Whether in Nigeria or anywhere else in the world, there is always a best place to live in – in terms of security and safety, serenity, road network, air travel, job opportunities, business opportunities, availability of power supply or its alternatives, recreational facilities/hotels and lodging, and standard or cost of living among other things.
These are currently changing, but these are the 5 best Nigerian cities to live as at today, without any bias toward the others not mentioned here, they may qualify for inclusion in the next review:
Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria is every man’s dreamland. It is located in the center of the country, and the seat of power for all Nigerians. It was deliberately planned to be an architectural masterpiece and to compete with the most beautiful and standardized cities in the world. Living in Abuja can be costly because it is the government seat of Nigeria, and accommodates the wealthiest folks in the country. The biggest companies want to have a headquarter in Abuja and the best international hotels are located there. So living in Abuja can be quite expensive, even in low places like Iyanya among others. Housing is costly and food is costly because of the daily influx of people into the city.
But Abuja has the best security in the country and more or less the safest place for tourists and expatriates considering the heavy presence of policemen and soldiers in the city. Remember the president and lawmakers and federal ministers are all resident in Abuja, hence the heavy security mounted day and night there.
The hotels are of international standards, the road networks are exceptionally great, CCTV cameras mounted at every street to minimize crimes, business opportunities abound everywhere, the power supply is very stable, airports are standard, and everything is just fine here. But standard of living is high and may be difficult for low-income earners in terms of accommodation and lodging, feeding, and other things.
Lagos was once the capital of Nigeria before the government seat was moved to Abuja in 1991, but Lagos remains the commercial center of the country. It is also the pace-setter for several other states in the areas of security, commercialization and industrialization, road network, and business opportunities.
But living in Lagos can be very tedious and tough for newcomers because of the hustle and bustle of daily life. Everyone is in a haste in Lagos, and everyone seems to have come for the money. Bankers, traders, dupes, scammers, drivers, prostitutes, househelp, kidnappers, and security men – they have all come for the money in Lagos – hence the active life of the city. People don’t sleep in Lagos because there is more money to be made, and more social life to live up to.
Housing is scarce and costly in Lagos due to the overpopulation. The city boasts of 20 million people, with thousands more coming in everyday. People even live in shacks and under the bridge as well as in creeks to earn a living. Power supply is averagely stable in parts of Lagos, and water supply is good, but general cost of living is averagely very high. Security is good in Lagos even though there are pockets of kidnappings here and there. There is an international airport to anywhere in the world, and there are hotels to cater to your lodging and travel needs.
Ibadan is an ancient, laid back city in Oyo State – the center of the Pan Yoruba race. Ibadan is much more serene and peaceful and even very dull compared to Lagos. It has all the trappings of an ancient city, but it is more or less the biggest city in West Africa. Business is always dull in Ibadan, and it is a dead city from the perspectives of those struggling all their lives in Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt.
Housing is very cheap in Ibadan, except in GRAs and areas dominated by wealthy industrialists. The road network was terrible, but has now been greatly improved under the previous and current administrations. Power supply is terrible and affects businesses here, but people manage to get by with power generators.
Ibadan is the most peaceful city in Nigeria and the cheapest to live in in terms of accommodation, lodging, food, and basic necessities of life. The first university in Nigeria – the University of Ibadan, is located here, and the standardized UCH is here. There is no more any active airport in Ibadan, but it is very safe and serene to live in. Business opportunities also abound in the city, but this cannot be compared to Lagos or Abuja.
iv. Benin City
Benin City, in Edo State is regarded as the city of peace and hope – the cradle of the Bini and Edo peoples. It is known for its cultural artifacts and traditional way of life. It is one of the safest cities to live in within Nigeria with very low crime rates, although the people could be desperate when it comes to money and business competition. The security is good in the state and the people generally good-natured.
Living condition in Benin City is on the high side, but they enjoy average power supply and business opportunities are high. It is a serene city to dwell in, and there are number of hotels and lodging to cater to your accommodation needs. There is high security in the state from police departments, although pockets of violence, ritual killings, and robberies still manage to occur from time to time. The road network is good and there appears to be an airport, but much more than all, it is one of the best places to live in Nigeria.
Located in Ogun State, Abeokuta is the ancient city of the Egbas, the Ijebus, and others descended from a common ancestry. The Olumo Rock is the main feature of Abeokuta, and the name literarily means “under the stone/rock” to depict how its ancient people hid in rocks during ancient tribal wars. It is a very traditional place to live in with lots of fascinating attractions to delight the eyes and mind.
Living in this city is cheap because of abundant houses and food supplies, and it also hosts a people warm toward one another. The road network is averagely good and power supply is stable. The security is also good and there is very low rate of crime in the city, with everyone acting as vigilante to the other.
There are hotels and guest houses to cater to your lodging, and recreational facilities to meet your needs. Business opportunities here could be drab just like in Ibadan, but the people manage to get by. There is no major airport, but transportation by land is never a problem.