Are you a tourist in Lagos or in for business? Welcome to the commercial nerve of Nigeria! A city with a growing population of over 21 million people is the second fastest growing city in Africa. Lagos, also called by ”Eko”, is a home of businesses and many tribes. The city is regarded as no man’s land because of how it accommodates people from different culture – who all make a living in Lagos.
As you make your tour all around Lagos, there are some things you should
ensure you don’t do, and take caution from.
1. Don’t pay your transport fare: Lagos public transport, popularly called the ‘Danfo or Molue’ is the major means of
transportation in Lagos. There is also the BRT – that requires payments for tickets. But the ones mostly used is the ”Molue”
It is important you have enough cash to settle the transport fare before hoping on the bus. While it might be tempting to
skip your bus fare, either because you think the conductor will not notice or you believe you can come up with a story
touching enough to make them waive the fare, don’t do it. The public embarrassment and possible physical harm will not be worth it.
Those that have tried to do so have found themselves spending quality time at the hospital, treating wounds inflicted
on them for trying to play ‘smart’. And in fact, bus conductor will start collecting fares right from when you’re sitted and the bus has taken off.
2. Put your purse or wallet in back pocket : While most Lagosians are very helpful and accommodating, there are
always some people looking to take advantage of unsuspecting tourists. Never put your wallet in your back
pocket, as you are bound to lose it – sometimes without your knowledge.
Be smart, use common sense and keep an eye on your wallet is, particularly when you’re in crowded places.
3. Flaunt cash around: Whether it’s when paying for things on the street, counting your money or taking out a wad of cash
and then asking the waiter how to figure out the bill, flashing cash is never a good move in Lagos.
It obviously communicates you’re the ‘big boy’ in town! It is safe you do
some calculations in your head other than bringing out a huge sum to count. And if at all you must do this, make sure it’s somewhere very safe. This will prevent you from unwanted visitors.
4. Skip the queue: Lagos is huge, and with so many people doing many things at the same time. Whether it is to use the
ATM, or to make payment for stock purchase in the mall, there will be a time you have to wait along on the queue with
everyone else. It is a civilised orderly manner. Don’t try to skip the queue or want to play smart. Not in Lagos. If you try to, you will receive the wrath of the impatient Lagosians. And, oh, you’d not want to remain there afterwards.
5. Have a taste of food with no intention to buy: In some Nigerian cities, tasting food before payment is allowed. In fact,
it is the mostly offered by the seller – for the buyer to have a feel of what he wants to buy, even if he ends up not buying.
On a funny note, some people actually eat to their satisfaction by tasting street food from numerous vendors. However, in Lagos, if you are going to taste it, you better be prepared to pay for a portion, even if it is as small as NGN50 worth.
Most street vendors will reign insults and curses on you, while some other will take a step further and cause an embarrassing scene if you refuse to make a purchase.
6. Pay a trader before collecting the purchase: The Lagos state government has recently banned the activities of street traders, especially on the highway. Despite this, these people still lurk around to meet the needs of their potential customers.
If you intend to buy an item from a hawker especially in traffic, make sure you have the item at hand before you pay. And if you would a balance of payment (change), tell them to return with the balance before you make
the purchase. If not, there is a possibility of them whisking away with your cash. Stories abound of such case.
7. Lagos is another world on its own. Shun the comparison: Life is good. Life is crazy. Traffic makes you go sick. Things
are expensive. The city is congested. Lagos is dramatic.
This is Lagos. Especially tourists, don’t waste your energy comparing things in Lagos to any other places. Any other
places could be better than Lagos, of course, but Lagosians love their city. And they are proud to make a living there.