Nigerian markets are the core of its cities. Nigeria is a home to some of the biggest markets in Africa and which serve its citizens and neighbouring countries. Popular Nigerian markets include Balogun Market, Onitsha Market, Alaba International Market, Oshodi Market, Bodija Market, Computer Village and more. A market is a place or arena for commercial dealings. The Nigerian market unifies the people who patronize it, from the tomato trader who supplies tomatoes for your stew to the meat seller (eleran) whose meat your mum has savagely priced down and to the loyal customer always asking if Junior and Taiye are doing well in school.
With the advent of new media, markets have gone beyond the physical into the virtual realm that is the online market. Nigeria is now a leader in Africa for online marketing. The Nigerian online market has its front-runners such as Jumia Market Nigeria, Jiji Market, OLX, Konga online marketplace and Kaymu online market. These markets are different in their own ways and can be categorized into food markets, pig markets and other animal markets, electronics market, etc.
The retail market size in Nigeria is ever growing and subsequent Nigerian market analysis proves it. The retail industry rakes in billions yearly and all this is possible because of the successful trade in the Nigerian market and the zeal to want to enhance the market experience. Some of the biggest retail markets in the industry remain Shoprite, SPAR, Justrite Superstore Limited, Goodies and more.
Each Nigerian market has what it is known for, legendary qualities if you’re to describe it. Taking time to analyze the size and extent of trade taking place in these areas, giving credit to the core of the Nigerian physical market, these are the five largest Nigerian markets.
Onitsha Main Market, Anambra, Nigeria
Onitsha Main Market is located in Onitsha city, Anambra state. It is the largest market in Africa based on geographical size and trade volume. Onitsha Main Market is regarded the commercial capital of its home state and south-eastern Nigeria as a whole, governed by one of the most respected market associations in Africa, Onitsha Market Traders Association (OMATA). Onitsha plays home to the office headquarters of most merchants, importers and exporters alike from eastern Nigeria. An average merchant clears up to six consignments of 40 feet containers of goods annually. This illustration is just to give you a mental picture of how big the market is. It is massively patronized by merchants in the ECOWAS sub-region including Accra, Abidjan, Douala, Niamey and Cotonou and various other parts of the continent and is said to have billions of naira worth of trade taking place every day. People you would always find at Onitsha market are the apprentices, their masters, hawkers, beggars, pickpockets and bag snatchers, sales girls, manual labourers and wife seekers.
2. Oshodi Market, Lagos, Nigeria
Oshodi Market is one of the most populous markets in Lagos. It is located in Oshodi area of Lagos. Oshodi market was established in 1860 to support colonial slave trade in Nigeria. Oshodi was one of the first places to benefit from the urban boom due to the railway lines construction between Lagos and the North by the British government. Since then Oshodi has grown to be a market with many phases where you can find just about any product ranging from fresh food items, clothes, jewellery, electronics, beauty products and more. In January 2016 the Lagos state government razed the main market to build the new BRT bus terminal and change the face of the suburb we call Oshodi. Also, the market was a hiding place for hardened criminals. Most traders/shop owners moved to the Army Arena which now constitutes the new Oshodi market, with better arrangements, security, and sales. Oshodi market just like any other market has the wholesale and retail sections. In all this market is known for its usual rowdiness, size, and affordability of goods.
3. Balogun Market, Lagos Island, Lagos, Nigeria.
Balogun Market is located on Lagos Island, Lagos, Nigeria. This market can be considered a tourist site because it is one place you must explore if you’re ever in Lagos. Balogun market has no definite address as it covers many streets in that vicinity. Balogun market is a place where you can buy and be bought. It is the best place to purchase fabrics, shoes, clothes, hair and beauty products. Balogun Market also referred to as Lagos market, is a haven for the female youth population, it is their go-to for essentials. You can find any beauty need in Balogun market. The market is filled with young, south-eastern boys catcalling females and advertising their products. The market has its fair share of daylight robbery. This is in the sense that if not familiar with the market, its ways and bargaining skills you will be overcharged/scammed, especially hair extensions.
4. Ariaria International Market, Aba, Abia, Nigeria
Ariaria International Market is an open-air market located in Aba, a city in Abia state, Southeast Nigeria. It is usually called African China because a majority of the wears and leather works sold in markets are produced here. Ariaria International market birthed the term ‘made in Aba’ and ‘Aba made’. This market houses the best product duplicators and manufacturers in West Africa. Ariaria International Market was established in 1976 following a fire outbreak that destroyed the old Ekeoha Market in Aba. The Market is the leather works capital of West Africa with an estimated two million traders. Ariaria market is so large, it cuts across three local governments, Aba North, Aba South, and Osisioma namely. The market has a segment for manufacturing only, where products are handmade and have a reputation for selling cheap and inferior good or replicas of products, however, traders still sell out in large numbers.
5. Alaba International Market, Lagos, Nigeria
Alaba International Market is the country’s largest electronics market, located in Ojo, Lagos state. The market trades in all forms of electronics and its repairs. It serves as a meeting ground and productive center for buyers, sellers, importers, engineers and electronics enthusiasts. The most commonly bought electronics from this market are home appliances. Because south-eastern Nigerians deal largely in electronics, they form the dominant population of this very market. Alaba international market is a large producer and distributor of thousands of Nollywood home video CDs and piracy. Every market is filled with the lonely wanderer, the easy buyer, tough retailer and bargain expert but there is also the pickpockets and robbers who mar the efforts of marketers. Over time strategies and been and are still being devised to combat market crime.
Nigeria itself is a marketplace on its own, in every action, something is bought and sold. These five markets some of the product line of Nigerian and the ancient markets keep growing and becoming more modern. Markets now provide a wider range of products and save some people the stress of always wanting to buy abroad.