Mad rush to Kubwa

Kubwa, one of the suburban towns in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has been experiencing a rise in population, prompting people into referring to it as Abuja’s substitute, AWAAL GATA writes

Abuja has proven to be a city where the poor man has no place. Of course their offices are mostly sited in the city, they cannot afford to rent a house or live in it but in its satellite towns like Lugbe, Kubwa, Suleja, Zuba, Mararaba, Nyanya, Dei-dei and others.
Of recent, among the afore-mentioned towns, Kubwa seems to be having more growth.

Located in Bwari Area Council, perhaps because it has been experiencing a monumental growth due to the influx of financial institutions to service the financial needs of the ever growing population dominated by well educated middle class and ambitious investors as well as its suburban nature, it is being referred to Abuja’s substitute.

It is about 30 Kilometres away from the city centre and approximately 25 minutes drive from the Central Business District. It is mainly a residential area and is densely populated with constant water supply; an aspect which gives it an edge over other bustling satellite towns in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) such as Gwagwalada, Lugbe, Mararaba Nyanya, Zuba and others where adequate infrastructure is a nightmare. Kubwa is on the right side of the Murtala Mohammed Express Way from the city centre to De-dei and Zuba.

Apart from the working pipe borne water which Blueprint was told be constantly available in the town, when our reporter moved around the town at the weekend, he saw a near perfect road networks, a number of good public and private hospitals, high standard schools, and epileptic power supply which is always a characteristic of FCT’s satellite towns was not a feature.
At the backdrop of the afore-mentioned development, the town, Blueprint was told and also observed, has been experiencing a tremendous increase in population as more people keep trooping in.

However, unlike in the city centre where the cost of accommodation is too high, accommodation is relatively affordable in Kubwa despite the fact that it is not in much dearth of infrastructure.
Speaking to Blueprint, Malam Mahmud Fari, who resides in the town, said one can get a cheap accommodation in Kubwa in a relatively cheaper price as compared to the high cost of accommodation being charged by landlords in the high brow areas in the city.

“The cost of living in the city centre is very high as compared to Kubwa. For example if you want to rent a two-bed room flat in Wuse for a year you will be charged as much as two million naira whereas here in Kubwa that same flat will go for 500,000 thousand naira or less,” he said.
In the same vein, he added that “food stuff and other things are relatively cheap in the town. The roads are accessible and the economic life here is booming with banks spring up here and there.”

Fari’s situation is a poignant microcosm of what can be termed urban-rural exodus from the city centre to Kubwa distict. Landlords and land owners in Kubwa are doing everything in their power to respond to this ever growing population by constructing estates. If you pay a visit to Nepa Road, located adjacent to the Gado Nasco main road, Phase 4 in Kubwa you will notice the increasing number of buildings  under construction.

Musa Thomas who is the owner of one of the buildings under construction said:   “I am doing all I can to finish this storey building fast because I realize that there are so many people relocating to Kubwa these days. If this house is not completed on time I will lose a lot of money because many people have already started expressing their wish to rent the house.”

However, commenting on the influx, Dangana Mohammed, an estate manager with New World Construction Company, Abuja said: “Even in Kubwa, everything will change soon. Abuja’s city centre was like that when it started but as people began trooping in hordes in search of accommodation, the cost skyrocketed. Now because Kubwa is relatively cheap and it has a level of infrastructure, there is a mad rush, as far as I am concerned, the demand will cause a horrific rise in price soon. It is a simple economic permutation which everybody already knows.”

But unlike Mohammed, another estate manager, James Abu Muwo, stressed that it is high time government “works on housing in Abuja. Yes, Kubwa, to an extent, is cheap now and everybody is expecting a rise in price any moment, while I cannot argue with them that they are wrong, I must say that government should look into the cost of accommodation in Abuja an bring out a way forward otherwise, with the many houses unoccupied in the city and so many people on the streets without accommodation, there would be crisis in the future. So I believe that if the whole housing problem is resolved, nobody would say that there would be a rise in that of Kubwa.”