Hmm! I was amazed by all protocols observed in Nigeria. I travelled to Abuja the Federal capital territory of Nigeria and the offices of all Government sectors.
There I met am old time friend who is much older than me and works in the government sector there in Abuja.
He had 3 phones lines. 4 if I decided to count his multi link number for which he has not brought a phone for yet. 5 if I also count his starcomms, which he uses solely for connecting to the internet. In totality my friend own 5 phones and carry them all around where ever he goes to.
Yes Nigeria is a country where owning multiple cell phones and numbers is common and to be expected. To many new arrival, however the sight of a Nigerian scrolling through his contacts on one phone but dialing with another is a strange one. For I can remember watching in amusement as people would walk around with 3 or more phones and they all are working, as well as changing the sim cards in their phones over the course of a routine day.
Not forgetting of the bad network day; which will be a day that the phone won’t connect to the network and sometimes it will be honest with you refusing to display the name of the network to which it is supposed to belong. Some other times, attempting to save it face, it will lie shamelessly and will display the full number of network bars until you attempt to make a call , where upon the bars disappear quicker than the network recording can say “the number you have called……” and thus it is best to have as many options as possible. With that I asked my friend a reasonable solution would be, why not just stick to the best network, throw all the other sim cards away and commit to the one that is been the most reliable. But he wasn’t satisfied and as well I learned a few things from his responses and he had this suggestion saying that:
1. Nigeria have no patience for stupid question.
2. There is no best network which I can now confirm, having tried some of them if not all.
3. The idea of abandoning a product is completely a foreign thing to the Nigeria mind.
He actual told me to think about it….. That Nigerians has multiples of almost everything if one can afford them. eg. Having an account in more than one bank.
He reminded me that we have a paradox: Nigerians have multiple phones because the services are bad, but phone services will remain bad as long as Nigerians have multiple phones. He asked the question who can break the deadlock? And he answered the Government (Has to step in and set industry standards when the market fails for that is their job as Government). He also mentioned the issue of the problem of light in Nigeria, and he said that the problem can be solved but just that they do not want to solve it because if they do …. Then they cannot sell the diesel they product because there will be no more generators in use.
He also told me a story of some senators who got sick of being unable to reach any of their multiple girlfriends on any of their multiple lines with any of theirs. Again he said that the senators were hoping that the woman who lent her voice to the phone company automated messages would be dragged before the lawmakers.
Furthermore he said that one of the senator badly wanted someone to ask the woman exactly what she met by saying that his sister’s number in Greece does not exist on the phone company network and why this was the reason not to be connected. It is a lot of drama in Nigeria because they had to settle for exces from the communication commission and phones companies after week of getting berating by the honourable senators….. that the phone companies agreed to compensate the nation for their pass failures. A few hundred of naira which in the local currency in Nigeria was credited to each of phones and he my friend said that they were allowed to go and sin no more.
On the same issue, I spoke to some other people and they were outraged but yet they had to just shrugged their shoulder and went looking for old sim on which they could claim their compensation.
Now I see…… Yup! Nigerians do not complain, they just adjust to getting used to strange situation.
I think that is the sole reason why they say that the HAPPIEST PEOPLE ON EARTH ARE NIGERIANS.
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