economic activity: Finance, Real Estate, Commerce, Tourism

Also referred to as Isale-Eko, Lagos Island, located in Lagos State, is Nigeria’s richest Local Government Area. The area lies on the Lagos Lagoon on the coast and is connected to the mainland by three bridges.

It is a financial, hospitality, and commercial hub with major Nigerian bank headquarters offices, real estate consultancy firms, corporations, and notable landmarks and tourist attractions such as Freedom Park, the National Museum, and Tom Jones Memorial Hall And Library.

2. Ikeja

  • Created: 1976
  • GDP: $19 billion
  • Population: 470,000
  • Land area: 49.92 square kilometres
  • Notable economic activity: Aviation, Hospitality, Retail

Ikeja is the capital of Lagos State and the second richest Local Gvernment Area in Nigeria. Ikeja is renowned for its high-end shopping centres, hotels, and cutting-edge infrastructure.

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It is a rich, busy commercial centre that houses Ikeja City Mall, Muritala Muhammed International Airport, and the State Government House.

The main economic drivers in Ikeja LGA are manufacturing, commerce, transportation, and real estate.

3. Abuja Municipal Area Council

  • Created: 1984
  • GDP: $12 billion
  • Population: 1,693,000
  • Land area: 1476 square kilometres
  • Notable economic activity: Real Estate, Hospitality, Government services

The Abuja Municipal Area is the nation’s capital, the third-richest LGA, and the eighth-most populous city in Nigeria. It serves as the residential centre for politicians, including members of parliament, kings, senators, and other prominent figures.

Its main economic driver is real estate. The city consists of massive skyscrapers, well-organized streets, and uniformly spaced residential quarters built based on a 1980s master plan by International Planning Associates (IPA).

It is also the headquarter for the main regional economic blocks, including the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

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4. Eti-Osa

  • Created: 1991
  • GDP: $10 billion
  • Population: 420,000
  • Land area: 174.9 square kilometres
  • Notable economic activity: Commerce, Industry, Finance

Eti Osa, formerly the seat of the nation’s capital, is home to Nigeria’s president and the fourth-richest LGA in the country. It has some of the most pristine estates for rich Nigerians who fancy its affluence and luxurious lifestyle.

Its main economic drivers are business and industry, with most residents involved in farming, fishing, and trade. Eti Osa is also a commercial centre with a dense concentration of banks, clubs, hotels, and modern markets.

Which is the richest LGA in Lagos?
A busy highway with multiple lanes and cars lined with trees and street lights. Photo: pexels.com, @David Iloba
Source: UGC

5. Uyo

  • Created: 1989
  • GDP: $8 billion
  • Population: 598,000
  • Land area: 362 square kilometres
  • Notable economic activity: Healthcare, Tourism, Agriculture, Education

Uyo LG is one of the wealthiest LGAs in Nigeria and the richest local government in Akwa Ibom State. Uyo LGA is a vibrant and prosperous urban centre that boasts diverse economic drivers, including transportation, sports, and industry.

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It is an economic hub home to Victor Attar International Airport, the prestigious University of Uyo, and Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, among others.

6. Obio-Akpor

  • Created: 1989
  • GDP: $8 billion
  • Population: 880,000
  • Land area: 260 square kilometres
  • Notable economic activity: Fisheries, Aquaculture, Agriculture, Oil & Natural gas

Obio Akpor, based in Rivers State, is an LGA in the metropolis of Port Harcourt and one of Nigeria’s major economic centres. Obio Akpor is home to two of Nigeria’s biggest refineries and other energy companies. The majority of its citizens are involved in agriculture and fishing.

7. Bonny Island

  • Created: 1968
  • GDP: $7 billion
  • Population: 309,000
  • Land area: 1045 square kilometres
  • Notable economic activity: Oil & Natural Gas

Located in the Rivers State, Niger Delta region, Bonny Island is home to one of the largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants in Nigeria and worldwide. It is also the headquarters of the Nigerian National Oil Corporation and a host of other multinational oil companies.

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The area has huge oil reservoirs that produce an estimated 22 million metric tons of LNG annually, which makes Bonny Island one of the wealthiest local governments and a major contributor to Nigeria’s economy.

8. Ibadan Northwest

  • Created: 1991
  • GDP: $6 billion
  • Population: 220,000
  • Land area: 3080 square kilometres
  • Notable economic activity: Agriculture, Commerce, Transport

Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State, is one of most populous city after Kano and Lagos, the largest state by land area and one of the most prosperous in Nigeria.

The Ibadan Northwest LGA thrives on agricultural resources, including cocoa, cassava, palm oil, cotton, timber, and rubber. It is also the headquarters of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).

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Assorted cocoa on a person’s hand. Photo: @Livier Garcia
Source: UGC

9. Calabar Municipal

  • Created: 1989
  • GDP: $5 billion
  • Population: 372,000
  • Land area: 142 square kilometres
  • Notable economic activity: Tourism, Industry, Commerce

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Calabar municipality is another of Nigeria’s most prosperous local governments. Dubbed the tourism capital of Nigeria, Calabar municipality is renowned for its rich cultural heritage. The city boasts some of the cleanest and most beautiful streets in Nigeria.

Due to its scenic terrain, the area has a well-established tourism industry, and its economy is also driven by palm oil and transport industries.

10. Apapa

  • Created: 1976
  • GDP: $5 billion
  • Population: 330,000
  • Land area: 40.4 square kilometres
  • Notable economic activity: Seaport operations, Manufacturing, Commerce

Apapa is an LGA located to the west of Lagos Island, Lagos State. Apapa is home to numerous ports and terminals near the Port of Lagos and is operated by the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA). Trade and port operations are the area’s main economic drivers.

Summary table for top 10 richest LGA IN Nigeria

Here is a recap of the wealthiest local governments in Nigeria and their respective GDPs in 2023.

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No LGA GDP
1 Lagos Island $30 billion
2 Ikeja $19 billion
3 Abuja Municipal Area Council $12 billion
4 Eti-Osa $10 billion
5 Uyo $8 billion
6 Obio-Akpor $8 billion
7 Bonny Island $7 billion
8 Ibadan Northwest $6 billion
9 Calabar Municipal $5 billion
10 Apapa $5 billion

What is the third richest LGA in Nigeria?

Abuja Municipal Area Council is the third richest local government area in Nigeria, with an estimated GDP of $12 billion.

Which is the richest LGA in Lagos?

Lagos Island is the richest LGA in Lagos and across the country.

What are the 3 richest states in Nigeria?

richest local governments in Nigeria
High Angle photography of high-rise buildings near road during Golden hour. Photo: pexels.com, @Aleksejs Bergmanis
Source: UGC

Lagos State, Rivers State, and Ogun State are the three richest states in Nigeria.

Which is the richest LGA in Cross River State?

Calabar Municipality is the wealthiest LGA in Cross River State.

Which are the top 10 richest local government in Africa

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Nigeria is the only country divided into into LGAs. Other countries are divided into zones, municipality, governorates, counties and regions. Some of the cities that are known for their economic significance and potential in Africa include:

  1. Johannesburg
  2. Cape Town
  3. Cairo
  4. Lagos
  5. Durban
  6. Nairobi
  7. Pretoria
  8. Casablanca
  9. Accra
  10. Paarl Franschhoek & Stellenbosch

These are the richest local governments in Nigeria known for their significant economic contributions and wealth in the country. Some of these LGAs hosts major financial institutions, corporate headquarters, and thriving business districts.

Legit.ng recently published an article detailing the various ways governments and other institutions can use to fight political apathy in Nigeria. Political apathy refers to citizens isolating themselves from political activities and affairs within their country.

This detachment often stems from negative emotions or past experiences related to elections and the overall political landscape. Although seemingly benign at first, political apathy can have detrimental effects on a nation, hindering social, political, and economic progress.

Source: Legit.ng



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