800k in Lagos or 150k in Abuja? All the reasons why you should think well before making a decision

Social media has become a haven for debates that cause actual changes in mindsets. You could learn how not to be stupid on social media, how to stay healthy during a pandemic, or how to be financially literate. The impact of social media has gone from being an entertaining extra to a fully integrated part of nearly every aspect of our daily lives.

The conversations touch literally every aspect – relationships, religion, culture, politics, etc. For Twitter, sometimes, it is just one tweet that usually causes a gathering at the village’s market square.

What’s the catch today?

Sounds familiar? We remember the conversation about a ₦300,000 salary in Ibadan or ₦150,000 in Abuja.

Lagos is known for too many things. From being the most economically active state in Nigeria to being the most expensive state in terms of food, housing and transport to being the only state in Nigeria with a non-governor as a state leader to being the state with the most mental health cases – not even arguable.

Using unpopular comparison, you will argue that ‘hustling’ is a natural phenomenon in both Lagos and Abuja. Yet, there is hardly breathing space in the former to hustle peacefully.

If you live in Lagos and claim not to experience mental stress – caused by traffic – every other day, you are probably living in Lagos, Portugal. The conversation is Lagos, Nigeria. On your list of experiences are: unexpected fare increase due to traffic, rain or ‘too much sun’; unexpected increase in the price of palm oil, mango, agbalumo and orange because the dollar exchange is now higher; unrealistic price of apartments – even in ‘low brow’ places; extraordinary political events. List the others in your head.

Abuja gives you some of these kinds of problems too, like hectic traffic situations, however, not at the same rate as Lagos. You can’t imagine a 500% increase in fare in Abuja because it might never happen that way. Prices of food items will not go from ₦50 to ₦1,000 because the government plans to increase fuel, or banned okada. Yet, you cannot be staying in Apo inside and be working in Berger and be saying you have peace of mind.

As an aside, Abuja residents are the ‘don’t enter my lane’ kind of people. No one interferes in the other’s business. You could live in a compound for more than six months and hardly know your neighbour. But Lagos? Talk about when the neighbour comes home, parking space, noise pollution, etc.

It is a whole different experience, but an ₦800,000 salary in Lagos as against a ₦150,000 salary in Abuja is very much debatable.

Let’s do a pseudo budget for both states:

Lagos (₦800,000 monthly salary)

Annual salary = ₦9,600,000

Accommodation (annually), when you do not need to be luxurious and are single = ₦1,500,000 (two-bedroom flat)

Transport (car-less, bus-lover – from Ikorodu to Victoria Island) = ₦44,800 monthly (₦537,600 annually. Will definitely not be up to that).

(car owner – fuel and maintenance) = ₦40,000 monthly (₦480,000 annually)

Food  (vegetarian or not) = ₦35,000 monthly (₦420,000 annually)

Total = ₦2,400,000

So, dear reader, you still have ₦7,200,000 for data, essentials, travel, hangouts, family/friends and waste activities.

Abuja (₦150,000 monthly salary)

Annual salary = ₦1,800,000

Accommodation (annually), when you do not need to be luxurious and are single = ₦800,000 (two-bedroom flat).

Transport (car-less, cab-lover – from Kubwa to Wuse) = ₦11,200 monthly (₦134,400 annually. Will definitely not be up to that).

(car owner – fuel and maintenance) = ₦40,000 monthly (₦480,000 annually)

Food  (vegetarian or not) = ₦22,000 monthly (₦264,000 annually).

Total = ₦1,198,400

Ladies and gentleman, you have approximately ₦601,600 for data, essentials, travel, hangouts, family/friends and waste activities.

Be the judge.

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