Driving in Lagos
April 13, 2015
liufadmin (615 articles)
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Driving in Lagos

What a day! I had just made a delivery to a client on the Island and was on my way back to the office. Fuel was low so windows were down, of course I was sweating like a Christmas chicken because the sun was in full blast. I was cruising down Mobolaji Bank Anthony way Ikeja and got stopped by a VIO officer. I smiled not wanting my frustration to show and also believe I was in good standing with the law.

He asked for my documents; after examining them thoroughly he returned them to me. It elevated my spirit, “see, I am law abiding”. He then asks for my driver’s license; I confidently give it to him. He looked at it and said, ‘It’s fake’. Ehen! No way. Many thoughts ran through my mind. I was just thinking: I do I get out of this. Mr. VIO Officer has proceeded to give me a ticket of N20, 000. I would have to go to their office and then start the process of getting an original license.

The officer had taken over the wheels and we started the journey to the office. What do I do: beg, bribe or cajole him? I finalise decide to strike a conversation with him. I ask his name and he tells me. I ask him how he knows my license is fake and he explains and shows me his own license. I ask him about the process of securing a new license. By this time we were already parked in the VIO compound. As I stepped out of the car, I became bush meat for the hunters. LIRS officials started by asking for my tax details then I realized I was in for it. The officer looked up on the system and of course my name didn’t show.

I filled a form and was asked to go to the bank to pay the fine as well as fees for a new driver’s license. I was given a written driver’s test, which I passed. Thank God o! On getting to the bank, it was another story. “There is no network”. When I ask what is the way forward, the cashier had the audacity to tell me: “You can try tomorrow.” I just managed to hold on to my anger because I felt like slapping his face. Then I remembered the officer asked me to call him if I had any challenge. I proceed to dial his number and pray for his sake he has a solution because he may be the one to receive the full dose of my frustration and anger.

As he picks the phone, I attack him instantly. He asks to speak to the cashier and I hand the phone over to him. Ten seconds after, I am sorted. I shook my head in disbelief: Na like so? God deliver us in this country. No time to preach a lecture; I need to finish here and get back to my office. So I headed back to their office.

I return to VIO office, I am tortured to listen different lectures from highway codes to valid driver’s license, insurance and roadworthiness. Really, I get it; trust me it would never happen again. The last hurdle, LIRS, how should I deal with them? Should I just lie that I don’t have a job? I have been honest all the way; God you must show up for me.

I tell them that my business pays that and I have an accountant who I can call to give them details. They asked by PAYE and I said I was the only staff and I didn’t earn a salary yet since the business was just growing. The questions were getting too technical so I ring up Mr. Accountant, they speak their grammar and I get to go. Halleluiah!

I collect a pass for the gate, picked up my car key, got into the car and drove off relieved.

 

I would never wish my enemy a day like this but I will say to you: go and get your original driver’s license.

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