Abuja, Nigeria’s political capital, is witnessing a surge in nightlife activities, and the proliferation of retail stores, which now offer 24-hour services, is an important part of that development.
Over the years, the capital city has shown brighter nightlife prospects with many leisure centres such as clubs, lounges and wine bars.
Abuja’s Maitama and Wuse areas are the city’s most popular nightlife neighbourhoods. Famous for being the heart of the city’s drinking and clubbing scenes, they house many bars, restaurants and clubs and there’s no shortage of activity and late-night revelry.
The city is also home to well over 100 recreational parks and gardens – a fast growing business that typically drives nightlife activities.
But the emergence of retail stores, spearheaded by H-Medix Pharmacy and Stores Limited – a drugs and groceries chain business – and several other similar outlets operating round the clock have made the streets astir.
Like other high-profile major cities of the world, BusinessDay checks show that everywhere these chain businesses are sited, they help fuel economic activities, through the emergence of other small businesses and ancillary services, providing the much-needed support for night crawlers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Apart from the major city centres like Wuse 11, Garki 2, Gimbia Street, 3rd Avenue, Gwarimpa, Garki night market recently joined the list of places where nightlife thrives, with people buying and selling into the early hours of the morning.
The Garki market area is one of the most densely populated areas of the city, where makeshift shops and eateries thrive at night.
A tour of the city has also revealed that the nocturnal activities are gradually spreading to other parts of the bursting city areas like Mpape, Nyanya, Karu and Kubwa.
In Abuja, security has relatively improved within the city centre, though many of the area councils still grapple with incidents of kidnapping and sundry crimes.
The government, in a recent move to halt the menace, deployed soldiers to many parts of the FCT to tackle the new threats. A recent security threat led to the closure of a government-owned school in Kwali Area Council, a day after suspected terrorists attacked surrounding communities.
The emergence of Nyesom Wike, former governor of Rivers State, as the FCT minister also gave hope for a more robust social life, as he promised to restore the city’s master plan.
Many of the emerging nightlife hubs spring from the entrance of one or two of the pharmaceutical firms or chain stores in the city.
H-Medix, which was incorporated in 2002, currently operates in some major Nigeria cities, with strong presence in Abuja and Lagos. It was observed that wherever the company is sited, economic activities blossom, as other small businesses emerge, providing services for night crawlers in the FCT.
The company has an aggressive expansion plan.
BusinessDay findings show that the company runs a twin concept marketing mix strategy, as well as Cherry and hypermarkets, that enable it to combine the sales of medicines and healthcare products, with departmental stores in expansive retail facilities.
Like the H-Medix, SKYLARK Pharmacy also adopted a 24-hour business schedule.
On the back of the emergence of these chain stores, the city now has several eateries and growing businesses that open for 24 hours, keeping the town/city busy and lively, while creating leisure and opportunities for residents to live well and access their basic needs all round the day.
The ever-expanding business activities have attracted 24-hour transport services provided by ride-hailing drivers and others.