Sunday, October 21, 2012

The 323rd good thing about Lagos: a chance to visit the capital of Nigeria

I've lived in Lagos for 6 years now and had only seen the capital, Abuja, from a stopover at the airport.  Finally last spring I had the opportunity to take a quick trip where I actually left the airport.  I really didn't see much of the capital city, but I saw enough to confirm what I already knew -- it was not a typical Nigerian city.  The capital was a purpose-built city because they wanted a capital in the center of the country.  It was built mostly in the 1980s and became the capital of Nigeria in December 1991, replacing Lagos.  So Abuja is a much newer and more functional city than Lagos.  The flight from Lagos to Abuja is only about an hour.  I was going to Abuja with my husband and other COP employees to celebrate ConocoPhillips "Day One" celebration, which was a worldwide party in all the company's offices to commemorate the company splitting into two companies -- ConocoPhillips and Phillips 66.  The new spinoff company now covers the downstream end of the business -- the refining and marketing parts.  My husband has been with Conoco through many forms -- from when it was an independent company, when it was purchased by DuPont, when it was sold and independent, when it merged with Phillips, and now this.  I don't understand why it's such a good thing to split apart -- it seems like now they will have to have more redundancies of staff in many departments.  But I'm sure someone made a lot of money from the split.  Anyway -- we got a trip to Abuja and a party out of it.

From the airport, we passed through this gate welcoming us to the capital.  There was a lot of construction on this road and many others in Abuja, but no one was working very hard on this day, as it was May 1st -- the Labor Day holiday.
 A big and fancy mosque.
 Really all I saw was the drive from the airport to the Hilton hotel, which is the (reportedly) the nicest place to stay in town.
 View from our hotel window
 The hotel was really lovely, with a great pool.  I wish we had more time to enjoy it.  I really would have liked to stay longer and just relax there.
 In the evening with had a lovely reception and dinner party.


Well, the company split up and on Day 2 it didn't seem different to the employees and their families on the fringe of the company culture here in Nigeria.  We just got on the bus back to the airport and flew back to Lagos.   But it was fun for me to get a peek of Nigeria's capital city, Abuja. 

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