Onitsha market refers to all the markets situated in Onitsha metropolis. It is based in the city of Anambra, which is the commercial capital Of Anambra State in southeastern Nigeria. It is governed by the Onitsha Market Traders Association (OMATA). It is known for its Riverport and can equally be referred to as the commercial powerhouse of West Africa.
A large number of import merchants from Eastern Nigeria have their head offices within the Onitsha market. Annually, it is reported that an average trader is said to bring in at least six consignments of 40 tons (40-feet containers) of goods.
A few of the major importers do more than 200 consignments of 40 tons of goods per year. These include jewellery, clothing, household, industrial and office equipment.
The Onitsha market is bounded by the Niger River to the West and Fegge through Osumaru Road from the East.
The market is protected by the Onitsha Main Market Vigilante Services working under the auspices of the Nigerian Police Force.
A large number of the merchants that patronize the market are from the ECOWAS sub-region including Accra, Abidjan, Cotonou, Niamey, and Douala.
The Onitsha market offers a wide range of goods. Despite safety measures, petty thieves and fraudsters are still active.
During the 1950s and 1960s, books and publications were sold in the Onitsha market. These publications were referred to as Onitsha market literature and it was mostly written in pidgin. In recent times, the literature is beneficial to researchers as a secondary source of information and social conditions of that period.
The Onitsha market literature is appreciated by readers for the use of colourful Pidgin English and other local racy design.