An analysis by the geopolitical spread by SBM Intelligence shows that the most expensive place to cook Jollof rice in Nigeria is Kano. 

The tally of prices obtained from the second half of 2017 up until February of 2018 has shown a negligible increase in the average national index from ₦6,000 in July 2017 to ₦6,040 in February 2018.

Based on geopolitical location, between July 2017 and February 2018, the most expensive place to cook jollof rice in Nigeria remains Kano where it would cost ₦7,325 to put together the delicacy for six people. This compares unfavorably with Lagos, where a pot of the meal will set you back only ₦5,322, the lowest in the country followed very closely by Anambra at ₦5,351.

The south-western city Ibadan, also very Jollof friendly at ₦6,148. while in Abuja, the national capital, President Buhari’s pot of Jollof will cost a hefty ₦6,164. In July 2017, the national price of cooking an average pot of Jollof rose marginally to ₦6,000, between August and November there was a downward trend in prices, despite a slight dip it hovered between ₦5,980 and ₦5,975. The festive seasons saw food prices increase, as a result, the average pot of Jollof cooking price rose to ₦6,025 and ₦6043 in January and February 2018 respectively. In October 2017, the national price of cooking a pot of Jollof was at its cheapest at ₦5883.

The SBM Jollof index is a composite index that tracks the prices of the main ingredients used to prepare a pot one of Nigeria’s primary delicacies Jollof rice. This meal was chosen because it is a delicacy in every part of the country. In July 2016, SBM Intelligence began to track the price movements of the ingredients Nigerians use to make a pot of nationally celebrated Nigerian Jollof Rice for the average Nigerian family which according to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics was six people.

The survey initially covered nine markets in four geopolitical zones. From June 2017, we included two markets in the South-South as well, bringing the number of zones covered to five. Based on the data gathered in this survey, we are able to show the trends of food inflation in a simple manner that encompasses most Nigerians. The last release of the index was in Q3 2017. Since we started the index, we have updated it for every month except in December of any given year, where the demand from festivities impacts the prices in a manner that is out of the normal distribution. We believe that this index gives a birds eye’s picture of national inflationary trends.



Since we last released it in September 2017, the Jollof Index declined steadily for October and November 2017, reflecting the slowdown in food inflation. However, it rose again in January, as a result of the carry-over of the inevitable rise in December. It has begun to decline again. However, the rate of decline is still slow. A comparison of the February 2018 cost with the base at July 2016 shows a 36% difference with the later date being greater. So while the price is slowly reducing, it still costs Nigerians more today than it did in 2016 to enjoy a pot of Jollof Rice.

Breakdown of the index per region:

Kano continues to be where it is costliest to prepare a pot of Jollof, at ₦6,790 as at February 2018. This is less than the ₦7,340 the last time we released this report. The ingredient responsible for this is turkey, as a kilogram of turkey in Kano’s Sabon Gari market costs significantly more than in most other markets. Awka in the South East continues to have the lowest Jollof costs, at ₦4,760.

Another trend observed by our staff in the field is that Nigerians, hitherto loyal to specific brands, have continued the trend of buying whichever brand is available on the shelves. This was first reported in our July 2016 index, and the trend has continued, indicating a shift in the preferences of homemakers, and an opportunity for smaller brands to not only break into the market but to maintain market share. An increasing number of respondents have indicated that as a result of the now-ended recession, they were now more willing to explore more alternatives to their preferred brands as the price of their preferred brands moved out of their reach. This willingness exposed some hidden gems.

“My son cannot take bread without chocolate
spread, so I always used to buy Nutella,”

a working mother at Balogun Market in Lagos told us, “but since I found Nusco, which is cheaper, I have been using it in place of Nutella and he is not complaining.” Buying habits, which moved away from monthly bulk buying in mid-2016, have remained firmly in the “buy as you need” model as many shoppers still seek to conserve cash at hand as opposed to tying their money down for a month.


Over two days, March 8 and 9, 2018, SBM spoke with 84 randomly selected street corner traders about the effect of food prices on their lives. The interviews were all conducted in the Orile area of Lagos. Each respondent answered four questions regarding their monthly expenditure on food, how rising costs have changed their financial habits, how these costs have affected other parts of their lives, and what they may be doing, if anything, to improve things. Of the respondents, 16 (19%) spend ₦60,000 per month on feeding or more, 40 (48%) spend between ₦30,000 and ₦60,000 a month on feeding, while the remaining 33% spend ₦30,000 or less per month on feeding.

16 of the respondents say that the current inflationary trends for food items have not affected other aspects of their lives, while 18 (21%) have started looking
for other means of income. 15 (18%) of our respondents, have been forced to change their financial habits because of the rise in food costs.

Comparing this to the survey done this time last year, there has been a 11% decrease in persons that can spend ₦60,000 or more per month on feeding, a 38% increase in persons that could spend between ₦30,000 and ₦60,000 a month on feeding and a 27% decrease in persons that could spend ₦30,000 per month on feeding or less. A 1% increase in respondents seeking other means of income, 6% increase in persons saying that the current inflationary trends for food items have not affected other aspects of their lives, a 10% increase in respondents, have been forced to change their financial habits because of the rise in food costs. The current trend shows that as the purchasing power of Nigerians is decreasing, though the price of the very items they seek to purchase is continually on the increase, the rate of increase has slowed down.