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Friday, December 20, 2013

A Tourist's guide to Abuja, Capital City of Nigeria

If you’re a tourist on first time visit to Abuja you’ll need to know a few things about the capital city. This brief article is a guide on a few things a first time visitor to Nigeria’s capital city – Abuja – should know about.

Abuja City – an Overview
Abuja is located in the center of Nigeria within a region known as the Federal Capital Territory which is governed by an agency called the Federal Capital Territory Administration and ministry of FCT. It is Nigeria’s fourth largest city by population and the fastest growing in Nigeria with an estimated 2 million residents who reside mostly on the outskirts in satellite towns and villages and an additional 900,000 who reside in the main districts of Abuja.

What you’ll notice for the first time
As you drive into the city from the airport you’ll notice that Abuja has lush green vegetation and very wide smooth roads – that’s mostly on the strategic parts of the city – the case is slightly different as you drift further away from the city center. The weather is hot most times above 30 degrees Celcius and rains which aren’t very heavy come around April till late October or early November. Much of the city is dusty especially around areas with large number of untarred roads, there are few shanties within the city as most houses are constructed within planned estates and districts. Transportation into the city center is mostly by high capacity buses, taxis and tricycles called ‘keke Napep’. The city becomes quieter during the weekends as most people who work in the city reside on the outskirts or in Satellite towns.

History of Abuja
As far back as 1976, Abuja was named capital of Nigeria by a decree under the military junta led by Murtala Muhammed but officially became the Capital city on December 12, 1991 when the abode of power was transferred from Lagos to Abuja and has remained so ever since. Abuja was chosen for being a neutral location just between Muslim dominated Northern Nigeria and Christian dominated South unlike Lagos which was in South Western Nigeria in a region dominated by Christians and the Yoruba ethnic group.

Districts and Satellite Towns in Abuja
The main districts in Abuja are those captured in the Abuja master plan and they include but are not limited to the City Center (Maitama, Maitama Extension, Asokoro, Wuse/Wuse 2, Guzape, Garki/Garki 2 and Central Business District), districts on the outskirts like (Wuye, Gwarimpa, Life Camp, Karu, Mpape, Jahi, Utako, Jabi among others) and Satellite towns like Lugbe, Kubwa, Jikwoyi, Gwagwalada, Kuje, Nyanya etc.  

City Administration
At the highest level Abuja is managed and governed by the FCTA which oversees infrastructural development and enforcement of the Abuja city planning laws. It is led by the Minister of the FCT. The Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) oversees rural development. There are environmental laws which should not be violated else one could attract the wrath of Abuja environmental protection board (AEPB).

Most big businesses in Abuja are either government agencies or private companies that rely heavily on government patronage. But there are a few others that are thriving but mostly in the hospitality sector – hotels, restaurants, lounges and real estate and so on. Trading is a very common business in Abuja as you’ll find lots of shops in shopping plazas and markets within the city in place of service oriented businesses which are few.

Social life in Abuja is very rife in the evenings on week days and on weekends and public holidays. Most places patronized during this time are lounges, fast food restaurants, hotels, parks where many Abuja social events are held.

Popular Landmarks in Abuja
Some very popular landmarks in Abuja include; Millennium park, Abuja Children’s Zoo, Wonderland Amusement Park, River Plate Park, City Park, Shoprite in Apo, National Stadium, Maitama Amusement Park, National Mosque, National Ecumenical center, Silverbird Entertainment Center to name a few.

Places to Visit in Abuja
As a visitor or guest we can recommend the following places for movies; Silverbird Entertainment Center and Ceddi Plaza, for picnics try Millennium Park and River Plate Park, for exclusive social hang outs; Juice Place 2 and 805 Restaurant for great Asian Cuisine; Woks and Koi, Grills in and Out, for excellent outdoor meals Food City, Quarter CafĂ©. For first class spa treatment – The Nail Bar.

Crime Situation in Abuja
Crime rate is relatively low in Abuja compared to many Cities in Nigeria but you have to watch out for a few common crimes like commuter taxi robberies known locally as ‘one chance’. Also car theft is common especially at nights in secluded areas of the city at gun point or in the main city at busy parks and market areas where cars are stealthily removed by expert car thieves. Be vigilant.

Abuja is largely a peaceful city with many well behaved residents but on week days during rush

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Abuja Cakes: Where to get really tasty cakes

At any given time there’s a party or event holding somewhere in Abuja that would require people being served deliciously made cakes whether it’s cupcakes or just regular whole cakes no one really appreciates a cake that tastes like pie or is as tough as buns.

A cake with a soothing feel and appealing taste is not one to forget in a hurry and ask me why because of all things at an event they seem to be what most people won’t forget in a while at least whenever they run into that person that hosted them to that treat.

But not all cakes are made with the satisfaction of the customer at heart. This is especially true of many confectionery and pastry shops in Abuja that consider profit making more important that customer satisfaction. Well a few exceptions exist such as Cupcake Cutie that bake really good cakes.

Popular Cakes in Abuja
Some popular Abuja cakes you’ll likely find include;

These are Cakes made for almost any occasion except weddings of course. Ideally they make for an excellent after meal snack/dessert or even as an appetizer served to guests.

Birthday Cakes
Birthday cakes as a surprise package can make a very powerful statement for our friends and loved ones at their birthday celebrations what better way to share special moments with them than ordering the right cake for their occasion.

Wedding Cakes
We all know weddings happen all the time and one of the high pointsof a wedding is when the couple along with their supporters step forward to cut the cake. Wedding cakes unlike other cakes must be baked to perfection as the occasion demands nothing but the best.

Custom Made Cakes
It really can be an exciting moment for friends or colleagues to receive specially made cakes in designs they’ll love. For instance if your friend is an Arsenal Fan it may not be a bad idea to get him a cake designed in Arsenal Jersey nor would it be a bad idea to get your pastor a cake in bible make. How about making your kids favorite cartoon character cake? All these are specially made custom cakes which you can place your orders for.

Tips on how to find great cakes in Abuja
Now you’re ready to place an order for a cake, what should you do or look out for?

Is the Cake well Made?
What’s the point in ordering for a disappointingly tasteless cake with poor ingredients? Will the cake maker offer you value for money or just add excess sweetening to your cake. Will the cake be made with health concerns for the end user?

How Much is the Cake?
A good cake should at the very least be affordable even if not cheap. If you’re a typical rational consumer you’ll agree that an expensive cake is not worth having.

Can the Cake be made according to your specifications?
When eventually you order for your cake will you feel satisfied with what you got or would it be the case of I’ll make do with whatever comes my way?

These and other questions are adequately answered by one of Abuja’s finest cake makers Cupcake Cutie you’ll find them at 20, Thaba Tseka Street near Peniel Apartments Wuse 2 in Abuja: 080 6666 2262 or 0807 087 8880 to order for your cakes.

Culled from:

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Wher to get Tasty Chicken, Fish Grills, Chips and Pool Party Supplies in Abuja

When out at parties in Abuja we’d love to have very tasty grills - especially spicy chicken - made to our tastes. That explains why some people wouldn’t mind driving far into town to buy Chicken Suya or Chicken Sharwarma to serve their guests with if for anything at least the thrill of being a good host.

But you don’t have to travel far to get served very tasty grills when you can simply place a call through to a company that will show up at your party to make whatever grills you want or if you prefer delivery, it will arrive at your doorstep.

That company is UG grill a leading food brand serving some of Abuja’s best made grills in African style. They’re a team of young, vibrant and very trendy professionals who after gaining acclaim from family and friends about the excellent touch they put into making fantastic grills came together to start a business that has since gone places gaining even more recognition from far and wide within Abuja.

“We noticed that people always wanted us to prepare their grills for them and seized the opportunity when they urged us to start a business out of it” So says Oluchi Oji popularly called Lulu, the manager of this fast rising grill spot.

At various business fairs such as the Designer’s Market Place and lately Fusion Lifestyle Ug grill has made a very strong showing that has attracted friends and fans alike.

As Lulu puts it “people invite us to add colour to their events” they don’t just supply you grills but keep you entertained with cool music and Jovial staffers that keep both belly and heart in shape.

If you’re having a social event such as a pool party with a minimum of 30 guests wouldn’t it make sense to treat them to some Nkwobi or Asun? The ones the guests would delight in often turns out to be small chops; peppered gizzard and snails, grilled chicken or fish with chips, Nkwobi and the new one – Boli which is roasted plantain. These are some of the interesting meal additions you get when you have UG grill serve you some of their very excellent grills and you can have them delivered in style.

Lulu has another surprise for all Abuja foodies “palm wine”. The freshest and very best in all of Abuja if you doubt it ask for your money back anytime you’re served but the long list of DMP fans who showered accolades on them for bringing “Palmie” to Abuja know better.

In addition to all these is the highly unique peppered gizzard and tasty Boli which you’ll not easily find another of their kind in Abuja. Lulu puts it this way “some people say you haven’t tasted good coffee till you try Starbucks coffee, you haven’t tasted well made peppered gizzard or Boli in Abuja if it isn’t from UG grill”. 

That must explain why at the October Edition of DMP UG grill ran out of gizzard and plantain shortly after opening for the day. The mad rush indicating how many other people missed out on a uniquely tasty experience.

It all started in April 2013 and the dream is gathering steam, providing only excellently made grills that suit your occasions and Events. UG grill is just a phone call away.

To enjoy Tasty Spicy Orobo Chicken, Zobo, Fresh Palm wine, Boli, Nkwobi, peppered snails, fried rice and more for your party of at least 30 guests give them a call: 0816 540 3990

Culled from

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Hire a reliable Abuja Real Estate Agent to rent an apartment or buy a property

When you want to rent an Abuja apartment or in search of an Abuja property to buy whether it’s undeveloped land or a house (block of flats, duplex, bungalow) the natural thing is to go online in search of these properties.

Unfortunately this process is pain staking and eventually you’ll find that you need to consult an Abuja real estate agent to help you search for your desired property of apartment.

Benefits of using a reliable Abuja real estate Agent
It really makes sense to contact an Abuja real estate agent while searching for an Abuja apartment or property and here are some reasons;

Save yourself valuable Time
Why spend so much time running about looking for your preferred apartment especially if you work when you can simply schedule an inspection for a list of available Abuja apartments for rent or property to buy. Let the agents run around for you and only show up for inspection.

Save Money
Why spend money on often fruitless trips that could yield you only stress and frustration plus money lost in transporting yourself when an agent already has a list of apartments from a pool to pick from. You just state your preferred location, schedule an appointment for inspection and just drive to pre-determined destinations.

More Options to pick from
The Abuja estate agents usually have many apartments to suit your needs from a pool they can access from their network of other agents. So instead of working with just what you can find, you have the option of seeing as many as the Abuja real estate market can offer.

Steps to Hiring a reliable Abuja Real Estate Agent
The process is simple and it starts with;

Contacting the Abuja real estate agent
Once you have the contact information of an Abuja real estate agent your job becomes easier. Simply give him/her a call.

State your Location and requirements
After contacting him/her state your preferred location, your requirements e.g tarred roads, within the city, running water, adequate parking space etc. Your requirements should also include information such as the kind of apartment (self contained, 2/3 bedroom flat, duplex etc).

State your budget
How much is your maximum amount you’re willing to pay for your preferred apartment. The closer your location is to the city center, the higher your budget should be. Apartments within the city start at N450,000 per annum for self contained but could drop to N250,000 on the outskirts depending on how close or otherwise they are to Abuja city center.

Schedule an appointment
Once your requirements and budget can be matched to available apartments, then it’s time to schedule an appointment for inspection. The inspection might involve shuttling between different parts of town and is at the expense of the home seeker.

Pick your preferred option
After seeing and inspecting all your options, it’s decision time. Which one meets your requirement at the best price you’re willing to pay? Once you know, call the real estate agent to inform him/her of your choice and readiness to make payment. Then a deed/offer letter would be drawn with stated terms and conditions from the lawyers handling/managing the property.

Make payment
Once payment is made, you’ll be issued a receipt and handed keys to your apartment. You can now move into your preferred apartment or property with the satisfaction of having saved yourself needless stress and wasted money.

What you should know when hiring an Abuja real estate agent

Keep these at the back of your mind when searching for an Abuja real estate agent;

Transportation Costs
You are responsible for transporting the Agent from wherever you meet to all the places he/she would take you for inspection. That means if you have a car, you’ll drive him/her around in it or hire a taxi that would convey you to all your destinations.

Agency fees and other charges
Sometimes the rent cost is net that is excluding agency and service charge (in case of serviced apartments). The agency fee varies from 5 to 10% depending on who is managing the property but there’s a legal fee of 5%.

To hire an Abuja real estate agent that can hook you up with your preferred apartment or property at the best available price simply call 0818 083 1826

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