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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Welcome to Abuja City

Abuja is the capital city of Nigeria and it divided into various segments called districts, zones or areas. Don’t mistake her to be FCT (federal capital territory) which consists of all the Area councils including Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) - the equivalent of local governments in other states of Nigeria – that oversees the Abuja area consisting Wuse, Garki, Maitama, Jabi, Wuye, Asokoro, Gwarimpa, Gudu, Durumi and other towns in the heart of the city. Places like Bwari, Kubwa, Nyanya are on the outskirts of the FCT otherwise called satellite towns. The other 5 area councils are not under Abuja but the FCT which is overseen by a ministry, unlike other states of the federation the FCT does not have a governor so expect to hear something like the Minister of the FCT and not the governor of FCT.

The City

Like I said Abuja consists of Wuse, Garki, Gudu, Durumi, Jabi, Wuye, Asokoro, Gwarimkpa, Maitama, Apo, Utako, Lugbe and other small towns still undergoing development. It is an expensive and beautiful city – well for now since she is fast becoming a shadow of her old self – with beautiful lush green gardens, parks, well tarred roads, beautiful neighbourhoods and well planned infrastructure. The cost of living is not something you wouldn’t like to hear if you live on a low budget but you can enjoy your stay if you have deep pockets otherwise look for one of the satellite towns in to reside in.

Weather

Tourists to Abuja might find the weather okay, it’s sunny and hot most days of the year and whenever the rains come they fall real hard but other than hot weather Abuja is okay to stay in.

Tourist attractions and Hotels

There are many rocks in Abuja, you will easily notice many of them when you drive around town, but besides the rocks you might be interested in knowing about the markets, shopping plazas, eateries and other social hangouts in town. Hotels in Abuja are very many with some being built to meet demands and you won’t be disappointed with the quality of some of them which are 5 star hotels in their own right but they don’t come cheap.

Accommodation and Living costs

The first thing you should know is that Abuja houses are very expensive. Whether you want to buy or rent - be prepared to spend a lot of money, the city is suited for money bags. For instance, a 3 bedroom flat in Wuse Area goes for N1 million a year or more depending on which area of Wuse it is located and what facilities are available. In Maitama a similar apartment could go for N2 million or more.

Social life

Life is generally peaceful in most parts of Abuja, some places are very busy with heavy human and vehicular traffic such as Wuse area especially around the Wuse market, Area 1 in Garki, Wuse 2 around Banex and Area 10. People generally behave themselves and you will likely not meet many area boys as you stroll around the city unlike Lagos or other major cities. Crime rate is low. Abuja is a civil servants town with mostly government workers around. There are businesses but most of them can be found in apartment buildings, plazas and designated markets. Street selling or hawking is officially prohibited although you will still find a few hawkers here and there doing their thing. Night clubs in Abuja are exclusive and expensive of course but there are a few of note such as crystal lounge.

Final Words

If you are in Abuja for business and have family or friends you can stay with then do just that, it will save you a lot of costs, otherwise ask your travel agent to show you a few cheap hotels you could stay in till you depart. For pleasure, let me warn you randy guys – stay away from w****s, they will not only hurt you but you could be arrested, prostitution is ‘officially’ prohibited in Abuja and a task force is looking out for offenders. Other than that just live and let live but always have your thinking cap on.

Welcome once again

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