Nigeria Blog 2: Big Yellow Taxi

Not quite the picture that the Counting Crows painted in their 90’s ballad, but however ugly and battered, the big yellow taxis of Lagos are extremely eye catching and well decorated by their respective drivers in order to catch the attention of the traveller. The preferred means of transport in Lagos, these taxis dominate the streets and make the rules instead of obeying any.
For some reason still unbeknown to me, and very much still under investigation, the big yellow taxi of Lagos are almost all VW microbuses from the late 80’s (aka Kombi is RSA). One can only assume VW won a tender from the Nigerian Government in 1980 and delivered about half a million of these mini buses to Lagos state in what was probably pristine condition back then. What’s more interesting is that there is not one single brand-new VW microbus or even one that is evidently manufactured in the 21st century. We all know how resourceful and creative Nigerians can be, and as a result most drivers have managed to keep these buses going for years on end keeping them running on home-made spare parts and help together by what looks like putty and a few threads of wire. VW are most likely not waiting any longer for the contract renewal.
What a testament to the VW brand and to a vehicle that seems to be irrelevant elsewhere on the planet, but even more so, what a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of the Lagosian.