An interview with Ikram - an Indian expat in Nigeria

Ikram Patel is an Indian expat living in NigeriaIkram Patel moved to Nigeria early in 2015. Below, he shares his thoughts on his first few months in his new home.

About Ikram

Q: Where are you originally from? 
A: Mumbai/Pune, India
Q: Where are you living now? 
A: I have been shuttling between Lagos and Ibadan, but will finally be moving to Abuja in a few days.
Q: When did you move here? 
A: January 2015
Q: Did you move with a spouse/children? 
A: Alone, however my family shall be joining me soon.
Q: Why did you move; what do you do? 
A: I moved to Nigeria with a job assignment. I am a regional sales manager in the automotive industry.

About your city

Q: What do you enjoy most about Nigeria? 
A: The warmth and respect shown by the locals.
Q: Any negatives? What do you miss most about home? 
A: My family and friends.
Q: Is Nigerian safe? Are there any areas expats should avoid?
A: Lagos is like Mumbai, full of life and pace. However Ibadan is quite similar to Pune – peaceful, quiet and serene
Q: How would you rate the public transport? 
A: The commercial vehicles here are taxis, damfo ( a taxi van which seats around 10 people) and okadas (a motorbike taxi). I have a company car, so I haven’t tried the local transport yet.
Q: How would you rate the healthcare?
A: 2/10

About living in Nigeria

Q: Which are the best places/suburbs to live in the city as an expat?
A: In Lagos, Victoria islands, Ikeja are great. Ibadan all over is the same.
Q: How do you rate the standard of housing in the city?
A: Amazing… if the houses are provided by the company.
Q: What’s the cost of living compared to home? What is cheap or expensive in particular?
A:  Imported goods from the US, Middle East etc are cheap. Indian goods are slightly expensive – almost double the cost from back home.

And finally…

Q: Is there any other advice you would like to offer new expat arrivals?
A: Come with an open mind and this country will warmly take you into its hands.

~ Interviewed in May 2015

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