Negotiating the car park at many Nigerian events is usually a driver’s nightmare. From issues of security to reckless parking by other people, it is safe to say that one should expect to spend a quarter of an hour at the lot on average. So when one finds a good spot that has space as well as shade, is close to the venue and comes free of charge, it is almost like finding a rare gem. But such good spots on a normal day are normally reserved for the select few or those who have the cash. It’s really that simple. So what happens if you aren’t so lucky?
Number 1 Rule: Plan in advance. Once you know the venue of the event, it is best to call the contact person beforehand to find out if arrangements have been made for adequate parking. If Yes, then your problem is almost solved. If No, ask about alternatives. In most cases, it is best you go and see the place for yourself and see what your options are, that way you can decide if it will even be worth it bringing your car.
Number 2 Rule: Hitch a ride. If you know people attending the same event, find out if it would be possible to get a lift and offer to contribute to the petrol tank allowance. Or maybe all of you can decide to use a Car Hire Service or public transport.
Number 3 Rule: Be creative with your car. Consider dropping the car at a nearby petrol station and have it washed and cleaned while you attend your function. Or if you’re lucky to have a driver, maybe they can run a few errands and pick you up when you’re ready to go. Also consider parking at a friend’s house that is near the event, but it is best you get their permission beforehand.
Number 4 Rule: Come with money. For your peace of mind, it is always good to have some spare change to settle ‘the boys’ who watch over the unofficial car park i.e. the road and other public spaces. Also be prepared to pay the security people stationed at banks and offices for a space in their own lot during the weekends.
Number 5 Rule: Be prepared to walk or get on a bike when the traffic becomes too much. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Everyone knows about the traffic but people still manage to make it on time, why not be part of that small minority? That might mean parking the car miles away and hopping on a commercial tricycle, motorbike or just walking.