Abuja Has Traffic Too, and 11 Other Things We Don’t Like to Tell Lagosians

April 25, 2022

I still believe Lagos is the most stressful city to live in, but I also think Abuja people living in Lagos glamourise Abuja way too much. So as someone who’s lived, schooled and work in both cities, here are twelve things we don’t tell people about Abuja.

1. There’s Traffic

Yeah, I said it. There’s mad traffic in Abuja too. The 6 p.m. traffic in Abuja feels like you’ve been teleported to Lagos for a few hours. And God bless you if it happens to rain, that’s double the time you’ll spend trying to get home if you living on the outskirts. 

The traffic spreads across central areas like Wuse, Maitama, and Wuye, after work, to areas further away from town like Lugbe, Kubwa and Maraba. So everywhere in Abuja is choked up until about  9 p.m.

2. The rain is something else

If Abuja rain should catch your clothes outside, it’s over for you. And if you forgot to pack them before leaving your house, no need because your neighbours won’t even act like they saw the clothes flying away. 

3. Finding street food isn’t as easy

In Abuja, you’ll never find Iya Sukirat selling amala or rice and ponmo stew down the road for your lunch break. The most you’ll see if you decide to look for street food on a hot afternoon in Abuja is roasted yam or corn. And although roasted yam bangs with pepper sauce, how many times can you eat that in a week? 

4. Public transportation is just as stressful

Without a personal car, Uber, or Bolt, navigating in Abuja is just hella difficult. Kekes aren’t allowed on certain roads, so carpooling kabu kabus is your best bet. And those things are more annoying than danfos.

I agree kabu kabus are cheap, but how about the fact that four people are squeezed in the back seat? Picture all the bodies that will be squeezed against yours at the back. Let’s not even talk about the crowd fighting to get into the front seat during closing hours. You’re lucky if someone doesn’t elbow you. Just be grateful for your danfos in Lagos.

5. Bukkas are way more expensive

Eating in Lagos is definitely more expensive than in Abuja, but at least, if a spot is cheap, it’s really cheap. In Abuja, even the cheap ones are still stressful. They’ll call the place a bukka and you’ll still end up spending ₦1500 or ₦2k. Why? I won’t call names, but I’ve spent ₦200 for one akara at a bukka in Abuja before. I still bought it sha, but it was against my will. 

RELATED: Four Reasons Why You Should Hate The Public Transport System 

6. Drivers are also mad

You think Lagos drivers are mad? LOL. I’ve learnt that the freer the roads, the more chaotic the drivers. You’d think the fact that we claim that there’s no traffic would slow us down, but no. Everyone is on the road like we’re playing Need for Speed. In a month, you’ll probably spot at least two car crashes because everyone is speeding recklessly. Abuja drivers don’t even care about stoplights, talk more about their cars. 

7. Social circles are tight

Making friends as an adult is hard, but making friends as an adult living in Abuja is harder. In Abuja, everyone minds their business. And at parties or events, people move in groups. If you’re new in town, you’re on your own. It can be intimidating to get into those social circles, but give it time I guess.

8. You’ll get tired of kilishi (dried meat)

Once you say you’re travelling from Abuja, everyone wants you to dedicate a bag to packing kilishi. The truth is, when you now live there, you forget that it actually exists. First, it’s expensive and then there’s like, only one spot in town that sells good kilishi, so that’s more work driving all the way there, depending on when you live. 

RELATED: Here’s How You Can Get Free Kilishi In Abuja

9. Sometimes, there’s no water

Let’s be honest, almost every Abuja person has a meruwa (water supplier) guy on speed dial. And if you live on the top floor of your building, you probably have two. Once your neighbour downstairs turns on their tap, it’s either your tap’s pressure gets low, or the water completely stops.  That’s why renting a house in Abuja is such a gamble.

10. Our roads are bad too

Yes yes, we have the widest and freest roads. The thing is, when a road in Abuja is good, it’s really good. But when it’s bad, it’s really bad. It’s either untarred or has a lot more bumps than you’d expect. Take the EFAB estate road at Lifecamp. It’s been years and that stretch of road is still untarred. And when it rains, the whole area can get very messy. So look out for those hidden gems when you’re house hunting in Abuja.

11. Shopping isn’t easy

Abuja doesn’t have a Tejuosho or Eko market. Of course, there’s Wuse, Garki and Nyanya markets, but there aren’t as many options for affordable clothes. Imagine pricing jeans from ₦10k or ₦15k in the market.  Plus, you’ll spend a long time walking around to find pieces you love. Boutiques have more options, but the price of clothes there will send you back to your village. 

12. Finding an ATM is one of the hardest things

You may need the detective instincts of Fashola to find an ATM machine in Abuja. For some reason, ATMs are either always so far away or just not available. Then when you successfully find one, you’ll spend the rest of your day queueing. So when you need to do anything at the bank, 8:00 a.m. is not early enough. It’s better for you to be as early as the gateman, if not….

ALSO READ: Where You Live in Abuja and What That Says About You

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