In the time of a pandemic, Nigerians debate a 1M in Abuja or 300k in Ibadan salary

Nigerians are the happiest people on the planet” – you are allowed to argue with your ancestors.

Beset by extreme poverty, gross unemployment/underemployment, corruption, violence and now COVID-19 – a global pandemic threatening to cause more harm than anticipated, Nigerians still find a way to stay happy.

There’s no survey that indicates if Nigerians are honestly happy and just want to stay positive, but there is data to tell you that Nigerians can make the whole world an audience to their circus.

The 1M in Abuja or 300k  in Ibadan conversation is just another reason to say that Nigerians won’t allow a disease to pull down their mental pyramid of wide smiles and happy endings.

Whoever started it – like most other social media trends – might have had a uniquely innocent intention to ask a question or maybe it is just the ‘boredom’ that caused such stirrings in the person’s mind. Or maybe, just maybe the author really wants to acquire data to make a decision between Ibadan and Abuja. No one is certain of these things though.

One thing we are certain of is that another social media conversation (war) has started and, as usual, we are here for it.

There are usually two sides of the divide. This time, there is one side saying a million naira salary in Abuja will drive all your worries away, while the other insists that three hundred thousand naira is a big deal for residents of Ibadan.

Let’s bring you what the first side is saying:

First, this is the genesis:

And then, the reactions:

As earlier mentioned, there are two sides of a coin:

Let’s do a mini-comparison

For Ibadan:

Transportation anywhere out of Lagos in the South West is quite cheap when you compare with Lagos. So, if you pay N500 for a journey in Lagos, be sure that you are travelling if it were Ibadan.

We all know how food is cheap in Ibadan, all because the state has a lot of farm settlements and private farms and even distribute food items to neighbouring states; especially Lagos.

Accommodation in Ibadan does not usually come with premium prices. This means you could get a three-bedroom flat in a nice environment for N300-N500,000 and be happy you did.

If you visit any Ibadan market to change or renew your wardrobe, you will definitely go back home smiling because you will not be emptying your pocket for that sole reason.

For Abuja:

Transportation is seamless and cheap. And if you are mobile, you would not be fighting, every other day, with bike men who do not respect car lanes. There are hardly buses, only taxis. But like Ibadan, the drivers squeeze too many people in the taxis and care less what happens to them.

Food is cheap in Abuja too. Why not? It is a centre, and surrounding states, who supply food items to Southern Nigeria also supply the FCT without flinching.

Accommodation is not so cheap in too many areas in Abuja. And while a lot of the people on the thread claim they will get an apartment in Lugbe, Kubwa, Dutse, etc, there are houses in those places that come with premium prices. Yet, all you have to do is do a thorough search and you will get whatever you are looking for.

Abuja is almost the same as Ibadan – talking about the markets. Basically the same prices for clothes and accessories.

Now the difference

Abuja is thought to be where wealth and influence reside. So, if you knew your way in Abuja, you will definitely go places. And if you don’t…build a network and see wonders happening. Besides having industries, Ibadan does not usually get into conversations about ‘where the money dey‘ or ‘who get power for Naija‘. Or do we talk about building a corporate career in Ibadan?

Social life in Ibadan is relatively cheap. You will hardly hear of clubs or hotels overpricing their drinks or food because they think their customers grow money on farms. That’s unlike Abuja where ‘I wan show myself‘ is the order of the day. Do you know people pay N500 to see movies in Ibadan?

Let’s stop here, saying that a one million naira salary in Abuja and three hundred thousand naira salary in Ibadan will be a big deal depending on whose hand the money is. So, while you, collecting one million in Abuja will spend it lavishly expecting another one million the following month, an Ibadan resident could save as much as N150,000 through the year and end up being richer.

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