Sunday, February 27, 2011

Naija 7 Wonders

African Travel Quarterly recently launched a search for the Seven Wonders of Nigeria. They now have a shortlist of twenty-five attractions. I wish I could visit all of them.
Vote for your winners by SMS CODE to 33120 or on the Seven Wonders facebook page

SMS Code - Establishment
Naija7*1 - National War Museum, Abia State
Naija7*2 - Sukur Kingdom, Adamawa State
Naija7*3 - Ogbunike Cave, Anambra State
Naija7*4 - Yankari Reserve, Bauchi State
Naija7*5 - Carnival Calabar, Cross River State
Naija7*6 - The Monoliths (Alok & Ikom), Cross River State
Naija7*7 - Obudu Mountain Resort, Cross River State
Naija7*8 - National Museum, Cross River State
Naija7*9 - Nana of Koko Museum, Delta State
Naija7*10 - Benin Heritage Sites (Moat & Palace), Edo State
Naija7*11 - Ikosogi Spring, Ekiti State
Naija7*12 - Abuja Mosque, Federal Capital Territory
Naija7*13 - Kano Heritage Sites (Walls & Palace) & Durbar Festival, Kano State
Naija7*14 - Confluence/Mount Patti, Kogi State
Naija7*15 - Owu falls, kwara State
Naija7*16 - Badagry Colonial Sites (Slave Relics & First Story Building), Lagos State
Naija7*17 - Third Mainland Bridge, Lagos State
Naija7*18 - Farin Ruwa- Nassarawa State
Naija7*19 - Gurara falls, Niger State
Naija7*20 - Kainji Dam, Niger State
Naija7*21 - Winners Chapel, Ogun State
Naija7*22 - Idanre, Ondo State
Naija7*23 - Osun grove, Osun State
Naija7*24 - IITA, Oyo State
Naija7*25 - Gashaka Gumti/Mambilla Plateau, Taraba State

By March they will be narrowed down to fifteen, and the top 7 will be presented in July. I promise to at least visit the final seven. Props to Ikechi Uko of ATQ for the dogged hardwork it's taken to get Seven Wonders this far.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lagos Survival Guide

2011 Liveabililty Ranking and Overview has rated Lagos as the world's fourth worst city of 140 cities surveyed. Some of us have to live in Lagos. Here's how to stay zen through it all:
1. Live near work
Eschew the commute. You don't want to be like the mumu who saved money on housing only to lose it all on fuel and auto-mechanics. Or the other mugu who falls asleep at work everyday after spending four hours a day in traffic.
2. Serviced flat
You could be your own maigadi, generator operator, water pumper, and maintenance staff rolled in one. Or you could have your estate manager do it for you. This could mean staying in a hostel that has services covered for cheap. It doesn't have to be one of those million-million Ikoyi houses.
3. Other?

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Emotions at work

“It’s always personal,” I say.

“Huh?” the old man says, shifting his cool blue eyes onto me.

“I’ve been fired several times,” I say. “And I’ve fired people. It was always personal. That’s because business is between people and everything between people is personal.”

“You’re right!” the sandy haired man almost shouts. “When I got fired or laid off it was personal. When some one screwed me on a deal it was personal. You can’t tell me it isn’t.”

“And yet,” I say, “These very same guys will tell you, ‘Business is all about relationships.’ You can’t have it both ways.”

From It's Always Personal, online at

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Papa Mosquito

I have tried different insecticide sprays recently in a vain attempt to combat mosquitoes in my sleeping area. The sprays however kill cockroaches and others without fail. But mosquitoes? No way, Jose.
Even if you pick one mosquito and spray a quarter-can right at it, you will end up at best with a stunned mosquito on the floor, ready to resurrect dramatically at any moment. Usually preceded by a violent spin (who watched Fadeyi Oloro in those days?)
When someone told me about the resurrection, I thought it was impossible at first, then I observed it with my own eyes. You literally have to squash the mosquito yourself to ensure that it's dead.

Last night, I slept with a mosquito coil for the first time in decades. Slept like a baby. Now (almost 6am) the coil is burned out, and the single mosquito knows where to find me.
All this education, and we are helpless against mosquitoes! Here are some tips:
Attack the sources of mosquitoes - breeding grounds, like the clogged canal by my window.
Chemical killers - for now, it seems these mosquitoes have got resistance
Bug zappers - One, there's no electricity, and two I read they're more effective against moths and other insects that are attracted to light
Mosquito coils - I guess it masks the "smell" - mosquitoes are attracted to your CO2, that's how they track their food. I imagine incense would work well too.
Mosquito nets - I've seen people refuse to use the net because of the heat. Me I couldn't be bothered to net up, it's inconvenient.
Biological - Malaria vaccine, Sterilizing mosquitoes, who knows what.

It seems there's an opportunity to design and disseminate good mosquito solutions. For one thing, I love the construction going on near my house, but they've blocked the water flow for so long and it has become mosquito carnival.

Internet Disservice

Do you consider 1kb/s to be internet service? I don't. Shouldn't we be suing for non-service AND discomfort? Really - when I should be sleeping I'm there trying again and again to load a small page that may not come for thirty tries.
And we have a consumer protection council o.

With the two new submarine cables (Main One + Glo One), the increased capacity is literally on our shores, it's just up to someone to distribute/retail it.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

The Price Of Oil

This is African Bonny Light Crude Oil, currently priced around $100 per barrel

And this is the eight-year chart of Futures on WTI (West Texas Intermediate) Crude Oil.

Previously on UpNaira