Lagos vs. Abuja vs. Port Harcourt-The Battle of Nigerian Cities

Okay, which was a bigger hit? Banky W’s Lagos Party or Duncan Mighty’s Port Harcourt Boy? Okay, don’t answer that. But notice how nobody ever sings about Abuja? Like there is no song, no song at all, that I know off that extols and praises the city. Dead place. Okay, maybe not really. But Abuja is really just where politicians have established a dominance.

But let’s get serious for a bit and do an intensive city comparison among these popular Nigerian cities all amazing places to live and work with by their own right, but when it comes down to the deciding factors, which cities have an advantage over the other? There is always the question of ‘between Lagos and Abuja which is more developed?’. ‘Which is better to live in between Lagos and Abuja?’ ‘What are the differences between Lagos and Abuja?’. Well we added Port Harcourt to this Battle of Nigerian Cities to make it a little bit more interesting.

 

What are the metrics and parameters we would be using?

 

Population density. Ease of Transportation. Hotels, Restaurants, and Pubs. Cost of Living – Housing, the price of foodstuffs etc. Employment Opportunities.

View of Zuma Rock

Population Density.
Without the help of statistics, we know Lagos wins this one. I mean, everyone from the village has carried their Ghana-must-go and come to Lagos. Winning this isn’t necessarily a plus. The city is overcrowded and overburdened. Its infrastructure can not bear the weight of its close to 20 million people in its 1171 km square of land.

Lagos – 6871/km square
Abuja – 439/km square
Port Harcourt – 2726/km square

Ease of Transportation.

BRT’s in Lagos with dedicated lanes,  Uber cars, ferry transportation over the lagoon. But it still has some of the most insane traffic conditions in the world. Abuja has an amazing road network. Wide lanes. Less amount of cars on the road compared to Lagos.Abuja on the other hand, has an amazing road network – wide lanes and less amounts of cars on the road compared to Lagos. No rickety buses, danfo’s & molues either. Port Harcourt has a fairly good road network too, less population density so, way less traffic, because of a low number of commercial transport operators, and it can take too long for commuters to get vehicles to their destinations and there’re frustrating pockets of traffic in hot spots. The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja recorded a total of 6,183, 603 passengers in 2012; Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos had a total of 6,879,286 passengers in the same year, while the Port Harcourt International Airport had 1,256,854 passengers in the same year.

Road Network in Port Harcourt

Hotels, Restaurants and Pubs
Okay, so here is what I did to determine the numbers for this. For Hotels in the cities of Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, I simply used an online hotel booking platform to determine the number of hotels they have in their database. Pretty straight forward, as the numbers show, Lagos has the most hotels in the country. I suspect they would be rivaled only by Owerri, story for another day. Then for restaurants and bars, I don’t know any company that keeps a database of restaurants and bars, so I simply typed Restaurants in Lagos in the Google search bar and the number of results that displayed is taken for the popularity of the term. So there. Lagos leads in its population of Hotels, Restaurants, Pubs and Bars. So if you are the city hopping type, you know which city you are likely to have a hotel, restaurant or bar around you than anywhere else. Wait, I should have done a search for Clubs, okay, maybe do that yourself and show us your numbers.

Lagos – over 1461 Hotels, 11m restaurants, 401k Pubs, 17m  Bars

Abuja – over 412 Hotels, 459k restaurants, 275k Pubs, 443 Bars

Port Harcourt – over 296 Hotels, 394k, 391k Pubs, 352k Bars

Cost of Living
Houses in  Abuja are expensive. What!!!??? And in Lagos too, but not as expensive as in Abuja. The average cost of renting a 3 bedroom flat in Abuja based on my research is N1,500,000. In Lagos, it is a bit tricky especially with the whole Island – Mainland dichotomy. But on the average, 3 bedroom flat on the Island goes for N8 Million. On the mainland the average is N800,000. In Port Harcourt, the average is about the same with mainland Lagos at about N800,000. Prices of food, water, clothing, foodstuffs are all indices in determining cost of living, but for the sake of convenience and brevity, we can determine that Abuja has a higher cost of living than Port Harcourt and Lagos.

Employment Opportunities
Lagos has the highest concentration of Bank Head offices in the country, as well as several other offices in different industries. Port Harcourt has the highest concentration of Oil and Gas related companies. Abuja is mostly government ministries and parastatals. Be that as it may, Lagos still records the highest number of internal migration within the country. Accounting for its swelling population. But while the entire economic outlook might not point to the availability of jobs, its numbers is enough to encourage entrepreneurs and traders who take advantage of providing one service or the other for its teeming mass.

 

So there you have it, our analysis which we would leave you to decide which is your most desirous city to live in. Tell us in the comment section, let’s know your feedback.

 

Lagos Skyline

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