When I walked out the airplane with my two kids, oh I knew for a fact that I had reached my home country Nigeria. First, the stench and sweat, the lack of power and an old elevator that was anything but working. I was mortified. People really did take off and land at the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos? I could not believe it.
We walked down the dirty path towards customs and of course no one looked friendly, welcoming or remotely happy to be there. We were gestured to one area, probably because of the kids. After a fifteen after flight- nine from Dallas to Frankfurt, a two hour waiting time, then another 6 to Lagos. Oh yes the kids were fatigued beyond belief. Did I mention that our flight for the previous day had been cancelled? We had had to return home. I was so furious.
Yes Nigeria is one of those places that one can’t but be excited to visit. That’s home. Family, tradition everything is what Nigeria represents for me. But the overall state of the country is nothing to be merry about.
We finally got our passports stamped and headed to the area where our bags would be picked up.
It costs 150naira to rent the trolley for which to carry our bags. Naturally, there were hoodlums within the airport suggesting otherwise. One even insisted on 2500naira to help me wheel my stuff outside and said that the price could not be negotiated since a receipt would be issued. He eventually did help me with my luggage for that price but only for less that 15 feet. I mean literally. Helped me wheel it from the baggage claim area to the airport entrance? Was that the agreement? He had bailed as soon as he had seen my cousin who had been waiting for me outside the airport. Surely, I knew it was a blatant lie (receipt story) but the authorities are allowing them to act like animals so I cant be too mad at them. It’s not like I was acting like an Americanah or anything. I was speaking my Yoruba and broken English fluently. They were just plain mean and knew that with the whining of the kids, I would have little room for negotiations and or arguments. Sad nonetheless
Before leaving the airport I had successfully spent 10,000naira.
The moral of the story is that the airport is not being properly maintained, the workers are full of s*** and Nigeria will not see much success if they continue to extort their own.
FYI the actual airport does not remotely resemble the pic above. Its a big shame.