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Old 23rd July 2006, 20:05   #1
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Default CAR SCENE in Nigeria

It lloks like my company work may take to Nigeria (Abuja ) for few months. Any body has first hand experience/ tips on the car scene their.
I know it is left drive/ cheap petrol and all major brands available but any specific tips may be welcome
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Old 23rd July 2006, 20:44   #2
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Even if you think a car back fired, just run, run for your life...

Run Pranul Run...

seriously man...its a dangerous country...be carefull..
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Old 23rd July 2006, 21:05   #3
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Ya I have heard that they kidnaap people in the broad daylight and they have now fear of anyone, even the local police is involved also. So i must say dont go for drive alone there ........lol
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Old 23rd July 2006, 21:27   #4
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yeah..few of my friends who have been to that place do share the same opinion abt the security.

if u were just going to ghana ( was there for abt an year)just 2 countries left to it and you would be in a much civilised country whose people have very good road sense and are very well behaved.

as far as i know fuel is damn cheap and you get a lot of second hand cars. They dont cost much and all the best.
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Old 23rd July 2006, 22:24   #5
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Get yourself one off them "Flame Throwers" for you car. LOL.

I heard they're legal around those parts of the world.



http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/232777.stm

Shan2nu

Last edited by Shan2nu : 23rd July 2006 at 22:25.
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Old 24th July 2006, 03:28   #6
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Automotive scene in Nigeria... my friend from Nigeria says : 90% chance your cars gonna get jacked !!!
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Old 24th July 2006, 12:45   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pranil
It lloks like my company work may take to Nigeria (Abuja ) for few months. Any body has first hand experience/ tips on the car scene their.
I know it is left drive/ cheap petrol and all major brands available but any specific tips may be welcome
Okay this is going to be tough.

1. Most (90%+) of the cars in Nigeria are cheap (and very old) imports from other countries. Usually in a dilapidated condition. Only large corporates (and there are very few of them) buy new cars.

2. Petrol is cheap, WHEN it is available. This is the world's 6th largest producer of Crude Oil and they have really high quality crude, but most of the time your driver (not you - god save you if you dont have a driver) will spend his nights in a queue outside a petrol station. He will get fuel by morning if you belong to an 'influential' company. Or if he has a gun.

3. Honda and Kia are the two big sellers there. It used to be Peuguot a few years back until Honda took over, and in the last 3-4 years Kia have taken the market from Honda.

4. Traffic jams normally ensure that a 6 km journey takes about 2-3 hours in rush hour. Traffic Jams are so bad that Nigeria's biggest retail chain consists of the street vendors who sell you everything from Tea to Toilet Brushes, Vegetables to Magazines and Snacks to Softdrinks while you're waiting in your car.

5. Of course, you can do your shopping ONLY if you're brave enough to open your windows. Usually you are brave enough to open the window a bit if you have a driver, but preferably if you have a security guard.

6. The roads are pretty bad. When it rains you will be driving through a lot of water, so you need a pretty water-tight car.

7. Watch out for the mini-buses (DANFOs) and the motorcycle-taxis (OKADAs). Both of these leave plenty of scars and scratches on other cars. The DANFOs are usually old Volkswagen or Mazda minibuses that are held together with rope, wire, rusty old bolts and a lot of willpower. Their rear doors and engine covers normally fly off and hit the cars behind (one flew OVER my wife's Civic once) so try not to tail them, especially if they are doing reasonably high speeds (40 kmph +).

8. You may also find DANFOs spewing smoke from their rear engines. When this happens, the driver's helper climbs to the rear, opens the hatch and the engine cover, and pours water into the radiator of the running vehicle. Boiling water may come spewing out towards your vehicle if you're behind.

9. HOLD UP: This usually happens if you're driving through the wrong areas. The local hoodlums, known as 'Area Boys' may stop your car and demand money. Give them everything you have - they mean no bodily harm. For this purpose, carry about 50 dollars in 10 dollar notes in your car - they're usually happy to see greenbacks and will let you go with a smile and a huge thank-you.

10. ARMED HOLD UP: Let them take your car. Dont bother about anything else. This car will then be driven (along with others that have been stolen that day) in convoy to the border of Benin. From Benin they are rolled-on to a ship (they have provided a very convenient RO-RO berth for roll-on, roll-off and the latter rarely happens).

11. Driver - Never trust your driver, no matter how good he seems to be. They steal instinctively, even if they mean no harm. One of my drivers stole my wife's mobilephone when she left it in the car. We traced the handset to his wife's number.

12. Peuguot - NEVER drive one of the old Peuguots, especially the 504s of the 80s that is the Nigerian equivalent of the Ambassador. They are made in Nigeria, and every 'Area Boy' knows how to 'fix' these cars. The popular method is to go under the car and remove a coupling after the fuel pump. You then have to pay up whatever they demand before they put that coupling back on.

As you can see, its not very glamorous. Dont bother with flashy cars as its a one-way ticket to car-jacking. One of our friends didnt listen to friendly advice and bought himself a Prado which was promptly stolen the next Sunday when he was on his way to church. Toyota cars have the highest car-jackability index.

Buy yourself a boring looking Honda Civic, and as soon as you get it put a few scratches on it and splash it with mud to make it look old.

FINALLY: I really hope you're not going to be working for Globacom, Conaco or any of Mike Adenuga's companies. Then you wont have the time to drive, even if you are given a car (which is a rarity).

PPS: Abuja is a lot better than Lagos. Almost another world, as it is a city created out of nowhere and therefore has large wide roads. The city looks like a huge (empty) parking lot.

Last edited by Steeroid : 24th July 2006 at 12:56.
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Old 24th July 2006, 12:57   #8
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Wow Steer!

Thats some info! How long back were u in Nigeria. Post some of ur experiences/pics. It should be quite informative for all of us.

P.S. What were ur wheels there dude (apart from the Civic)
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Old 24th July 2006, 13:01   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shan2nu
Get yourself one off them "Flame Throwers" for you car. LOL.

I heard they're legal around those parts of the world.





Shan2nu
I HAVE GOT TO GET ME ONE OF THESE!!!!!!!

@ Steeroid....Thats a good write up there....Lots of similarities to the CNG taxis/cars in Bombay in regards to fuel, traffic and brutality towards cars....

GUESS THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN CARS ARE JUST A NECESSITY...NOT PLEASURE!!! (anywhere for that matter)

Last edited by R32_GTR : 24th July 2006 at 13:05.
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Old 24th July 2006, 13:05   #10
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Awesome post, Steeroid. Crazy situation there!
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Old 24th July 2006, 13:05   #11
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PPPS: When fuel is in short supply you will find a lot of people selling fuel out of large jerry cans by the roadside. NEVER buy from them - its usually a bit of petrol mixed with a lot of insecticide (or anything that can pass off for fuel). If you do, you can say bye bye to your car - unless its one of the older carbed versions because the Fuel Injected cars die within 1 km.

Here's an interesting dictionary containing all the terms that you will need to be familiar with - the language spoken is pidgin english which is quite similar to what passes off for music (RAP) these days:

http://www.ngex.com/personalities/babawilly/dictionary/

Himanshu - I lived there for one eventful year and we had a pretty good time despite everything primarily because we were extremely well taken care of by our company. I had an Accord (which was a new model then and very flashy, so my driver promptly took the car to a wall and "grazed" the bumpers before splashing mud all over it) and my wife had a Civic.

The Petroleum Companies have such a hold over the Government there that they are even listed in the dictionary (see "A") - the term for the Government in power is "Agip". Rather derogatory term too, for it means that the Government is in the pay of the petroleum co.

PS: You will recognize one bit of machinery on the roads there - the Bajaj Auto, popularly known as the 'Keke'.

Last edited by Steeroid : 24th July 2006 at 13:10.
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Old 24th July 2006, 13:07   #12
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This country must be a nightmare for car enthusiasts.
Let me put it down in the 'Countries that i'll avoid' list.
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Old 24th July 2006, 13:13   #13
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I think after reading this pranil would surely drop the idea of going to Nigeria (Abuja ) ........lol
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Old 24th July 2006, 13:17   #14
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To add to steeroid's guide to "living/driving in nigeria",make sure you give money to every beggar there, if you don't you could get yourself splashed with mud/cowdung/e.t.c
Got that recently from a client in Nigeria.
@steeroid: damn you can make people laugh even by talking about nigeria.

manson.
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Old 24th July 2006, 13:21   #15
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There's more (I could go on forever) - if you DO get lost (which is not very difficult if you're going through unknown territory), then find the nearest police checkpoint. You can find these by looking for a group of men in black uniform holding a lot of heavy-duty artillery. Tell them you're lost and you want to find your way back home. Give them 500 Naira (approx Rs.200) and you will get an ARMED ESCORT home, with sirens blaring and all. This is also a favoured way of getting through traffic jams if one is in a hurry - the cops clear the way for you like you're some head of state. Any car that doesnt move out is given the rifle-butt treatment that leaves a large dent on it.

This is particularly useful if you're returning home after late-night parties, because you dont know when you get held up at those times. We did this all the time because I had family with me and our company security guard goes back after dropping me home from work.

And did I tell you about the time when someone offered to sell my son a puppy during one of those traffic jams? This was when the chaps on the other side were trying to sell my wife some snazzy wooden toilet seats.

Guys if you want more laughs - DO READ THE DICTIONARY on the link I have provided. Some of it is hilarious! EG: "Made in England" is the compliment used when the food is really good. It means that the food was so good that the plate was licked clean enough to see the 'Made in England' stamp on the bottom. Nowadays this has also been replaced by 'Made in China'.

Last edited by Steeroid : 24th July 2006 at 13:26.
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