Thinking of relocating to Abuja ? Abuja is steadily becoming the city with the highest influx of people in Nigeria next to Lagos. It is estimated that about 100 new people move into Abuja every day. With much hype about the city, it is easy to get caught up without having the right information before moving to Abuja.
Relocating to Abuja is a hot topic with its many motivations. Either politically, economic or career , there’s always a reason to make that move.
So what makes Abuja more desirable than other big Nigerian cities like Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Kaduna or Kano? Abuja is a beautiful city that attracts people from all walks of life. It’s also one of the fastest growing cities in Nigeria. Maybe, the fact that Abuja is a safe, well planned and organized city is what makes it very desirable to most Nigerians. Ask anyone living in Abuja and they’ll tell you they can’t trade living in the city with anywhere else in Nigeria.
The truth is, Abuja’s appeal is not new. A brief walk back in time will make you understand that Abuja was made to stand out since its creation. Established in 1991, the idea was born out of moving the federal capital territory into a more central location. As years went by, Abuja soon became the hub for government, Industrial and commercial activities. By 2010, Abuja had already grown to a population of 1 million inhabitants.
It isn’t just government activities that have made this city great. Many people settle in Abuja because of its status as the federal capital territory.
If you are about to make Abuja your new home, or you’re just considering it, this guide will provide you with the relevant information you need about relocating to Abuja.
7 things to know before relocating to Abuja
Abuja is Affordable (ish)
While Abuja is known to have one of the most expensive housing markets in the country, there are still lots of affordable options in good neighbourhoods in the city.
If you don’t mind commuting to and from your place of work, you might want to move to the satellite towns rather than living in the city proper. Bear in mind that this means longer commute time.
Transportation is surprisingly affordable
It’s true that you’ll find classy people and luxury cars in Abuja. However, contrary to the belief of most Nigerians, you can live and work in Abuja without a car.
Although most Abuja residents commute the city in their cars, the commercial transport system is fairly cheap and available in every part of Abuja. There are options of public transport that gives you the freedom to go with anyone you want.
As a resident in Abuja, you can take advantage of buses that ply as far as 30km for a paltry (200 -250naira). You have buses going to and fro Abuja to Maraba-AYA-Nyanya (this is for those who live on the outskirts of the city)
The tricycle popularly called Keke is available in most areas in Abuja for easy transportation. While Okada is banned within the city metropolis, they are still available in certain areas making it possible to get around easily.
Lastly, the taxi. Compared to Lagos, taxis are quite cheaper here. To take a taxi , there are two options available to you. You can either take “drop” or “along”. While “along” has a fixed price, the cost of “drop” will depend on your negotiating power ( don’t worry you’ll get used to the lingua when you get here)
The city is also pedestrian friendly; You can walk comfortably on the sidewalks in areas like CBD to wuse II
Traffic (forget it)
If you lived in other big cities in Nigeria like Lagos or Port Harcourt, you’ve most likely being faced with the problem of long hours in traffic.
In Abuja , it’s almost none existent except during rush hour in the morning on the outskirts of the city (mostly around Mararaba -Nyanya) and at closing time around the central business district.
Always be Classy
Believe it or not, the city influences you in many ways than you can imagine. Abuja is the city of dreams for most people; they say a single contract in Abuja can change your life. While this can be true, most people like to look and act the part. Hiring an Uber or taxify for a business meeting (if you don’t have a car), looking well dressed all the time, being a member of a golf or country club etc. These are all part of “looking the part “. People have lost contracts, big business deals or even worse turned back at the entrance simply because they didn’t look the part.
The city makes you build a persona of a classy and refined person. Unlike Lagos where you have to act like an agbero to survive in most areas, Abuja is a lot different – classy rules.
The weather can get extreme
If you’re from the south and you’re used to the cool weather of the south, it might take a while to get used to the Abuja weather. However, for someone used the extreme weather of the north, a move to Abuja might be a smart one.
It can get really hot during the dry season in Abuja, but this doesn’t mean you’ll have to hide in air conditioning for several hours of the day.
Abuja is Multicultural
Life in Abuja is a blend of different people, culture and a modern city lifestyle. What makes Abuja an ideal place to live is the various people you meet from different cultural backgrounds, the endless list of places to go and things to see and do.
Abuja has a bubbly night life
The Night life may not be as bubbly as Lagos, but you can be rest assured that the city has an endless list to keep you all through the night. The best night clubs , street bars, gentlemen clubs and hotels in the country are located in the city. So if you’re a lover of the night life, know that the city has got you covered.
How to survive in Abuja
Reside on the outskirts of the city
If you’re still new to Abuja , consider living on the outskirts for now. This will save you alot till you can afford to live in the heart of town.The outskirts are much more affordable for anyone just moving in, especially if you come from a city where rent is cheap.
Home cooked meals for now
Untill you get stable in Abuja or get a high paying job, consider cooking your meals and minimize take out foods.
Get a side hustle
This should be a no brainer, but if don’t know, consider getting a side hustle. Find something to sell (most people in Abuja can afford whatever you’re selling) , get paid for your services, anything legal that can fetch you extra income.
Define your class
Here in Abuja, you’ll find all classes of people. For someone just relocating to Abuja, it can get tempting to want to live above your means.The city presents every opportunity to lavish your money if you are not wise. Don’t drive a benz if you can only fuel and maintain a corolla, don’t rent in Gwarinpa if your yearly salary can only afford kubwa or Jikwoyi.