Amongst all the cities/states in Nigeria, Abuja (Federal Capital Territory) was built with deliberate effort and purpose. Located in the centre of the country, it was built mostly in the 1980s with a road network and organization that has made it one of the most structured states in the nation.
Abuja, regarded as one of ten most populous cities in Nigeria became the country’s capital on the 12th of December, 1991. The geographical structure of Abuja is mostly defined Aso Rock where the presidential villa and complex is situated. The National Assembly, Supreme Court and more parts of the town flank the south of the rock while on of Nigeria’s tourist sites, the 796-metre Zuma Rock lies north of the city.
The Aso rock is a 400-metre monolith carved out by water erosion, one of nature’s architects. As at the 2006 census, Abuja had a population of 776, 298. The influx of people in which has made the city one of the most populous was a result of the emergence of Karu Urban Area, Suleja, Gwagwalada, Lugbe, Kuje , satellite towns and smaller settlements that surround the sprawling city.
The blueprint and eventual development of Abuja (Federal Caoital Territory) was carried out by International Planning Associates, a group of three American firms: Planning Research Corporation; Wallace, McHarg, Roberts and Todd amongst others. While it’s a well-known Japanese architect, Kenzo Tange and company of city planners handled the design of the central areas.
The metropolitan area of Abuja has a population of approximately over three million which makes it the fourth largest urban area in Nigeria, exceeded only by other large cities; Lagos, Kano and Ibadan but unlike many cities in Nigeria, Abuja has clear distinctions between the business districts and residential areas.
The city which is the seat of power and is considered as one of the most expensive states and home to some of the wealthiest people is served by the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.
Abuja is home to numerous conglomerates and embassies of most countries. The headquarters of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is located in the city as well as the regional headquarters of OPEC. Therefore it comes as no surprise that the city experiences population growth of about 20 to 30 percent per year.
One doesn’t have to search too far to find a relaxing spot in Abuja as the city is known for its vast array of parks and green areas. Some are located on hilltops with sports facilities and ample playing fields while others are just informal spaces dotted with tables, chairs and bars and diverse forms of recreational activities.
Apart from the Aso and Zuma rock other landmarks present in Abuja include the Millenium Tower and Park which was designed by the famous architect, Manfredi Nicoletti, the National Stadium, the Abuja City gate, the Central bank of Nigeria Headquarters and several others.
Whatever the case may be, the Federal Capital Territory is the place to be.