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10 Largest Cities in Nigeria by Land Mass

largest cities in nigeria

Here are the 10 largest cities in Nigeria (in terms of landed area)

largest cities in nigeria


Gusau is the capital of Zamfara. It is one of the most prominent cities in the northwestern part of Nigeria. Gusua has an area of 3364 km2 and a population of 383,162 as at the last census in 2006.

The population is made of mostly Hausa. Some of the other prominent tribes in Gusua include the Fulanis, Yorubas, Igbos and Igalas. Gusua Dam is a reservoir on the Sokoto River. However the dam collapsed in 2006 leading to the death of 40 people and destruction of over 500 homes. Over 1000 people were also displaced during this collapse.


Ibadan is the third most populous city in Nigeria with a population of over 3 million. As at the time of Nigeria’s independence, Ibadan was the most populous city. The city is quite ancient and it came in to existence in 1829.

Ibadan is located in the South Eastern part of Oyo State and it is 119km from Lagos.


Oyo is another large city in Nigeria with a land area of 2427 km2. It is a city in Oyo State and it is located at the northern part of Ibadan. The city is mostly inhabited by Yorubas and its ceremonial ruler is the Alaafin of Oyo. The city was the capital of the Oyo Kingdom in the 1830s. Oyo is 166 km from Lagos.


Ife is another prominent city. The city is located in Osun State. One of the notable institutions of higher learning is located in this city – Obafemi Awolowo University which was formerly called the University of Ife.

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The city is 218 kilometres north east of Lagos. The Ife Kingdom as it was called in the ancient times is ruled by the Ooni of Ife who is a direct descendant of Oduduwa according to Yoruba mythology. Ife is popularly known as the city of 401 deities

The land area of Ife is 1791 km2 which makes it the fourth largest city in Nigeria.


Abuja is known as the Federal Capital Territory and it is the seat of power. The land area of this city is 1769 km2.

The city is located at the centre of the country and the population here is close to 1 million residents. As a matter of fact the city is one of the fastest growing city in Africa.

It is one of the purpose built capital cities and  also one of the wealthiest cities in Africa.


Kuje is another large city. It is southwest of Abuja and it occupies a land area of 1644 km2. The city has a population of 100000. Due to its proximity to Abuja, the city has been undergoing rapid expansion in recent years. Kuje has been nicknamed Abuja’s new haven for low income earners.

Benin City

Located in Southern Nigeria, Benin is the capital of Edo and occupies a land area of 1204 km2. The city is the centre of Nigeria’s rubber industry. After Nigeria independence in 1960, Benin became the capital of the Mid Western region in 1963.

Benin is home to some notable universities: University of Benin, Igbinedion University and Benson Idahosa University.

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Lagos is arguably the most popular city in Nigeria and it is the city with the largest population in Nigeria. Although the city has a land area of 999.6 km2, reports have it that the population of Lagos is between 17 and 21 million persons.

Lagos is a financial hub in African and has one of the busiest ports in the country. Lagos was the capital of Nigeria from 1914 to 1991.

Lagos is loosely classified in to two geographical areas – the Island and the Mainland. Three major bridges link the Island to the Mainland – the Third Mainland Bridge, the Carter Bridge and the Eko Bridge.


Akure has a land area of 991 km2 and the city is the capital of Ondo State. Akure has a population of over 500 000 residents and the traditional king of Akure is known as the Deji of Akure.


Abeokuta is the capital of Ogun State. The city has a land area of 879 km2 and it’s located at the East Bank of the Ogun River.

The name Abeokuta literally means under the rock and the rock served as a refuge from slave hunters from Ibadan and Dahomey in ancient times.

As the name implies the city lies under a rock, the Olumo rock which is a centre of tourist attraction. The city has a population of over 500 000 residents. Abeokuta is home to the first church in Nigeria and the first newspaper in Nigeria.


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