When the words cheap and inexpensive are thrown around, people may be a bit skeptical as to what they are applied to. You know what they say – “you get what you pay for”. While this is normally a justified position, price does not necessarily imply quality. This is especially true when it comes to choosing a place to live. There are a great number of variables that goes into calculating the value of a place; from a city’s policies to a city’s transportation system. These variables make delineating value from a city a little complex. Ibadan makes it a little less complex though, as you are about to find out.
There has been a lot of uproar as regards the economic situation of the country. In the midst of these, I was having a chat with a friend who, like me, just recently moved to Ibadan and she mentioned that she took a bike for N20. I was startled. In this recession, I know the best deal you can get in Lagos is N50 with a lot of pleading and/or shouting.
Any good budget traveler can tell you that one of the best and easiest ways to save money in almost any city is to use the public transportation system, especially on longer journeys.
While relocating to Ibadan, I was told the cost of living was low, and now I have found those claims to be relatively true. In my opinion, I will say that the ‘cheapest’ part of the city is its transportation. I was on a bike for close to twenty minutes and it cost me only N150. It is simply outlandish. Makes one wonder if the cost of fuel in Ibadan is lower than that sold in Lagos.
Also, accommodation is quite cheap compared to Lagos though some of the houses may not be in stellar condition depending on the location. A friend who recently moved to Lagos told me he got an apartment for twice as much as you would in Ibadan. Without a doubt, this city is ‘pocket friendly.’
How has the ancient city of Ibadan stood out? What makes the standard of living here so bearable? I asked myself several times. Could it be the economic law of demand and supply playing out, or the population strength, as compared with that of Lagos? Lagos is seen as the market hub of the country and hence attracts a lot of people, which has led to the drastic increase in population; therefore, the need to consume more increases, demand increases and supply struggles to keep up. Prices are then forced to increase. Ibadan, on the other hand, has a manageable population, demand is kept at a minimum and prices are forced to stay within affordable rates.
However, the prices of some products are ‘not smiling,’ as products like toiletries, groceries etc. are almost twice their initial prices. This is not unexpected, as the city is still a part of the Nigerian economy and not completely shielded from the inflation and other economic indices.
All in all, if you’re looking to relocate to a city with a relatively low cost of living or just searching for cheap tourist destinations, Ibadan is right here waiting to feel the soles of your feet.