Asaba and Lagos are two important cities in Nigeria. Both of them are located in the southern part of Nigeria, though on different geographical locations.
Asaba, also called Àhàbà, especially by its indigenes, is the capital of Delta State, Nigeria which was created on August 27, 1991, out of the former Bendel State. The city is strategically located on a hill at the western edge of River Niger, overlooking Onitsha, across the Niger Bridge, one of the important towns in the neighbouring Anambra State. Asaba is one of the 3 towns of Oshimili South Local Government Area, A fast developing urban area
Historically, Asaba was once the colonial capital of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate, which was founded in 1884. Between 1886 and 1900, it hosted the Royal Niger Company, now UAC Nigeria PLC, which the British authorities set up to stimulate trade and the exportation of goods to England.
Lagos, on the other hand, was the former capital of Nigeria, before the capital of Nigeria was moved to Abuja in 1991. Lagos is located in the southwestern part of the Nigerian Federation. It is bounded on the North and East by Ogun State and shares boundaries with the Republic of Benin in the West. Behind its southern borders lies the Atlantic Ocean. 22% of its 3,577 km2 are lagoons and creeks.
Lagos, popularly called Èkó, by it residents and other admirers, with its adjoining conurbation, is the most-populous city in Nigeria, as well as on the African continent. Though the smallest in area of Nigeria’s 36 states, it is arguably the most economically important state in Nigeria. It is a major financial centre and would be the fifth largest economy in Africa, if it were a country.
Lagos is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world, as well as one of the most populous urban agglomerations in the world. It is a major financial centre in Africa; the mega-city with the highest GDP, and also the city that houses one of the largest and busiest ports on the continent.
Lagos, which is undoubtedly a mega-city, has so many things going for it. In short, there are many things to talk about it, than you can talk about other cities in Nigeria, including Asaba. Among them are:
- It is easier for any budding entrepreneur to start and succeed in business in Lagos than he or she could in most other cities in Nigerian, including Asaba. This is because there are more business opportunities in Lagos than there are in other Nigerian cities, including Asaba
- Lagos has the largest market for any type of product or service or business, both in Nigeria and in Africa generally. This means that a business person, who lives in Lagos, all things being equal, has a wider market to sell his or her goods and/or services than in any other city in Nigeria, including Asaba.
- It is easier for any serious-minded person to acquire a skill or knowledge in Lagos than it is possible in other cities in Nigeria, including Asaba. This is also because there are more places of learning and knowledge-acquisition locations in Lagos than there are in other cities in Nigeria, including Asaba.
- More interesting is the fact that living in Lagos brings one closer to the offices of some important schools, companies, offices, government agencies, and multinationals, who have their presence in Nigeria. For example, most of the embassies and high commissions in Nigeria, as well as multinationals, media houses, banks, and foreign government agencies either have their headquarters or annexes in Lagos.
- On a lighter mood, Lagos has more places of relaxation and entertainment, including hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, and resort centres. This makes the axiom, ‘All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy meaningful in Lagos than in other cities in Nigeria, including Asaba
To summarize my story about Lagos, Lagos is to Nigerians and other Africans what the United States of America is to the rest of the world. This explains why Nigerians of all tribes and some other Africans of all colours troop into Lagos on a daily basis, causing an explosion in the population of Lagos.
That said, one would wonder why I and most Nigerians still prefer to live in Asaba than to live in Lagos. There are seven reasons behind these choices. Check out the reasons below.
1. Cost Of Living
It is generally expensive to live in Lagos than it is to live in Asaba. For example, it costs more money to secure a particular specification of accommodation in Lagos than it is in Asaba. Again the prices of most products, including household and food items, are more expensive in Lagos than they are in Asaba.
Another area where Lagosians spend more than Asaba residents is in the area of transportation. In other words, transport fares are higher in Lagos than it is in Asaba. For example, a distance, say between Cable Point and the State Secretariat in Asaba, which cost less than N100 in Asaba, costs more than N200 in Lagos.
2. Quality Of Food
The quality of most farm produce and foodstuffs sold in Asaba is far better than that of the ones sold in Lagos. For example, while you may find a few hours-old vegetables and fruits to buy in Asaba that may never be possible in Lagos. This is because most of the food items sold in Lagos come from different parts of Nigeria, which takes days to move them from those other parts of Nigeria to Lagos. Before they get to Lagos, they must have lost their freshness.
3. Rate Of Crimes
The rate of crimes in Lagos is generally higher than it is in Asaba. While crimes like armed robbery, arson, burglary, smuggling, and rape are a daily occurrence in Lagos, they happen only once in a while in Asaba. Again, you can sleep comfortably in Asaba with your two eyes firmly closed, than you can in Lagos. In short, Lagosians can be said to be sleeping with one of their eyes widely open.
4. The Fate Of Workers And Business People
People who work and do business in Lagos suffer more hardships of some sort than their counterparts in Asaba. For example, most workers and business people who live and work in Lagos wake up as early as 4 A.M., more than two hours earlier than their counterparts in Asaba, just to make sure they get to their places of work or business on time and return very late in the night when most Asaba residents must have all gone to bed.
The saddest part of this difficult type of lifestyle of the people of Lagos is that it is a daily affair. The only time Lagosians do not have to wake up early or return home late is only on weekends, during public holidays, and during festive periods when some of them must have traveled to their different states and villages, living Lagos freer than its usual self.
5. Stress Associated With Movement
Apart from waking up very early and returning home very late in Lagos than it is in Asaba, Lagosians also suffer more than the residents of Asaba in the area of movement. Apart from the high cost of transportation in Lagos in comparison with that of Asaba, it is very stressful for residents of Lagos and its visitors to move from one part of Lagos to the other.
For example, a distance that takes a car ten minutes to cover in Asaba, all things being equal, oftentimes takes the same car more than an hour to cover in Lagos, due to the constant traffic congestion on Lagos roads. This explains why residents of Lagos wake up so early for work or business, which I mentioned above.
6. The Embarrassing Activities Of Some Government Agencies And Officers
Everywhere you go in Lagos you’d find the presence of different government officers on duty, including LASTMA, the police, different types of military and para-military forces. While the government of Lagos State established these agencies for the purpose of making life easy for Lagos residents and visitors to Lagos, some of the officers of these agencies, through their over-zealousness and criminal tendencies, behave in a manner that makes it look as if they were trained and employed for terror.
We have some such government agencies in Asaba, but they are not as hostile as their counterparts in Lagos. For example, if you have encountered LASTMA in Lagos, you’d have a better understanding of the point I am trying to make here.
7. Attitude Of Residents To One Another.
Lagosians or residents of Lagos are more hostile and unfriendly to one another than residents of Asaba. For example, while it is oftentimes difficult for Lagosians, including those who live together in the same compound to exchange pleasantries, Asaba residents are very friendly to one another.
The most interesting aspect of the friendly behavior of Asaba residents is very noticeable in public transportation. Inasmuch as a salutation is not loved, I love the habit of Asaba residents saying hello to one another in public transportation. This is hardly possible in Lagos. What you normally see in Lagos are commuters quarreling and fighting in buses, for one reason or the other.
Above all, residents of Asaba are more hospitable than Lagosians. This does not however mean that Nigerians are no longer the happiest and the most hospitable people on the face of the earth.
Can you know why I and other Nigerians prefer to live in Asaba than to live in Lagos? How about you? Wouldn’t you like to live in a place where the cost of living is more reasonable? Where you can move around with ease? Where you can live with your two eyes closed? Where the rate of crime is very low? Where there’s low stress and the possibility of you enjoying a longer life? And where there’s less harassment and intimidation by government agencies and officers?
Think about it!
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