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Full List: Naira Depreciation Makes Lagos, Abuja Among World’s Cheapest Cities For Experts – Report




Nigeria’s commercial hub, Lagos, and the nation’s capital, Abuja, have been ranked among the world’s cheapest cities for expatriates to live in, according to the 2024 Mercer cost of living survey.

Naija News reports that the survey attributed this affordability to the depreciation of the naira.

The decline of the naira began last year after President Bola Tinubu implemented economic reforms that removed the currency peg established by former Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Godwin Emefiele, which had previously kept the naira’s value artificially high.

Mercer’s survey highlights that Lagos and Abuja experienced the most significant decreases in living costs among 226 global cities from 2023 to 2024, despite the country’s high inflation rate.

Nigeria’s current inflation rate stands at 33.95%, with food inflation exceeding 40%.

In 2023, Lagos was the 47th most expensive city, while Abuja was ranked 140th. By 2024, Lagos had plummeted 173 spots to 225th, and Abuja followed closely behind at 226th. Islamabad, Pakistan, was similarly ranked low.

The survey notes that currency devaluations have significantly contributed to these cost-of-living decreases, even though inflation rates have surged in countries like Nigeria and Angola, where inflation exceeded 20% from March 2023 to March 2024.

In contrast, half of the top 10 most expensive cities for expatriates are in Western Europe, with Switzerland alone hosting four.

However, Southeast Asian cities lead the list, with Hong Kong and Singapore occupying the first and second spots, respectively.

In Africa, Lagos and Abuja also rank as the cheapest, with Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, rising 12 places to 14th globally.

Djibouti and N’Djamena follow at 18th and 21st, respectively. Conversely, Blantyre, Lagos, and Abuja are among the least expensive African cities, positioned at 221st, 225th, and 226th globally.

Other Notable Rankings:

Johannesburg, South Africa: Global rank: 206. Known for economic opportunities and affordable living costs, Johannesburg dropped slightly from 205 in 2023 to 206 in 2024.

Cape Town, South Africa: Global rank: 209. Despite being a tourist hotspot, Cape Town offers reasonable costs for expats, improving from 208 in 2023 to 209 in 2024.

Tunis, Tunisia:Global rank: 210. Combining cultural richness with affordability, Tunis advanced nine places to 210th in 2024.

Lusaka, Zambia: Global rank: 213. Renowned for low living costs, Lusaka dropped 16 places to 213th in 2024.

Gaborone, Botswana: Global rank: 215. Offering affordable housing and essentials, Gaborone improved its rank by one place.

Windhoek, Namibia: Global rank: 218. Attractive to cost-conscious expats, Windhoek climbed four places from its previous ranking.

Durban, South Africa: Global rank: 219.
Known for lower living costs compared to Johannesburg and Cape Town, Durban improved from 220 in 2023 to 219 in 2024.

Blantyre, Malawi: Global rank: 221. Notable for low costs in housing and daily expenses, Blantyre dropped 23 places.

Lagos and Abuja’s significant ranking drops highlight the impact of currency depreciation on living costs for expatriates, positioning them as some of the most affordable cities globally despite the economic challenges.