Abuja is a fast growing city that presents great prospects hence many Nigerian Youths especially graduates ( a handful from neighbouring countries) troop into this Nigeria Big Apple to either pursue their career or work for a living.
No doubt, Abuja’s population is increasing by the day majority of which are youths.
Hence it is peculiar to meet various challenges in this fast growing city.
Some of the problems that are common will be listed and discussed and possible ways of coping with then will be proffered. While doing this, I’ll briefly state my personal experience as a Fresher and how I’m surviving as I’m still a fresher.
Please note that there is no hard and fast rule of survival. What will work for Peter (my late father’s name) might not work for Paul.
Read and learn.
This was and is still the biggest problem in Abuja… for those who didn’t read Pretty002’s story, she discussed extensively how she has been suffering from this same issue.
But do you know that there are more empty houses in Abuja than the ones people live in? That’s by the way side though. For freshers, this poses a big problem.
For those planning on coming to abuja to work or stay, accommodation in Abuja is very expensive far expensive than Lagos. For those doubting Thomas, come and see for yourself. So when coming here, plan on where to stay at least for the first few months before you can get your own place.
Please and please before leaving home, create a network of TRUSTED friends minimum of 2 living Abuja already that you can stay with for the time being.
For me, I had 3 friends I could stay with when I was coming to Abuja. And to avoid too much shakara from any, I was shuttling the 3 houses during the weekends but I spent the week in one of the houses cus it was in town closer to my workplace.
Always suggest and support any arrangement that will encourage better leaving for your host.
As for me, the very first dat I stayed at my friends place, I contributed a larger part in buying gas, I did the dishes even when I didn’t use them. Subsequently, I supported him financially in paying for water bill, bought groceries and cooked.
Please don’t see it as slavery. You are the one at the disadvantaged end here.
Except you are very comfortable, do not stay in your friends place more than 3 months. Have a plan of getting your own place when you get a job, no matter how small or how far the place is.
Lastly, on accommodation, please ladies! Do not stay in a guy’s house unless he’s your brother or close and very close relative.
2. Getting a Job:
This is also another tough part in Abuja. Getting a job is not easy at all. Although I got my present job 2 days upon landing Abuja, I have friends who up till now are still searching for job.
Please plan well and don’t rely on that uncle that promised to give you a job once you move to Abuja (due respect to those faithful to their words).
As for me, immediately I stepped into Abuja, I started searching for job the next morning. I moved from office to office, I printed my CV and made lots of copies. I submitted my CV in several offices.
On the next day I continued.
I still remember my line whenever I entered any office. “I’m a lawyer, my name is… I moved into Abuja yesterday and I decided to move round to see if there is any vacancy for a lawyer”. The answer was usually NO until I walked into my present office and fortunately for me, there were conducting interview for lawyers and luckily I was the only one employed after the interview.
3. Cost of transportation: after accommodation, transportation is the most expensive thing in Abuja. Some people spend about A thousand naira going to work every day. Have a plan of financing your transportation at least before you get a job to when you get a job and paid. Do not rely on your host to give you transport even if your host is your relative.
this won’t pose a major problem unless you are eating at your hosts house. Always support the cooking arrangement in the house. Do not be a virus. Even if your host is not the cooking type, please suggest you guys cook to save money. And even if you don’t know how to cook, try it. No matter how bad your cooking is, your host will see your genuine interest in supporting him/her.
5. Neatness at all time:
Please always appear neat and presentable at all time. It is very sacrosanct to your living in Abuja. Always clean your surroundings, where you stay and work. No matter how dirty and untidy you are at home, please always clean your hosts apartment whether you contributed to the dirt or not.
6. Define your class:
Please be informed that all classes exist here in Abuja. Below low class, low class, below middle class, middle class, below high class, high class very high class, etc.
It can be tempting to leave above your class especially if you meet the wrong persons when you get here.
As for me, when I got here, I stayed with a friend that loves drinking every night, I mean every night. Even though I was not the one paying, I felt it is not appropriate to do so especially as it was affecting my new job. So most times I discourage them from going or I don’t go with them and this prompted me to get my own apartment quickly as I didn’t want to lose focus of what brought me to Abuja.
Abuja presents an environment to lavish your money if you are not wise. Spend cautiously and remember those you left home.
7. Be prayerful:
This point is very vital. To me, I got my job through the prayer I said before I entered the premises of my current workplace.
No matter what believe you have or your religion, please be prayerful. It’s sacrosanct to your survival here in Abuja.
Conclusively, please note that I am less than 2 months in Abuja.
I got my apartment from my first salary, soft loan from a friend and home support. Although I was flat broke after I rented my place, I’m happy and I have rest of mind.