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most underrated cities in Nigeria

Top 5 Most Underrated Yet Fabulous Nigerian Cities

There are some cities in Nigeria that are quite fabulous with grandeur but you don’t usually get to hear so much about these cities because they are in a class of their own only known to few.

These cities may not stand the competition prominent Nigerian cities of Abuja, Lagos, Calabar and Port Harcourt pose but they still stand out in their own way. This article reveals 5 most underrated cities in Nigeria that I think their status could have been different.

Do you know  that there are some potent strikers in present day football who stand out in their individual national teams and club-sides but still don’t get that ultimate recognition and will never win the Ballon d’or? For the sake of this discussion, let’s mention a few of them;

The likes of Luis Suarez (Barcelona & Uruguay), Diego Costa (Chelsea & Spain), Antoine Griezmann (Athletico Madrid & France), Zlatan Ibrahimovich (Manchester United & Sweden), Riyad Mahrez ( Leicester City & Algeria), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich & Germany), Robert Lewandoski (Bayern Munich & Poland), Pierre Aubemeyang (Borrusia Dortmund & Gabon), Sergio Aguero ( Manchester City & Argentina) and Wayne Rooney (Manchester United & England) are players that can naturally win the FIFA Ballon d’or if there was no Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in their generation.

The two football idols who ply their trade for Barcelona and Real Madrid in the La Liga have been rotating football highest honours for players between each other for a decade now. It has never happened before in the history of World football.

Before I talk about the ‘top 5 most underrated cities in Nigeria’, please say this prayer; “MAY I NEVER BE A ROONEY IN A RONALDO AND MESSI GENERATION”

As it is with the most popular sport in the world so is it with our Nigerian cities. There are some very amusing cities in Nigeria that will never get the spotlight. Not when cities like Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Calabar still exist.

These cities are famous to those of us who are widely traveled and they are also cities that may virtually make you forget home whenever you visit. These cities stand out in their respective geographical zones of the country as long as cities like Abuja, Lagos, Calabar, Uyo, Kano, Port Harcourt don’t exist in those regions.

In these cities you don’t have to run with no direction or wake up 4 am to beat a never ending traffic. Also, you don’t have to earn what folks call ‘armed robber salary’ to live large.

These cities were rated by combination of factors like low cost of living, cheap housing facilities, low crime rates, quality educational facilities and good amenities.

Here are the top 5 most underrated YET fabulous cities in Nigeria:

1. JOS

Until recently when this city became a theatre of blood and  guts, Jos was one time most peaceful state in Nigeria and probably the most visited by foreigners.  It was also Naija’s centre of entertainment at some point in our history; the days of ‘BEHIND THE CLOUDS’ and ‘COCK CROW AT DAWN’. The small but mighty city which is almost located at the centre of the country is a tourist haven and is said to be a miniature Nigeria primarily because nearly all the ethnic groups of the country reside there.

J-town as it’s fondly called by locals is a lofty city with beautiful sceneries, rich in cultural, historical heritage and excellent weather conditions. In fact, it is termed the coldest city in the most populous black nation.

In Jos, Harmattan winds cause the coldest weather between December and February, when the temperature drops even further. The numerous attractions in Plateau state which houses Jos – its capital, include the Wildlife Safari park, Shere hills, Assop falls, Kurra falls, Wase rock, Kerang highlands, Kurang Volcanic mountain, Pandam game reserve, among many others.

During British colonial rule, Jos was an important centre for tin mining. In recent years it has suffered violent religious clashes between its Muslim and Christian populations from 2001 till date. The Beroms are the most populous tribe in Jos but the Fulanis are gaining grounds, using violence as their tool.


Abeokuta is popularly called Rock city because of the presence of it’s most notable tourist site, the Olumo Rock. Olumo Rock is one of the top tourist attractions in Nigeria and it is one of the reason Abeokuta is a place to be. The city’s tranquility and serenity makes it a hot spot, however it’s close proximity to Lagos and Ibadan relegates it to the background. That notwithstanding, Abeokuta attracts thousands of tourist yearly especially to its monumental Olumo Rock.

The once dull and rusty streets are giving way to a more sophisticated and elegant malls housing more cosmetic and technology outlet, local and international eateries and restaurants, exclusive bars, clubs and Suya joint for those who love the night groove.

Abeokuta – a name which means “Under the rock”was originally inhabited by the Egba, People who found refuge at the Olumo rock during inter-tribal wars in the 19th century. The rock provided sanctuary to the people as well as a vantage point to monitor the enemy’s advance leading to eventual triumph in war.


It is quite easy for Nigerians to sideline this city probably because of its location and the opportunities that exist in the city. Albeit, Enugu is unique in its own way. as compared to the likes of Lagos and Abuja. The city has its own energy and unique beauty.

Enugu became the capital of the Eastern Region after Nigeria’s independence in 1960; a succession of territorial adjustments in 1967, 1976 and 1991 led to Enugu becoming the capital of what is now Enugu State. On 30 May 1967 Enugu was declared the capital of the short-lived Republic of Biafra; for this Enugu is known as the “capital of Igboland.”

Enugu is also one of the filming locations for directors of the Nigerian movie industry, dubbed “Nollywood”. Enugu’s main airport is the Akanu Ibiam International Airport. The main educational establishment in the city is the Enugu campus of the University of Nigeria based in Nsukka, a town north of Enugu and the Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu.

The city is Usually referred to as the coal city.


Warri they say ‘no dey carry last’. This popular phrase is a representation of what the city stands for. The city of Warri is an oil hub in Nigeria’s crisis laden South-South Nigeria. Warri has a unique history that has not been documented well enough by historians.Warri city is one of the major hubs of petroleum activities and businesses in southern Nigeria. It is a commercial capital city of Delta State

The activities of oil companies in the oil rich region have brought about meaningful development whose resultant effects reflect on the cost of living, access to social amenities especially power and pipe borne water, good road network system, increase in commercial activity and of course a vibrant social life. Warri is also one of the regions in South-South Nigeria under attack by the Niger Delta Avengers, though their activities is hardly felt in the main city.

A typical Waffii person is usually friendly and accommodating and the most thrilling part of the city is the various food vendors, restaurants and eateries available to service you with the local delicacies, especially the Banga soup and starch. Warri is one of the cosmopolitan cities in southern Nigeria comprising originally of the Urhobo, Itsekiri and Ijaw people. Warri is predominantly Christian with mixture of African traditional religions like most of the Southern Nigeria. The city is known nationwide for its unique Pidgin English.

In the city of Warri, there is never a dull moment.


Ilorin was founded by the Yoruba, one of the three largest ethnic groups in Nigeria, in 1450. It became a provincial military headquarters of the ancient Oyo Empire, and later became a Northern Nigeria protectorate when the Shehu Alimi, a descendant of Shehu Usman Dan-Fodio, took control of the city through the spread of Islamic religion.

Although the city retains a strong Islamic influence from the northern incursions, Christianity is now widely practised in the city due to the significant immigration of people from other parts of Kwara State and other parts of Nigeria into the city.

Ilorin is really a great place for a family to live.


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