Entry #41 – Coming to Nigeria

nigeriaWhy would you be crazy enough to come to Nigeria? I mean just look at that crazy colour scheme on all those unnecessary number of states (currently 36 when 12 would do!). I see popular searches like ‘relocate to nigeria’ being used to get to this site and I can only wonder ‘What’s chasing them?’ Well I can tell you that Lagos (the former capital of Nigeria where I reside) is like a metropolis – commercial and bursting with business. It is increasingly becoming cosmopolitan too, with Brits, Asians, Chinese, South Africans and Americans on the scene. I’d say Lagos is like New York but with a lot more black people and a hell of a lot more poor people. Sure we’ve got that minority who are stupendously rich. Then we’ve got the majority who are stupendously poor. Then you’ve got people in the middle of this spectrum…people like me…who persist in applying the principles of becoming rich but end up feeling stupendously…stupid. Anyway, there have been a number of job cuts since the recession first surfaced the newspapers but now there are recent cases of pay cuts. Banks are not so willing to lend to customers who may sometimes even have collateral which triples the requested loan amount. Electricity supply has gone from fluctuating to weak to virtually non-existent in the last few months. Owning or renting a generator is a must. You will need a car to get around town, a Nigerian guide who has lived here for at least 10years, a dose of anti-malaria drugs, light clothing (not too warm), and a valid form of identification on you at all times (e.g. driver’s licence, passport or national ID card). Get acquainted with some of the local lingo so that you don’t stand out like a sore thumb. If you can’t fake a typical Nigerian accent (which sounds like a fatigued loud-mouth whose been woken out of a deep sleep at 3am, pretty much) then try not to sound like a JJC (Johnny Just Come) or you will get duped sooner or later. Get a mobile phone and start with any of the pay-as-you-go packages – all the networks are just as good (and bad) as each other. When in doubt, don’t ask a crazy Nigerian a.k.a mad man for any assistance. He could flip you over a bridge or push you into high-speed traffic or something. There are so many crazy Nigerians out there – I’m the real McCoy 🙂

See my ‘Survival Kit’ for more info

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