Abuja, the capital of Nigeria – and thus seat of government, is one city every Nigerian strives to visit and possibly settle in as there is the assumption that the city holds lucrative financial opportunities for all and sundry.
No doubt, Abuja is metropolitan and has a lot to offer in the area of business, leisure and even culture, however, there are certain unique truths that every prospective person planning to migrate here should keep in mind before moving. Jovago.com, Africa’s largest hotel booking website lists 4 solid truths about living in Abuja.
Rent is expensive
Abuja is one of the most beautiful cities in Nigeria, but the cost of living is very high. It is even more expensive than Lagos when it comes to housing and rent! For younger people who are unpaid interns or have entry level professional jobs and are supporting themselves, the city is pricey and it may be difficult to find a good area to live in within the city that will meet your budget. In fact, half a year’s pay will likely go towards a shoebox-sized mini flat somewhere far from the city’s center.
Safety is a huge deal
Owing to its status at the seat of power, there is a high presence of security operatives around the state. You do not need to live in fear while inhabiting the city anymore as both the police and Army officials have been deployed to keep guard. Basically, you can live your life freely within the city, but it is important to keep your wits about you and refrain from giving anyone the opportunity to approach you in a threatening manner.
Transportation is surprisingly affordable
For a city that is as sophisticated and elite like Abuja, it is surprising to find that transportation is well structured, organized and super affordable. At least when compared to cities of similar caliber. Unlike Lagos, Port Harcourt or Benin where the minimum rate for taxi cabs is N 1,000, one can get a cab for as low as N200 for a short distance in Abuja. Note that these cabs are not dilapidated or faulty. There are also buses that go to certain destinations and they are affordable as well, from as low as NGN50. Public transport is very safe and there have are barely any reported incidents of “one chance” in the city.
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 the North East 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 maybe want to think about living elsewhere.
It is a transient city
There are plenty of families, who have settled and lived a long time in Abuja, and there is no shortage of community and shared history in here, however, the city remains one of the most transient cities in Nigeria. Whether due to the city’s economy, the constant change in political appointments, flexibility of business in the area or religious reasons, a large number of people move in and out yearly basis.
While it is a great place for young people because it has a ton of very good jobs and holds opportunities for a position in the government, as they get older, they move back to the place they came from. So, chances are you will not be living in the city for long.