city gate Abuja. the cheapest places to live in Abuja
City Gate, Abuja. Credit: google.com

Where are the cheapest places to live in Abuja? Is Abuja expensive to live in? Are house rents affordable in Abuja? What is the cost of food in Abuja? These are some of the questions people ask about Abuja. People who look to move to Abuja often ask these questions. We shall attempt to give answers to some of these questions.

Abuja is really an affordable place to live in. This post focuses on the cheapest places to live in Abuja. It all boils down to your budget and taste of living. There is always something good for everyone.

We shall look at some towns in the FCT and see how those meet your tastes. This list of towns is based on specific factors which are:

  1. Proximity to town. Town here refers to the Central Business Area(boulevard ).  All the towns mentioned are less than 40 minute drive to the Central Area especially without traffic holdups.
  2. Availability of basic social amenities especially power, primary health care, schools and security.

Even with this considered factors, this list of towns are not exhaustive. But we feel this is a good way to start the conversation.

Durumi.

Durumi is the historic town of Abuja with 9 lives. It is the town that survived two major demolitions exercises under El Rufai as the minister of FCT and still stands. Durumi is originally inhabited by the Gbagyi tribes, who are also one of the original inhabitants of Abuja.

The town grew bigger with better structure after surviving each demolition exercise. Before now (2022), Durumi enjoyed better power supply than the presidential villa. No jokes! Power rarely goes off, and when it does, it is back on in about 5 minutes or less. Things are really bad in regards to power now. But I guess it’s a national challenge.

Durumi is the closest you can get to the highbrow areas in Abuja. A single room goes for less than a 100k, while a self-contained apartment goes from anything around 120k to 250k. It generally on what your taste is.

So, if you earn say 50k a month, you can budget your 3 months salaries for your landlord, not funny. This is if you choose a self-contained apartment. Or your 2 months salaries if you choose a single room. From Durumi to The Central Business Area costs about N200 or less, and takes less than 15 minutes depending where you are starting the journey from.

Durumi is relatively a safe place to stay both as a single and a family. It has less criminality, utilizes community policing and has less institutions and groups that breed criminality in town. It is not a perfect place, but it is good. And definitely on of the cheapest places to live in Abuja.

The credibility of Durumi is boosted by the fact that it is strategically cited. It is surrounded by places like the Apo Legislative Quarters, the Nigerian Defense College Quarters and the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria Head Quarter. The old CBN Quarters, Savannah estate and the Addisa Estate form part of its surrounding. Other neighbours include the popular Gudu Market, the Gaduwa estate, Prince and Princess estate. Not forgetting to mention the games village, the National Stadium and the American International School.

Kabusa.

Kabusa is farther inside and takes more time and costs more to get to town. However, accommodations are almost 50% lower than what you get in Durumi. A single room goes for about 50k and nice self-contained apartment goes for about 100k or more, depending on what your taste is.

Kabusa is a densely populated area with a lot of businesses. To get to town from Kabusa would cost about N300 and takes about 30 to 40 minutes depending on where you are taking off from.

The most important benefit of staying in Kabusa is the accessibility to fresh farm produces. The Kabusa market is one of the biggest farm markets in Abuja. People come from every part of Abuja and even beyond to buy and sell here. This makes it one of the cheapest places to live in Abuja.

Kabusa is a great place to stay as a single. For families, the availability of farm markets becomes a bonus. The town has a functioning police station, making sure citizens are safe. If you however have a challenge with crowded places, you may rethink your options.

Unfortunately, as at the time of writing this article, power supply is a major challenge to this town. If your intentions are not to go and start selling cold drinks, this might not be a challenge. I mean, come to think of it, who is really enjoying power supply as should be in Abuja or Nigeria? Maybe few areas!

Masaka.

Both Masaka and Mararaba are constitutionally Nasarawa and not Abuja towns. But in the minds of Abuja residents, they are Abuja towns. In fact, chance is that you are hearing this fact for the first time. So, I make bold to say that about 90% of working class citizens both in the government and private sectors residing in both Mararaba and Masaka work in Abuja.

A standard self-contained apartment in Masaka goes for about 70k. This could be less or more depending on your negotiating ability and the part of the town. The best part of this is that the houses come with water ran in them with compound borehole. And most times, the water supply comes with no extra charges to the tenants. That is to say the landlord doesn’t ask you for contribution for pumping water.

Masaka is relatively spacious and calmer, perfect for raising kids. Like Kabusa, Masaka has one of the biggest and busiest farm markets. This means that fresh foods are readily available and affordable.

From Masaka to town could cost up to N400. And could take up to 40 minutes depending on where you are taking off from. It also depend on what time of the day, and what type of car you use. So using an 18 seater bus could cost less, while using smaller cars could cost more.

The down side of staying in Masaka is that you must leave home as early as 5am – 6am to beat the traffic. Or leave much late in the day for same reason. Coming back home is exactly the same narrative. Power supply isn’t exactly as it is in most Abuja towns, but there is power. The parts of Masaka without power are rather a peculiar than a general challenge. In our estimation, this is one of the cheapest places to live in Abuja.

Mararaba.

Almost everything that applies to Masaka applies to Mararaba too. The two towns share boundaries but Mararaba is closer to town with about 5 minutes. Smiles! Mararaba also has a very large food market called the Orange Market. I think this is the largest farm market I have been to in Abuja.

Unlike Masaka, Mararaba is very big and densely populated. If you can’t stand noise and crowd, avoid this town. There are inner parts of Mararaba like Ruga that are calmer though. But generally, Mararaba is full of hustles and bustles. If this is your thing, then Mararaba is a go.

Sometime, being one of the cheapest places to live in Abuja is not same as the safest place. You should be warned that this town’s best records are not related with keeping law and order. Be careful and mind your business, you should just be fine. I mean, if it’s such a terrible place people would not be staying there, right?

Lugbe.

Lugbe is a big town with areas for the rich, fairly rich and starters. The biggest advantage of Lugbe is that it’s one smooth ride to town. Lugbe is located along the Expressway way leading to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport. You should get to town from the express in less than 15 minutes spending less than N300. With a budget of 150k, you should get a decent apartment at Lugbe.

Mpape.

Mpape is about the closest settlement to the Central Area in terms of distance. The challenge lies in the time taken to drive out of the town to the major express. This is because of bad roads made worst by congestions. This is further complicated by roadside hustlers and truck drivers. Mpape is popular for rock quarry. That explains the countless trucks always contesting the right of road with other cars.

But generally speaking, Mpape is a cool place to settle especially as an unmarried person. There is a lot of flexing going on in and around the town.  This is no surprise especially as there are at least three military barracks neighboring the town. Another reason Mpape is cool is because it’s the location of one of Abuja’s most visited sites; The Crushed Rock.

crushed rock mpape. the cheapest places to live in Abuja
Crushed Rock, Mpape. Image source: BBC News

The town is never short of food supply. Mpape has a viable market that both serves it settlers and those coming from other places. Power supply is not what people of Mpape celebrate often. This experience can be worst depending on the area you stay. On the average, anything around 150k can get you a decent apartment at Mpape.

This list is far from being exhaustive. The areas mentioned are the most popular areas given the criteria established at the beginning of the article. Other towns that quickly come to mind in alignment with this criteria are:  Asokoro extension/Guzape, Airport road, Dagba village. Apo, Dawaki and Katampe are also a go.

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See other interesting post:

Security in Abuja: Places to avoid at night.

Life in Abuja: 10 Reasons to Live in or visit Abuja.

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