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Insight & Analysis - July 22, 2022

Top 5 Richest States in Nigeria and their GDPs

Nigeria is a country endowed with immense natural resources. The discovery and economic utilisation of these resources have made some regions the richest states out of the thirty-six states in Nigeria.

 The collective economic contribution of these states dubbed Nigeria the country with the largest economy in the sub-Saharan region of Africa. 

In 2021, it recorded $440.78 billion in the gross domestic product (GDP). In the first quarter of 2022, the country recorded a growth of 3.11%. This growth was pulled mainly by some of the richest states in Nigeria.

By leveraging on the revenue allocated and other resources such as natural resources, mineral resources, tourist attraction centres and taxes, these states boosted their economy and increased their states GDP and that of the country.

Here are some of the states.

Lagos State

Though Lagos State is the smallest state in the country, it has the most population. In 2021, the southwestern state had over 14.8 million people, with a projection of over 15.3 million by the end of 2022. Due to the rapid growth, the population is expected to reach around 24.4 million by 2035.

Being the country’s commercial centre also serves as an advantage for the state. This makes it the most economically vibrant state in the country and Africa. It generates more than 80% of the country’s foreign trade flows and over 50% of Nigeria’s port revenues.

In 2018, Lagos state had the highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $29 billion and $2,174 GDP per capita.


Rivers is one of the top oil-producing and richest states in Nigeria. It is considered the fifth most populous, with over 7.8 population in 2018. It contributes to the country’s GDP through oil and gas, telecommunication, and manufacturing sectors. In 2018, it had more than $18.7 billion in GDP and $2,396 per capita.

Rivers state contributes almost a third of Nigeria’s gross domestic product, national income, and foreign exchange. 


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Apart from being one of the oil-producing states, it is also known for its industrial and commercial activities. Warri serves as the centre for industrial and commercial activities, while Asaba serves as the state’s capital where political and administrative activities are overseen.

Economic activity increased the state’s GDP from N2.961 trillion recorded in 2019 to N4.471 trillion in 2019.


Oyo state is located in the South West part of Nigeria. It is known for its vast arable land and agricultural activities.

This has served as a source of revenue for the state. The state had over $14.3 billion in GDP in 2018 and $2,452 per capita.

The state is notable for farming crops such as millet, rice, cashew, cocoa and other cash crops. It shares a boundary with Lagos State, which explains why the state has increased in population. As of 2018, it has over 6 million people.


Like Lagos State, Kano is one of Nigeria’s states with the most population. In 2018, the state had over 13.9 million people.

This makes the state one of the commercial hubs in the northern part of Nigeria, known for products such as textile, leathered and cotton production. In 2018, the state generated $13.6 billion in DGP and $978 GDP per capita.


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