For Lagos, monkey dey work, baboon dey chop – Lucia

For Lagos, monkey dey work, baboon dey chop – Lucia

In Lagos, everybody is trying to hammer. Any way possible, we all want to make more money.

What this has done to me is that my bargaining skills have now gone over the top, yes my mother will be proud of me.

The group of people I am always haggling with are okada riders. I already have an idea what my destination should cost me and I will not add shi-shi to it.


One day, at the height of the fuel scarcity or what I thought was the height (since Uncle Kachikwu has told us to be prepared for another 2 months) I entered an okada.

The usual fare is N100 but when I got to my destination the okada man started begging me to add ‘small’ to it, that it is not just fuel matter.

What else?
My curiosity wouldn’t let me leave it. So I decided to talk to one of them.
Here’s what I found out.
The one I talked to is 32, from Jigawa State. When I asked how much he makes per day, he said ‘Say I ride well, well, rain no fall, the day better na four or five thousand I go make, but no be that money go follow me go house. Because I go buy fuel N500, I go pay for local government tickets for Somolu and Bariga, N100 each. I go pay for park. Because everyday up to 5 different people dey come collect N300 from us. Police go come, Mopol go come, Panti go come, Army dey come sometimes. Our chairman go give dem make dem for allow us ride. We go still buy sticker. LG sticker N500 but that one na only once a year. And the Okada no be my own, na my uncle wey say make I come Lagos give me, so I dey give him wife 1,000 everyday weda work dey or not.’
It was from him I learnt that the other northern guys who also ride okadas have this same arrangement with whoever gave them the okadas. He said there are people who remit up to N2000/2500 daily. It was from talking to him I also found out that the traders who sell along the road also pay money to different group of persons daily and this money goes to the Local Government. There’s a hierarchy and the money just keeps going up. A classic case of monkey work, baboon chop.
Dear Ambode, when you dropped your “↔Ambo o, Ambo” ‘single’, remember it was a danfo bus they used? These guys are suffering, kindly look into their plight; find a way to curb the ‘baboons.’

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