Three months ago, I moved to Lagos from Port Harcourt. Port Harcourt is a pretty interesting place but no place can be frustrating in Nigeria as Lagos.
How-Tos: 5 tips on how to survive in Lagos
Lagos is an exciting and interesting city but like most metropolitan cities you need some important tips to survive it.
More so, I travelled to Lagos a lot for visits and a ton of job interviews. How bad can it be? I thought.
Well, it is actually worse. Way worse than anything I could imagine.
Yes, there are long hours spent in traffic jams, daylight robberies, thuggery, road traffic accidents, high cost of living, flooding, and other maladies. But, I am not going to be a bearer of bad news, I would rather give you tips on how to survive Lagos.
These are five tips.
1. Be careful on Lagos roads
Maybe people never learn to drive in Lagos because why are there so many reckless drivers who act like they are the only ones on the road?
When driving in Lagos take extra care.
Everyone is on edge. Even if you see a man wearing a suit and tie, don’t assume he is not an Agbero (street tout).
Say a prayer before entering yellow buses or avoid them as much as you can, most are not in good conditions. Twice, the bus I was in stopped working on the highway. It was nerve-racking.
Another thing you can do is to get a BRT bus ticket, but that is not without its own disadvantages of waiting for the bus or long queues to enter the BRT.
2. Have plenty money
Ah, I see you defied all odds and, here you are in Lagos. Money makes life bearable and easier in Lagos.
Think about your life, do you intend to be jumping into Agbero buses with wooden seats? Or pay outrageous fares for exclusive rides? I think not.
If you must sit for hours in traffic at least let it be in your own car.
Better to complain about how deplorable Lagos is when you have money than to be in Lagos and be broke.
3. As much as you can don’t leave your house
As much as it depends on you, stay home. I have been working from home and, that has been bliss for me.
Going to work every day in Lagos is almost suicidal. What is even outside, if not expenses?
I personally almost got robbed but my god protected me. The Agberos only robbed the driver. Sad for him but thank God for me.
4. Be stubborn
In Lagos, being soft-spoken and gentle will get you taken advantage of even worse killed. People have to understand that you are a mad person. This will save you a great deal of trouble.
5. Do not move to Lagos
Surprise! I just had to make this a tip. You don't have to survive Lagos if you do not live there. There are so many reasons why you shouldn’t move to Lagos. Firstly, enough people are already living in Lagos.
Try a state like Kogi State, I am kidding, but if you have it in your power to live anywhere else, you should take it.
Lagos has the smallest landmass in this country (3,334sqkm} yet, it is the second most populated state in the country (12 million people) perhaps, because of the concentration of resources, jobs, and opportunities. However, if you had to make a choice, don't come here.
But I do love Lagos despite everything. As Daniel Akinmade said in the book the Beauty of Lagos, "Lagos is like a sibling quite frustrating many times but, the love is unwavering."
Sonate Princewill in the same book said, "Lagos, it builds character, it breeds strength and forges hustle."
How-Tos is a content series at Pulse that teaches stuff to make your life easier.
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