Abuja, like most other large towns in Nigeria has a wide range of shopping options. There are at least three traditional markets, where a wide range of household goods can be bought at the most competitive prices. Prices here are not fixed in these markets, but the customer has to bargain with the sales person on prices before a purchase.
There are also neighborhood shopping complexes in all the areas of the town. These shopping complexes have a higher standard of infrastructure than the markets and are made up of small shops. Some of these shops have fixed prices while some still encourage bargaining of prices.
The accepted medium of payment is cash. Credit cards and cheques are not usually accepted in these places. At the other end of the spectrum are the supermarkets. There are a number of supermarkets that stock a large array of imported and local goods.
These supermarkets usually have prices fixed and displayed on the shelves. Some of these stores accept local debit cards, but not credit cards. There is also alot of street hawking, especially in the middle of town, at traffic lights. Popular items sold by hawkers include daily newspapers, phone cards, snacks etc.
The major mode of transportation in Abuja is road Transport. The majority ofthe dwellers in Abuja own at least one car. Used cars are sold all over the town, and there are a number of car sales and service shops that sell new cars. Used cars cost begin at N350,000 ($2,302), while a brand new car costs from N I .3 Million upwards.
The current exchange rate is approximately N162 = $1 U.S. Payments are usually made in cash, cheque, or bank transfer. Credit cards are not accepted. The Federal Road Safety Corps, a division of the Nigerian Police, ensures safety on the Roads.
The roads are well laid out and properly maintained. Traffic jams (Known as “go slow”) are unusual within the city. Taxis and ten-seater buses ply the usual routes within the town. A taxi ride costs N50 for a normal shared ride, and anything from N150 upwards for an exclusive ride.
Traveling in and out of Abuja is done either by air or by road. The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport is about 30 Kilometers from the city center: KLM, British Airways, Lufthansa, Virgin, Arik airlines and a number of other airlines that have connecting flights to major towns, notably; Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kano, Enugu, Maiduguri, among others. These flights cost about N17,500 each on the average and last from 30 minutes to an hour from Abuja.
The main religions in Abuja are Christianity and Islam. There are mosques and churches of all denominations in almost every neighborhood in Abuja.
There are many parks and gardens in Abuja. These areas are known as green areas. They are mostly used for outdoor relaxation, with fresh fish and other local delicacies being served. Outdoor games available include golf, basketball, and soccer; which is played on every available patch of land. Swimming pools, lawn tennis courts and squash courts are available in most major hotels.
The Nigerian Police has its national headquarters in Abuja. The police maintain law and order: There is police presence on most major road junctions in the city.
There are several telecommunication companies with service in Abuja. These are NITEL, the Government owned national carrier that offers a number of fixed land telephone lines like GSM services: Reltel, MTN, GlobaCom, Visafone, etc, GSM — only operators and Intercellular, Starcomms and other fixed wireless loop operators.
Apart from NITEL, it is possible to get a new phone line off the counter from the other operators within minutes. Phones and accessories are easily obtained all over the city.
Radio and Television
The Average resident in Abuja has five TV stations to watch. These are Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Abuja, NTA plus, Silverbird Television, Minaj Broadcast International (MBI), Channels Television and African Independent Television (AIT).
There are also cable and satellite Television companies that offer a much wider variety of viewing, using the DSTV standards. Popular stations such as CNN and BBC are available via these media.
These are strictly subscription services, unlike the local stations that are free. In Abuja, there are live FM Radio stations; Cool FM, Capital FM,Rhythm FM, Aso FM and Ray Power FM. There are two AM stations, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) and Voice of Nigeria (VON). The FM Stations broadcast mainly in English, but some also have programs in the major Nigerian Languages.