Boarding taxis in Lagos may come with mixed feelings. There are 2 different types of taxis in the Lagos metropolis, the government controlled through the NURTW which are mostly in yellow and black stripes and the private owned types, these are mostly in good conditions and their approach to customers are quite impressive unlike the yellow cab where 85% of the drivers are mostly old men who are in their 50s or 60s. Boarding a taxi may require some extra tips for newbies or those who have been used to the system, as the adage says, Life is a teacher, the more we live, the more we learn. The following tips may help you in making a right decision.
1. Negotiate your price before you board the taxi
Nothing gets these guys more mad than when you refuse to give the their correct fare, a lady was humiliated somewhere around Apapa last month just because of 500 naira, the driver agreed on N3000 while the lady said she can only pay 2500, it got messier when its time to pay and she paid 2500. Please before you begin your journey, make sure you both reach a consensus.
2. Don’t board a taxi from the road side
Boarding taxis from the road side can be dangerous most times as someone may fall into hands of kidnappers or robbers, it is advisable you board mostly in the park, investigation however shows that boarding at parks maybe expensive compared to the ones you pick at the roadside, but in a situation where safety and lives are involved, its better you pay the ultimate price to stay alive. Most of these union members know themselves and they can easily be traced unlike those on the road that you neither know their park or their routes.
3. Avoid travelling with huge cash
It was reported in the news last month of how a foreigner was robbed by an Uber driver just because he saw the huge sum of money the lady was holding. These drivers were human too, they may be tempted to play the fast track on you even though they are real and genuine drivers, don’t tempt them by being too flashy or too bulky, its advisable you travel light, if you have to move around with cash, go with your personal car.
4. Arm yourself with a weapon for self-defence
When I say weapon, its not necessarily a gun, knife or any dangerous item. Self defence is preparing yourself for any unforeseen event that may want to come your way. Imagine you boarding a taxi and the driver is trying to molest you as a lady, you can arm yourself with a pepper spray in your bag and try to run. Pepper spray is a handy and portable spray you can take along with you. This is mostly useful for our ladies.
5. Be awake and try to be alert.
People who are mostly robbed or kidnapped are mostly those who sleep in the vehicle. You told the driver you are going to Lekki and 5 mins into the trip you are far asleep, any driver with an evil agenda may likely use this to either rob you or do something nasty. It is advisable you are security conscious and you should be able to direct the driver in case you noticed he is going outside the normal route.
6. Pray before you enter any vehicle
This may look funny and quite hilarious to some. Nigerians believe in the power of prayers. Have you ever seen a scenario whereby your spirit does not board a particular cab/bus and later you find out it’s got an accident. Prayers help in averting some evils and horrible things you may encounter on the way. So before you enter that cab, why can’t you say a little prayer based on your belief. Prayer works!!