I mentioned in my first post in 2018 that I was admitted to the Nigerian Law School, Lagos Campus. Well, your baby girl is now a lawyer! YES! So, let me get right to it. Well, the time for the compulsory 1 year National Youth Service came and I got posted to Lagos, bear in mind that I thought the chances of me getting posted to Lagos was very slim so, I was not prepared at all and also, I’m not so very familiar with Lagos only the Island where the Nigerian Law School Lagos is situated.
When I got my posting letter to my local Government and Place of Primary Assignment, I got posted to Ikeja Local Government, next was to sort out accommodation. Here, I would advise that if you are planning to serve in Lagos and you don’t reside in Lagos or have a family member you can stay with for those couple of months be prepared and plan ahead! Don’t be caught off guard like me.
During this house hunting, i had to take a lot of things into consideration some of which are security, proximity, transport fare, environment, etc. With how simple these requirements are, it was so difficult getting an apartment. Before I continue, take note that for a comfortable apartment (self contain*a room with kitchen and a toilet and bathroom / mini flat *a room, sitting room a kitchen, and a toilet) your budget should be around N350,000 – 650,000. (with agreement and commission) this is based on my survey within mainland only and this depends on the area for example there are cheaper houses in Ikorodu and some areas in Ketu. I mean, the least house I inspected was N270,000 in a very secure place around Fagba, Ogba but the room was so small it could barely fit in two people. Just imagine a corridor that was turned to a room and the door was opening in the inward direction taking more space again.
On how to get agents, for more reliable and positive outcomes I would recommend that you get one on referral from a friend or family member who knows that the agent will deliver. If you are unable to get by this means, you could use Google because there are websites that provide this service or you could search on social media for one but mind you, be safe and ensure that you don’t meet with the agents alone. Safety first. Also, have it at the back of your mind that agents in Lagos will request for inspection fee from you and in most cases, you’d pay for their means of transportation too. You might be lucky enough to get an apartment easily maybe on your first or second time. I was not so lucky and I lost count of the times I had to go on inspections to check and I was let down, duped, and all sorts. On one of the days I went for an inspection, I had called one of the agents from one of those websites who put up an advert that a self con was up for rent. The house was totally different from the pictures that he posted and when I confronted him, (*in this Lagos, you have to be street smart too.) he started telling me stories. The apartment was so terrible that I had to ask if he could allow his own daughter to stay in a place that the only source of natural lighting is only comes from the window of the kitchen! It was terrible. This was the least of the disappointments I encountered during my house hunt. I was frustrated. It was either the house was cheap but the amount you would use to make the house habitable would not be worth it, far from your PPA or the apartment is very okay and nice but its not affordable. To be honest, I can not even count the amount of agent’s phone numbers I have. Well, on the bright side, I got to know Lagos mainland a little bit better like Ketu, Ogba, Ogudu, Yaba, Gbagada, Ojota, Ikeja, Berger,Oworo, Olowoira, Omole Phase 2, and so on.
All in all, regardless of where you are posted to, try to do a little research and inquiry about the state especially as regards things that are so important like accommodation so you can be prepared when it is time to settle down and start work.
If you are reading this, and you had difficulties getting accomodation in wherever state you served or you are currently serving in, comment below about your experience and how you solved it.