Thursday, December 08, 2011

23401 is the zip code for Lagos State in Nigeria

My debit card did not work online until I used 23401 as my zip code.  That's like an electronic/credit card; it's labelled Visa, but issued by a Nigerian bank.

Previously, the specialized customer care from the bank had suggested many reasons why my address wasn't working, but yesterday I found out that Lagos indeed has a five-digit zip code or postcode.  Presumably, other cities/states in the country have 234-something-something too, but good luck finding those since the NIPOST utility at is down (domain name expired).

This postal code issue has confused many Nigerian people, and I suffered so much trying to use my very super special card online until I had to beg my sister and my mother and transfer money just before deadline.
Then I found out this new secret zipcode, and I have just made a purchase online with it, no problem at all.

Although they couldn't get the zip code right, the customer service (phone number at the back of your card) helped me figure out which of my many possible addresses (work, shack, parents', other job, ...) I had entered.  I will inform them about this blind spot of theirs.  If you have trouble with your own card, phone the number; for once customer service in Nigeria really tried to be helpful. 

Welcome to the late 20th century, brethren. 

Lagos State 23401
Oyo State 23402
FCT (Abuja) 23409
Maybe the last two digits are from the telephone area code?  (See Nigeria local area codes here)

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Promise Hanson said...

sory to say but what you have given as postcode above, is actually telephone code. 234 is the international dial code for nigeria and 01 or 09, etc. are state dial codes. get your postcode from the post ofice near u or go to nipost website,i hav used it severally.

t said...

It's what worked that I wrote here. I was trying to make an electronic payment and 23401 was the key. Ask the bank why their code is not NIPOST's.


Kshalom: The phone code does the magic sometimes. I lived in Los Angeles buying something in London to be ship to Lagos, 23401 was the secret digit to solving the delay processing. You can if you will. Thanks!

t said...

Thank you for posting about your experience.

iverson360 said...

t said...

Back to Promise's comment - the NIPOST post code is one thing - most people don't know what a post code is, nor do the post offices seem to care.
A different thing is what to write under zip code when making an electronic transaction. This is what I found out: sometimes it's 23401, and sometimes it's not. The best way to make sure that your address matches the address on record for the card is to also have the card's information on hand - say the page on the internet, or a bill or printout in front of you, so that you may copy the ZIP CODE exactly as written - in some cases it's not even five digits, I've seen 234 used before. (Hey, many of the banking officers may not know what a Zip Code is either, so they enter what they like) .

Lesson: 1 - The ICT Ministry has some work to do helping clear up the ambiguity in postal codes and in zip codes.

Lesson 2 - Check your card data either online, in paper form, or maybe from the bank or phone support (if available) to get the exact correct address (Line 1, Line 2, City, Zip Code, etc must match) when using the card online.


23401 is a valid zip code of a city in the US so it will work even though you are giving a wrong one

t said...

Woah, Segun, that's really useful information. Which city? I guess there's no worldwide system for addressing or even ZIPs, but it's still weird to have zip-codes that are redundant...
And yes indeed, Keller, Virginia, USA has zip code 23401 see map here but apparently Lagos uses the same sometimes for electronic banking / commerce as well.

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