Biodun and Jude were the first to rush out of the office building in CMS after close of work. They got to the car park around the same time, got into their cars, winked at each other and drove off in opposite directions. They have both known each other for over a year now, but they only became close friends two months ago when they got into an argument at the office cafeteria about the best residential areas to rent a house in Lagos. Jude was of the opinion that young male adults who earn fairly well – between N80,000 to N120,000, but were still struggling to make ends meet should rent a place on the Mainland. Biodun was definitely having none of that, and he firmly believed that young male adults in Lagos, whether earning salary or not, should find a way to reside on the Island.
I am the new intern in the office and I was at the office cafeteria on the day of the argument. I didn’t contribute to the argument because I felt it was an opportunity to gain vital information about where to rent a house in Lagos since I had just moved in from Abuja and I was temporarily staying at my Aunt’s place. From what I gathered from the argument, there were significantly more beautiful and comfortable houses on the Island compared the Mainland. Biodun pays a sum of N650,000 annually for a small room self-contain in Lekki, Phase1, with additional N120,000 annual service charges for water and security. His argument was based on his perception that the satisfaction he derived by living in a quiet, comfortable and beautiful environment was enough compensation for the amount of money he had to spend on rent. Jude on the other hand strongly believed that some screws were loose in Biodun’s head because he also pays an annual rent of N650,000 for his spacious 2-bedroom apartment in Surulere.
Another key point in the argument was about nature; some things may be easily controlled or influenced by ‘man’, but some other things happen naturally. Jude was quick to remind Biodun about the large pools of water that residents on the Island have to pass through with their cars while driving from point A to Point B especially during the rainy season. Biodun tried to argue but to no avail because there was no point arguing against facts. Some houses on the Island may even get flooded during periods of heavy rainfall, leading to damage of properties and immediate vacation by the inhabitants. Jude did not fail to also mention that the water on the Island is not so friendly for consumption.
Driving in the Island is not for poor people according to Jude. Tolls at the Lekki-Epe express way ensure that u part with some of your money before you pass through, unless you prefer to take the longer and narrower alternative route. However, Biodun’s stance remained the same, “it’s my money, na me know wetin dey give me satisfaction” was his response. “Even if I dey work for Mainland, I for still dey live for Island”. He further mentioned that the Mainland was very noisy and rowdy and that most of the trendy relaxation spots in Lagos are on the Island so he had no business going to the Mainland except he was going to the airport.
I will summarize what I learnt from the argument between Jude and Biodun. The Mainland is generally more rowdy and less flashy than the Island but it is much more affordable and you still experience the Lagos life. This is good for people who want to live in Lagos and also face reality at the same time. The Island on the other hand, is more peaceful and considerably more expensive to live in. This is a good place for people that like the flashy lifestyle or people that can reasonably afford to pay the extra costs put on rent as well as other goods and services because of the perception of the sellers that people living on the Island have a higher purchasing power than people living on the Mainland. Whether you choose to be like Biodun or you choose to be like Jude, as long as you live in Lagos, you are good to go, good to go, good to go, Sir.