Shikenan.com
SAFETY TIPS FOR VISITING NIGERIA
by Shikenan Staff Writer: Abimbola Kuti   on Fri, August 19, 2011 
 
Safety Tips for Visiting Nigeria

 

After spending so many years abroad, many Nigerians coming home for the first time are often apprehensive about returning safely to Nigeria. Their fear might be related to the seemingly unsafe airport they saw before they last left Nigeria. However, things are quite different now as there are many safe and efficient services available. Below are some important things you should know when making your trip back home to Nigeria.

AFTER YOUR FLIGHT HAS LANDED

There are four government agencies that must clear you (especially at Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos) after you have deplaned.  They are:

  • NDLEA
  • Customs
  • Immigration
  • Quarantine

EXCHANGING MONEY

After all the relevant authorities have cleared you, you will need to move to the arrival terminal. At this stage, you will need to exchange some money for immediate expenses. There are quite a few Bureaus de Change at the terminal, including Ibro and FCMB. According to airport sources, the cheapest amongst them is UBA Max.

WHO IS PICKING YOU UP?

Before your arrival, you can make arrangements with friends or relatives to pick you up at the airport. The friend or relative should arrive early so they can register their car with airport authorities and receive a parking permit. It’s so much more pleasant to have someone familiar there to take care of you rather than people you may not know as well.

If you do not have a relative or friend pick you up, there are several other ways to get from the airport to your destination, including:

TAKING THE AIRPORT SHUTTLE BUS: These buses are fully air-conditioned and are owned by the airport authorities. The only disadvantage is that they don’t travel very far and mainly drop off their passengers at nearby hotels. The fare is between 1000 and 25000 naira (depending on your time of arrival) to Ikeja and its environs.

HIRING A TAXI: Getting a taxi out of the airport is easy. There are three stands at the arrival terminal that you may use to hire a taxi.

THE TAXI ASSOCIATION: You can get a taxi by going to the stand of the Airport Taxi Association. Different fares apply to different destinations in the country. The disadvantage of using the taxi association is that you cannot book online, so your reservations can only be made once you’ve landed at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos. It should be noted that the price also varies from car to car.

The average prices are (in naira):

  • Ikeja & environs: 1500 - 2500
  • Victoria Island and environs: 3500 - 5000
  • Epe side: 6000 – 8000
  • On South West: 15000 - 40000

RENTING A CAR

HERTZ: This is one of the most popular car rental agencies in the world. They have cars for short and long term services. Here are a few of their fares from the airport (in naira):

  • Ikeja and environs: 2500 – 3500
  • Lagos Island and environs: 4000 - 1000
  • Lagos Mamland: 1500 – 4,500 depending on where you are going

You can also use their cars on a long-term basis, provided you can offer enough documents and credit. They have five other locations across the country (in Enugu, Warri, Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt). You can also arrange online to have a car pick you up.

For more information visit www.hertz.com, or call Halilu Mubarak – 08035894975.

AVIS: This is another car rental agency that has a worldwide presence (in over 160 countries). Their service is unique because in addition to their pick-up and drop-off services, they also offer their car to you on a per-day basis for as long as you need it. The price for the rental ranges from 16,000 to 20,000 naira per day depending on the type of car you need. They also reside in almost all the local airports and some hotels in Nigeria.

For more information visit avis.com or call Oyewusi Adegboyega Ayo - 07032948374.

SAFETY ISSUES:

  • Be careful of touts offering their services at a ridiculously cheap price, because it will most likely lead you to being duped or robbed. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Dress responsibly so as not to draw undue attention to yourself from the security personnel at the checkpoints.
  • Exchange money within the airport premises to avoid being duped by touts outside the airport.

Many people think that returning home to Nigeria after many years in the States can be an intimidating and nerve-wracking experience. In order to ensure your safe and smooth arrival back home, follow the advice offered here and be aware of your surroundings. As long as you are alert and pay attention to what is going on around you, you should have no problems on your journey home to Nigeria.

Have you recently returned home to Nigeria, or know someone who has? How was your experience? Is there any other advice you would give to those coming from America to Nigeria? Share your experience with us below!

Looking for new business opportunities in Nigeria? Check out our articles on Opening a Cyber Cafe andOpening Your Own Mobile Phone Business.

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