The 2015 cost of living survey ranked the city as the 35th most expensive in the world. Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria, has become an up market city, popularly known as the London of Africa. It is one of the largest cities in Africa that best describes the diversities, characters, foibles and strengths of Nigeria. It is the seat of Nigerian government, and the one city that every Nigerian strives to visit and possibly settle in. It is a fact that the city holds lucrative opportunities for all.
No doubt, Abuja is metropolitan and has a lot to offer in the area of businesses, leisure and even culture. However, there are certain unique facts that every prospective person planning to migrate to Abuja should keep in mind before moving;
Standard of living is high: Abuja is one of the most beautiful cities in Nigeria, but the cost of living is very high. The cost of living has gone beyond the average professional’s wages. Renting a decent house is not a poor man’s business in highbrows places like Maitama, Asokoro and Garki. An average family man can do well with #10,000 to #15,000 per week for feeding his family, while eating at a fast food joint and groceries will depend on your taste and choice.
Safety is a huge deal: Owing to its status as the seat of power, there is high presence of security operatives in some areas like Maitama, Garki, Asokoro, and the likes. You do not need to live in fear while staying in the city as both the police and army officers have been deployed to keep guard. Basically, you can live your life freely within these areas. However, in areas like Nyanya and Mararaba, you have to always be on guard as there are bad boys roaming the streets day and night looking for handbags, purses or handsets to snatch. Whichever area you find yourself, it is important to keep your wits about you and refrain from giving anyone the opportunity to rob you.
Transportation is Surprisingly Affordable: For a city that is sophisticated and elitist like Abuja, it is surprising to find that transportation is well structured, organized and super affordable, compared to cities of similar calibre. In places like Lagos, Port Harcourt or Benin, transportation can be very high, where the minimum rate for taxi cab can cost close to #1000, while in Abuja, one can get a cab for as low as #200 depending on the distance. There are also public buses and personal cars that take commuters to certain destinations at affordable rates as well, from as low as #100. However, you have to be very careful with this category of commercial vehicles; some of them are the robbers and fraudsters popularly known as “One Chance”. The One Chance phenomenon is a common trend in Abuja.
The weather can be extreme: Abuja may be mid-central, but the weather is similar to the weather in other northern regions and the temperatures are usually at the extremes. The city experiences three weather conditions annually, including a warm, humid rainy season and an extremely hot dry season, in between these seasons, is a short period of harmattan accompanied by Northeast trade wind, with the main feature of dust, haze intensified coldness and dryness. The high altitudes and rolling terrain of the FCT act as moderating influence on the weather of the territory. If you hate extreme heat and cold equally, you may want to think about living elsewhere.
By: Mercy Kukah