Benin has numerous markets strewn across the city to cater for the needs of its inhabitants as well as to serve as sales outlets for the numerous farm produce cultivated in the rural areas of the state. The nodal nature of Benin makes it an ideal place for various commercial activities as these farm produce can be easily transported to cities like Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.
A visit to the major markets in Benin shows that there is still a lot that can be done by both the government and traders to make shopping in Benin a better experience.
This article is on the top 10 popular markets in Benin City
This market is located along Sakponba road, stretching across second and third east circular (Murtala Muhammed Way) roads at the very heart of Benin City. The name of the market (Eki meaning market and Osa meaning God) is related to the origins of the market. It is reportedly traced back to the days of the arrival of the early Jehovah Witness missionaries in Benin City, when the once bushy area was used as a venue for crusades. The local traders intended to take advantage of the large crowds that gathered during these religious events to sell their wares.
Ekiosa is known as a bustling market where foodstuffs such as rice and beans brought from outside Edo State, as well as locally grown food items like yams, melons, vegetables, etc. are sold at quite affordable rates.
However, it is somewhat ironical considering its name and origin that the market is also a major hub for the sale of traditional worship and ritual materials (locally called kemwinkemwin).
Shopping at ekiosa is quite convenient with parking spaces available for a small fee along the second east circular road.
The Oba market is located at ring road Benin City, right in the city centre. This market is probable the oldest of the large markets in Benin as it is recorded that business activities were taking place at the same location as far back as the 15th century as they are today.
Oba market is known for the sale of food items, clothes and fabrics, traditional beads, jewellery, and it also has a major mobile phone shopping plaza as well as computer sales and repair services.
A prominent feature of Oba market is the Emotan statue and shrine located right opposite the market.
Agbado market is located along the Akpakpava and mission road axis of the city. Agbado market which was created by Ogiso Ere and was named Ogiso market (16 and 66 AD) is the first market in Benin kingdom but was later renamed Agbado market. Although food items, clothes and other items can be purchased there, it is mostly known as a market where all forms of cooking utensils such as pots, pans, spoons, plates and kitchen paraphernalia are sold in large quantities at affordable prices. Agbado market also has a large plastics sale section.
Shopping at ekiagbado is quite convenient because of its layout and accessible car park.
The New Benin market is located in the New Benin, Mission road and New Lagos road area. It is probably the busiest market in Benin City. A wide range of commodities are sold there at really good prices such as food items, electronics and electricals, clothes and fabrics, traditional beads as well as a large bush meat section.
Probably due to its super busy nature, New Benin market is very crowded and quite disorganised. Not only is there a persistent traffic grid lock around the market, it is also quite filthy due to inefficient waste disposal system. It is a common sight to see decaying food and animal remains around the market, resulting in the constant stench that seems to hang around the market.
New Benin market is also associated with poor parking and unregulated street trading.
Santana market is located along Sapele road in Benin City. Items traded at Santana market include food items, beverages, and fish mostly brought in from neighbouring Delta state. It is a major cause of traffic jam along sapele road because of shoppers who have to park along the road because of the unavailability of a suitable carpark.
Uselu market is one of the most prominent markets in Benin City, located on the Ugbowo Lagos road in Egor Local Government Area. Uselu market stocks practically anything from food items, clothes, fabrics, vegetables, meat, plastics, cooking utensils, cosmetics, drinks and beverages. It is highly patronised by people living around the Ugbowo area and also students of the University of Benin because of the proximity of the market to the Ugbowo campus.
Shopping at Uselu market is quite convenient but parking could be a bit of a challenge.
The Oliha market is located in the Siluko road area of Benin City. It serves as a major trade outlet for the farm produce cultivated in the interior villages. Apart from the farm produce, Oliha market also has sections for clothes, food items, drinks, locally made beads and fabrics.
Along with Ekiosa market, Oliha market is well known for the sale of objects of Benin traditional worship and rituals such as native chalk, red, white and black fabrics, alligator pepper, tortoise, ostrich feathers, animal skulls and bones, etc.
Oregbeni market also known as Ikpoba Hill market is located in Ikpoba Hill in Ikpoba – Okha local government area of Edo state. Oregbeni market is not a daily market, it holds traditionally every four days. The market days usually draws customers from far and wide because of its huge stock of freshly harvested crops, fruits and vegetables and also its strategic location.
Due to street trading and the large number of customers, the market days are often characterised by heavy traffic in the Ikpoba Hill area.
Ugbogiobo market is located in Ovia North East local government area of Edo State. The market opens traditionally every four days. It is well known for the sale of fresh food crops and fruits brought in from the hinterland. It is also a major palm oil and cassava flakes (garri) hub in Benin City.