Living In Lagos . . . Traffic

All Lagosians have one thing in common . . . Traffic stories. (Oh by the way, if you’ve lived in Lagos for 3 months and have had scrapes with LASTMA, OKADA AND KEKE NAPEPS,  you are a Lagosian. And if you know what those names mentioned above are, you are a LAGOSIAN!) LOL. Now that that’s established, let’s move on with the gist. 
The thing to know and do in Lagos to escape some part of the traffic is to;

  1. Know the routes
  2. Get a driver who knows the routes and is Lagos driving savvy
  3. Know what times to head out (not that this always saves you but more often than not, you will avoid the traffic)

Well, once you’ve ticked all those, the next is to quickly pick up some Lagos slang with the right accent and quick thinking when dealing with traffic cops. Slang like:

  • Oga, abeg. No vex. I no know. 
  • Ah na so! Pele! I no go do am again. 
  • Na wetin? 
  • I dey hail o!
  • Twale baba!

Be sure to use the slang with the appropriate accent and expressions. You’ll be sure to get off lightly. Nigerians love foreigners who try to be like them. 

Slang on bus
That said, be quick thinking. 

  • Always have copies of your driving license and car particulars. Never keep the originals in the car and never hand over the originals. 
  • Always drive with your car doors locked. And if stopped, wind down a crack enough to hear and be heard but not enough to let some over-eager official reach in to open your door and let him or herself in. 
  • Never leave valuablea and bags in the car when parked on the streets. They could act as a beacon to car-jackers. 

Traffic prone areas and times:

  • Apapa (all day, worse when there’s a fuel shortage). 
  • Ikeja 8am – 9am, 1pm – 3pm, 6:30pm -8pm (Mon – Fri)
  • Maryland 8am – 9am, 1pm – 3pm, 6:30pm – 8pm (Mon – Fri)
  • Festac 8am – 9am, 1pm – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm (Mon – Fri)
  • Mile 2 8am – 9am, 1pm – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm (Mon – Fri) Saturdays are unpredictable. 
  • Iyana ipaja 8am – 9am, 1pm – 3pm, 6:30pm – 11pm (Mon – Fri) Depends what way you are travelling. Saturdays are unpredictable. Sundays, look out for church hours. 
  • Oshodi 8am – 9am, 1pm – 3pm, 6:30pm -9pm (Mon – Fri)
  • Ajao Estate, Airport Road. 8am – 9am, 1pm – 3pm, 6:30pm -8pm (Mon – Fri)
  • Carter Bridge 8am – 9am, 1pm – 3pm, 6:30pm – 8pm (Mon – Fri) Depends what way you are travelling. Weekends are usually free. 
  • 3rd Mainland Bridge 6am – 9am, 1pm – 3pm, 6:30pm – 10pm (Mon – Fri) Depends which way you are travelling. 
  • Kingsway, Ikoyi 8am – 9am, 2pm-8pm (Mon – Fri) Weekends are usually free
  • Awolowo Road, Ikoyi 8am – 9am, 4pm -9pm (Mon – Fri). Fridays are worse. Club nights. 
  • Ozumba Mbaduwe street, VI. 8am – 9am, 1pm – 2pm, 4:30pm – 8pm (Mon – Fri) Fridays are worse. 
  • Ademola Tokunbo. VI 8am – 9am, 6pm – 8pm (Mon – Fri.)
  • Ajose Adeogun, VI 8am – 9am, 1pm – 2pm, 6:pm – 8pm (Mon – Fri)
  • Adeola Odekun, VI 8am – 9am, 1pm – 2pm, 5:30pm – 8pm (Mon – Fri) Weekends are free. 
  • Ahmadu Bello Way, VI 8am – 9am, 6pm – 8pm (Mon – Fri)
  • The Palms, VI 7am – 8:45am, 1pm – 3pm. (Mon – Fri) School Runs. 
  • Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lekki 1 8am – 9am,  6:30pm – 8pm (Mon – Fri)
  • Admiralty Way, Lekki 1 8am – 9am, 1pm – 3pm, 6:30pm -8pm (Mon – Fri)
  • Lekki-Ikoyi Tollgate 8am – 9am, 1pm – 3pm, 5pm – 8pm (Mon – Fri)
  • Fola Osibo, Lekki 1  6:30pm – 8pm (Mon – Fri) generally depends on the traffic on Admiralty Way. 
  • Lekki-Epe Expressway, Ikate 8am – 9am, 6:30pm – 8pm (Mon – Fri)
  • Lekki-Epe Expressway, Jakande 8am – 10am, 1pm – 3pm, 6:30pm – 8pm (Mon – Mon) 
  • Lekki-Epe Expressway, Chevron 8am – 9am, 1pm – 3pm, 6:30pm -8pm (Mon – Fri)
  • Ajah 8am – 10am, 1pm – 3pm, 6:30pm – 8pm (Mon – Mon) 

Traffic at Falomo Bridge, Ikoyi
Lagos traffic isn’t serious if you don’t see hawkers selling their wares. You can tell how bad the traffic is by what the hawkers are hawking. If only snacks like chips and gala, it is quick moving. If you see cool drinks and snacks, it isn’t so quick. If you see books, CDs, household items, cooking items, snacks, drinks, ice cream and yoghurts, then you should get comfortable. It is a bad one. In this one, look out for the traffic cops. 

Thank you for reading through. Please subscribe and leave a comment with tips on traffic that has been overlooked. Catch you all soon, until then, keep Living In Lagos. 

4 thoughts on “Living In Lagos . . . Traffic

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