Tuesday, December 07, 2004

After all this praise, time for a moan about Nigeria

Today there are huge queues for petrol at the garages in Abuja. MTN, the largest mobile phone operator, has not allowed pre-paid customers (including moi) to upload credit to their phones - a technical problem they have not been able to fix in three days. Meanwhile, the Plateau State Governor Dariye has been found out - siphoning huge sums of money into private accounts (he was caught a few weeks ago in the UK with millions of pounds that he couldn't account for - then he managed to slip away from the UK police and get back to Nigeria via France). Because State Governors have immunity from prosecution, most of them are at it - building hotels or setting up businesses etc in the West (and in Nigeria). The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have their first big case on their hands. It was disgusting how this crook was invited back to the country with fanfare and media hoopla given he was caught red-handed in the UK. On the micro level, we are having builders round to fix our ceiling (Harmattan has caused it to crack and bend). They have been stealing things in the process.

Tomorrow will be a better day.


Good things about Nigeria #8

Star & Gulder beer. Lovely proportioned bottles. Much better to buy your lager in a mansize 75cl bottle than some noncy Eurowuss size.


Good things about Nigeria #7

Tarkwa Bay. Tarkwa Bay is a short speedboat trip from Lagos. It’s the perfect place to spend your Sunday. The beach is crescent shaped and has deckchairs all along you can rent. Once seated, you can be served a big bottle of Star beer or suya or spliff while gazing out onto the tropical horizon.


Good things about Nigeria #6

Jos. Jos is a lovely city in the middle of Nigeria full of mango trees, beautiful stone buildings and a biblical-looking hinterland strewn with glacial boulders. They grow mushrooms and strawberries in Jos (the climate is Mediterranean). John Major fell in love with Jos when he worked there as a bank manager in the 1950’s – but that’s not one of the good things about Nigeria.


Good things about Nigeria #5

People say ‘well done’ as a form of greeting. It’s very flattering to be complimented before you’ve even begun.


Good things about Nigeria #4

Orchids. They’re much cheaper to buy than in the UK and like the climate.


Good things about Nigeria #3

Zobo. Zobo is a lovely refreshing drink made out of hibiscus leaves, herbs and a bit of sugar. Its zinging full of vitamin c and goodness and just the thing for an afternoon pick-me-up.


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