When we talk about the best states to serve in Nigeria, it is important to realize that different folks have different strokes. Thus, while one state may be appealing to a person or group of people, it may be downright unpleasant to others. With this in mind and several other factors considered, I have compiled a list of the best states to serve in Nigeria 2021.
Varying levels of violence have rocked Nigeria, from Boko Haram terrorist attacks in the North East to banditry from the North West, which is rapidly spreading to the eastern and western parts of the country to militants and aggrieved members of Biafra. As a result, the country is was ranked the third most terrorized country in the world.
Even though the label is on the entire country, certain states have shown to be relatively peaceful than others. Since the National Youth Service is a mandatory one-year service for all Nigerian graduates, were to serve remains a major challenge. It is typical for you not to want to live outside of your comfort zone. However, with redeployment and other schemes, Nigerian graduates now choose where they serve in Nigeria.
In this article, I will show you some of the best states to serve in Nigeria. I will not be handing you a list of seven or maybe ten states for your National Youth Service but will be walking you through a breakdown of important factors on which these states get mentioned in this article.
I made sure to channel the concerns of Nigerians when choosing a place to stay and fusing it to come up with this list. The weather, security, cost of living, population, job opportunities, and much more are some factors I considered to come up with this list of the best states to serve in Nigeria.
Enough of the talk. These are some of the best places to serve in Nigeria.
Best States to Serve in Nigeria 2021
- Akwa- Ibom State
- Lagos State
- Port Harcourt, Rivers State
- Bayelsa State
- Kebbi State
- Taraba State
- Osun State
- Oyo State
- Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT)
Now to the review of each state. I will be showing you important reasons why each state made this list. So giddyup, let’s go.
Akwa Ibom State – (Best State to Serve in Nigeria Overall)
Located in South-East Nigeria, Akwa Ibom is a rich, oil-producing state in Nigeria. The state is reckoned to be a preferred tourist destination in Nigeria, recording thousands of local and international visitors. Akwa Ibom will be a good place to serve for persons intending to serve because of its weather, great road networks, friendly people, and job opportunities.
In the last four years, the state has witnessed and recorded tens of developmental and governmental progress. During its 34th anniversary, the vice-president of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, was full of praises as he recounted the many achievements of the current administration in making Akwa Ibom a better place.
I have followed the state closely during the time of Governor Godswill Akpabio (well, it was out of my love for the man.) So, I could not help but crave a visit to the state when Gov. Akpabio was on seat. Now and then, there are positive confessions from the media and residents of the state.
The current Governor of Akwa Ibom, Governor Udom Emmanuel, certainly did not relent. With Nigeria holding a massive record for bad governance, it is no surprise why Akwa Ibom shines as one of Nigeria’s best places to serve. a
Akwa Ibom offers thousands of job opportunities. This is obvious with the many establishments by the state in the last four years. Among which is Ibom Air, the state’s independently owned airline facility, the Ibom Deep Sea Port, a $4.2 billion project, Kings Flour Mills, Lions Plywood and Timber Factory, and a Mega Power substation.
Security is not a challenge in Akwa Ibom. The state records some of the lowest crime rates in Nigeria and hardly has any case of communal clashes, bandit or terrorism attacks, etc.
Lagos State (Best State to Serve in Nigeria for Exposure and Job Opportunities)
Lagos State is the commercial hub of Nigeria and West Africa at large. The state used to be the capital of Nigeria before it was moved to Abuja but moving the capital from Lagos did not stop it from retaining its position as the center for trade and commerce.
I do not like Lagos (and that’s because of the kind of person I am), but I am keeping my bias out of this because Lagos State holds more advantages when it comes to opportunities than many other states in Nigeria and even West Africa. As a Nigerian graduate, having hustle infused into your DNA, Lagos is the exact place to be, and you will shine when you engage hustle smartly.
I have friends and family who stay in Lagos, and they began to do well just after their service year. It will interest you to know that 80 percent of Nigeria’s industries are domiciled in Lagos. In addition, the South-Western state is home to an international airport and a major seaport in the West African region.
Thousands of opportunities abound in Lagos. Whether you are entering the corporate world or venturing into the entrepreneurial space, Lagos offers the essentials to help you succeed. The competitive atmosphere is enough to push you to the borders of your creativity.
Aside from the job opportunities feature, Lagos State has a vibrant nightlife, unique culture, and a friendly environment. Therefore, if you are not staying in slums or ghettos such as Ajegunle, Oshodi, etc., security should not be a concern in Lagos.
Port Harcourt, Rivers State (Best State to Serve in Nigeria for Good Weather and Job Opportunities)
Rivers State is a pretty good state to serve in, but you must be serving in Port Harcourt, the state capital, to get the best experience. Port Harcourt is reckoned to be one of the most beautiful places in Nigeria, and this is no surprise because it is among the first places our colonial masters settled in when they hit the country’s shores.
No be scenery you wan chop na, abi?
Port Harcourt is not on my list because it has beautiful structures and the likes but presents many job opportunities for Youth Corp members. It is Nigeria’s second-largest port, responsible for exporting palm oil, palm kernels, timber, coal, columbite, and petroleum.
I forgot to add – Port Harcourt is an oil-rich city and houses one of the three refineries in Nigeria. Because of the oil-producing characteristic of the city, it is home to thousands of oil companies that have transformed the lives of thousands of Nigerians.
Suppose you are a graduate of chemical engineering, biochemistry, petroleum engineering, and other related courses. In that case, you are a hotcake, and the companies in Port Harcourt are in heavy demand for your knowledge and expertise.
Aside from producing oil and exporting palm oil, palm kernels, timber, etc., Port Harcourt is known for its vibrant and exotic nightlife. Lagos State is the only place in Nigeria that comes close to the Nightlife in Port Harcourt. My aunty lives in Port Harcourt. She is not learned but knows how to prepare tasty peppered meats. She uses her culinary skills to make millions of naira, working in Port Harcourt every month from 7 pm to 1 am.
Even if you do not make it with a white-collar job, you can do well in Port Harcourt nonetheless. It is home to several opportunities, and during your service year, you can discover one and go all-in when you are done serving.
The fear many persons have when going to Port Harcourt is the supposed high cost of living. I would not dismiss this fact because we can extract some truths from it, but this should not negate that Port Harcourt is still one of the best places to serve in Nigeria. If for nothing, for its fine weather and amazing job opportunities.
Bayelsa State (Best Place to Serve in Nigeria for Good Weather and Job Opportunities)
Bayelsa State makes it to this list of best places to serve in Nigeria on the same basis as Port Harcourt. It was carved out of Rivers State in 1996, making Bayelsa one of Nigeria’s newest states as a federation.
The state is blessed with fine weather, although it rains almost all the time. So if you are anti-sunshine like I am, Bayelsa will meet your location needs. But, unfortunately, like PH City, Bayelsa is oil-rich, even posing certain setbacks for the state.
Despite being an oil-producing state, Bayelsa has not enjoyed the dividends of this mineral resource used to develop parts of the country. To add to her woes, the state has been on the receiving end of the negative oil-producing and refining process, which causes its waterways and atmosphere to be polluted.
Notwithstanding, opportunities abound in this region, and with the enterprising nature of the people of Bayelsa, if you are diligent enough, you can turn your craft into a seven-figure business after your service year.
Kebbi State (Best State to Serve in Nigeria for Relative Peace)
I began this article by citing how Nigeria has become a nation ravaged by terrorism attacks and ploys originating from the northern part of the country. It has made all the northern states in Nigeria seem like a death trap, and not so many persons want to have anything to do with Northern Nigeria.
However, contrary to popular expectations, certain places in the north have not succumbed to the advance of terrorism. One of such states is Kebbi, and that’s why it is a worthy mention on this list of best places to serve in Nigeria for 2021.
I am confident you will find Kebbi a peaceful and lovely place because my girlfriend schools in Kebbi. We were dating while she was schooling at the Federal University, Birnin-Kebbi, in the capital of Kebbi State, and we still maintain close contact. She has never cited any cause for alarm despite the continued rise of insecurity in the north.
If you are considering Kebbi State, be sure to battle with the sun. Northern Nigeria is very hot, and if you are not built to adapt to heat and intense sunlight, you had better look elsewhere. Another important point to note about Kebbi State is that sharia law is very much upheld. Sharia is an Islamic law of some sort – something like a code of conduct, and regardless of your religious disposition, the law is binding on all.
As such, any iota of indecent dressing is not condoned in Kebbi State. If you have a thing for showing some skin, Kebbi is not the state for you.
Taraba State (Best State to Serve in for Relative Peace)
Taraba state is another state in northern Nigeria that has enjoyed relative peace amidst the rising tensions of Boko Haram and bandits, making it to this list of best states to serve in Nigeria. Surprisingly, Taraba has recorded a minute amount of clashes compared to other northern states despite its proximity to Borno State, which is like the seat of terrorism in Nigeria.
I have an uncle who lives in Taraba with his wife and children. He served in Taraba State after graduating from the Federal University of Technology, Minna. After his service year, he remained in Taraba, and within three years after service, he started his school. Today, the school has a growing workforce, and there has been no report of violence.
Although this may sound degrading, it is true (I can make this statement from fact, and because I have lived in the north and still live in the north), northerners are not enterprising. You hardly find up to ten companies or industries that were started by northerners. Most of the revenue generated by states in northern Nigeria is by non-indigenes.
What this fact will do for you is help you see the need not to wait to get a federal government job but engage your entrepreneurial spirit and start up something for yourself while serving in the north. Aside from my uncle, I can recount stories of persons who came to serve in the north and have stayed here, having found ways to offer goods and services with a high ROI.
Osun State (Best State to Serve in Nigeria for Peace and Good Salary Structure)
While writing, I forgot to add that certain states do well for youth corps members in terms of salary structure. In essence, what I mean is that they pay well. Aside from the states in northern Nigeria, every other state in this list of best states to serve in Nigeria pay very nice alawee.
Osun State is not one of the states in western Nigeria that gets a lot of media recognition. Maybe it is because of its size. Nevertheless, think about Osun State if you are looking for a state to do your NYSC that promises peace, a good salary structure, a constant power supply, and fine weather.
The only record of a clash in Osun State that I have seen on the news was sometime in March 2021, when two rival groups engaged in a violent clash at Obalende and Kolawole areas of Osogbo, the state capital, as reported by Guardian Newspaper. But, aside from that, I did not come across any news of violence.
Oyo State (Best State to Serve in Nigeria for Good Administration, Job Opportunities, and Peace)
Oyo State, like Osun State, is not one of those states you come across regularly on the media. Still, since the beginning of the administration of Governor Seyi Makinde, the state has continued to come up the radar for mostly positive things.
If you do not know Governor Seyi Makinde, let me take you back memory lane to the gory events of October 20, 2021, when Nigerian youths were killed at the Lekki toll gate during the EndSARS protest. Then, two Nigerian governors continued to drum support for the youth. One popular one was Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, and the not-so-popular partner of his was Governor Seyi Makinde.
Governor Makinde’s support for the youths during the EndSARS protest shows how much he values the future of Nigeria. With all he did during that protest period, I could only be happy for the people of Oyo State as I was sure they would be witnessing the change we craved in Nigeria. I am not writing based on assumption, but Governor Makinde is one of the best governors in Nigeria, and that’s on a Top 3 basis.
A friend of mine, an indigene of Oyo State, provided most of the insights that make up this review. Nigerians, as we know, are never loyal to a fault. But this my friend’s praises of Governor Makinde and his exploits in Oyo State were audible to the deaf.
I am not surprised, though. When I conducted a background check on the governor, I discovered that he is an engineer and a subject matter expert on fluid and gas metering. To say the least, Governor Makinde is truly learned, and Oyo State is enjoying the dividends of good governance.
The state makes this list not because they have a good governor alone. They have got a nice alawee structure, fine weather, and enjoy relative peace. It is a cool place to serve in Nigeria.
Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (Best Place to Serve in Nigeria for Job Opportunities and Good Salary Structure)
Every Nigerian graduate wants to serve in a very good place. And for most, their definition of a good place in Abuja. This does not come as a surprise because the nation’s capital is home to many job opportunities. But, interestingly, if you land a private institution or big governmental body, your finances will never be crooked.
Being the nation’s capital, you will expect good job opportunities to present in Abuja. In addition, all governmental agencies have their headquarters in Abuja, and thousands of businesses have been founded in the region. These all contribute a significant amount of revenue generation by the country and account for the thousands of job opportunities in Abuja.
Looking at the subject of job opportunities from the standpoint of white-collar jobs alone would be denigrating the status of Abuja in turning your finances around. In my opinion, thriving in Abuja with the supposed scarcity of federal government jobs is predicated on entrepreneurship and self-employment.
My dad is a building contractor, working in and out of Abuja. Each time he visits us, maybe for the weekend, his stories and exploits over the weekends with this phrase “There is money in this country.” So while your mind is trying to fight or digest that line of thought, let me ask this question: despite all the clamor about sapa, are people not buying houses, cars, going on vacations, etc.? Where is the money coming from? How are they getting money?
Whether you accept it or not, which I honestly want you to, there is money in this country, and being positioned strategically is one of the keys to accessing it, which is why Abuja is not a bad place for your youth service. However, Abuja is a slippery ground, my friend. I do not mean that they pour water on the ground always in Abuja. Instead, I refer to the high cost of living in the region and the propensity to be extravagant in Abuja.
If you do not have self-control in its highest concentration, you may find yourself living above your means, which is detrimental for a youth corper. Additionally, because of the high cost of living, the entrepreneur in you may die before you record any meaningful progress. It takes more than having a decent pay to survive in Abuja. Discipline, self-control, and diligence must be in your arsenal.
Verdict on the Best State to Serve in Nigeria in 2021
My verdict on the best state to serve in Nigeria in 2021 would be Akwa Ibom State. After that, I would go with Oyo State. The reason for Oyo State is that it has a large percentage of the things that make Akwa Ibom a state to serve in while offering a fair standard of living. You can call Oyo State a low-budget Akwa Ibom State.
If I were to choose a northern state, I would go with Kebbi. Well, at least, to see my girlfriend. LOL.
I am optimistic you know what the best states to serve in Nigeria in 2021 looks like. Each of the states on this list has unique peculiarities and features, which makes them meet the cut to be added. You can DYOR to be sure whether a state meets your requirement.
Better still, ask whatever you will in the comment section below. Which of the states on this list of best states to serve in Nigeria caught your attention. I look forward to hearing from you.