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ebajema



Member Since: 24 Mar 2011
Location: New Plymouth
Posts: 4688

New Zealand 2010 Range Rover Autobiography 5.0 SC V8 Galway Green
FFRR in Nigeria part 1

Hi FFRR nuts,

Some of you may have seen my ramblings about my FFRR experiences in Nigeria either in my posts or in my responses to other peoples posts. Raymond (RRG or better London to Cape Town in the FFRR TD6 hero) suggested to write some of the interesting bits in the Africa section and here we go.

We moved to Nigeria in earnest on 17 April 2009 after an exploratory visit (we are going to DIE, my wife kept saying, obviously we haven't yet Wink) and I had a few short deployments between Feb and April. In the beginning we relied on our driver to drive us around in the crazy crazy traffic. After a few months I tried my hand at driving (a little Toyota Yaris then) which was not a pleasant experience. Later we upgraded to an older (2001) Toyota Landcruiser, likely the most unreliable LC in the world.

Due to my busy work and our youngest daughter arriving, I needed my own car and drive myself or I would get stuck or not get to meetings on time as my wife needed the car and driver a lot. So with a bit of money coming in from an unexpected side, I decided to do something stupid and spend money on a very smart looking FFRR S/C (US import).

Why is that stupid, because people drive like complete idiots, cram 4 cars in two lanes with Okadas (small motorbikes going inbetween etc. You will hardly find a car without scratches or dents. So why take a very nice looking car and get it dented and scratched. Just because this was my chance to finally drive one of the most beautiful 4wds in the world and a car I had been dreaming of owning for years. So away with common sense and go for it.

Well I haven't regretted it for a second, the car is still dent free (from traffic that is, I stupidly made a too tight turn underneath a barrier so now I have a small dent AT THE ROOFLINE for crying out loud Big Cry ). Some minor scratches, other than that the FFRR has done very well. And don't think it is my defensive driving because that will get you sitting in one spot till midnight before you can move.

Driving in Nigeria is not for the fainthearted, my heartbeat still jumps at least twice a week, sometimes almost daily, at some of the things happening around me in traffic. And those are the things that could actually impact me, let alone the other stuff I see happening in traffic. It does change your driving, actually for the better in some ways, because you have to be incredibly alert here all the time. Especially the Okadas use "special rules", lane directions don't apply to them, they weave through traffic like ants on a hot plate, they are completely fearless or stupid but probably both. Some towns actually banned them but they are too vital for Lagos residents for this governor to ban them. Also cars do "funny" things so again you have to be very alert and I always drive with one thumb on the horn button and I try to use it only when necessary and I still use it daily. On the other hand it is great to be driving around here in a FFRR, because the comfort of the car is really something you appreciate in this traffic and climate.

Maintenance and repair of cars over here is a different story. First of all, the "official" dealer is ridiculously expensive and you still can't rely on them doing the right thing. Garages here are notorious for removing good parts from cars, replacing them with crap parts to sell the good parts and quality of work is horrendous in a lot of places. Luckily our owner (lived here for 40 years !) has decided to have our own workshop with some good mechanics and only one of them (the best) works on my car on stuff I don't want to do or can't do. The electronics I do myself (using the Faultmate) mainly, with a lot of help from the forum of course.

The roads in Nigeria are usually in bad condition, potholes all over the place, getting worse during the rainy season so a 4WD or higher ground clearance makes sense (although is not vital). I do use offroad height going into most puddles because you never know how deep they are or got as the rainy season progresses.

Luckily petrol is very cheap here because the city driving with slow traffic (the notorious Go Slows) increases the fuel consumption quite a bit. Also quality of petrol is not great and I use a particular petrol station in Lagos as their fuel seems to be OK, less check engine lights coming on Wink

This is part 1 for now, have a look at my gallery for some pics of the car, I will add some interesting pics when I get them of Lagos life with the FFRR in it Wink

Genie MY 2010 5.0 SC Galway green and sand interior!!
Have the Faultmate MSV2 Extreme to be tinkering with the settings etc. !!
Suzuki B-King rider Smile

Post #140203 8th Sep 2012 8:19pm
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stan
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England 2016 Range Rover Vogue TDV6 Indus Silver

great write up, looking forward to part2.. Thumbs Up .



click on links below for more info ,

>WIKI
>> DONATE
>>> FORUM INFO
>>>> FFRR CAR STICKER

Post #140212 8th Sep 2012 9:16pm
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JustinP



Member Since: 24 Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge
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United Kingdom 2006 Range Rover Vogue SE Supercharged Java Black

Thumbs Up 
Gone - Range Rover Supercharged 2006

Post #140213 8th Sep 2012 9:27pm
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RRG



Member Since: 08 Jan 2010
Location: London
Posts: 121

United Kingdom 2007 Range Rover Vogue TDV8 Zermatt Silver

Ebajema
love reading this stuff, keep it coming...
how far have you ventured into Nigeria and would you consider crossing the border into Benin / Togo / Ghana or maybe even Cameroon?
stories about roads, police, bandits, border conditions well received
how does the FFRR s/c cope on low octane fuel?
best regards
RRG

Post #141740 18th Sep 2012 1:07pm
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ebajema



Member Since: 24 Mar 2011
Location: New Plymouth
Posts: 4688

New Zealand 2010 Range Rover Autobiography 5.0 SC V8 Galway Green

Hi RRG,

Working on part 2 in my head already.

FFRR is not a happy bunny with the fuel from one of the local fuel stations (have a look at my post on left bank too rich). Also, fuel stations and street sellers are notorious for adding water to the petrol before selling it and I would not be surprised if it was "laced" with old engine oil or other crap (something I know was done by an oil trader in the Netherlands in my village, he added old engine oil to new fuel oil till he got caught).

We have ventured in country several times (in the old LC not the FFRR) for personal trips and loved it. Will write a bit more about the tourist side of this beautiful country. Once you get past the obvious "negative" sides of Nigeria, a beautiful country and lovely people picture emerges.

Police/army etc. we have had no issues with sofar. Checkpoints are frequent but in general the people manning them are friendly and polite (towards expats at least). No complaints there to be honest, maybe because we are always friendly and polite to anyone we meet here.

We have not ventured into the neighbouring countries by road (yet). I have been in Ghana (for work) and that is great, nicknamed Africa for beginners because it is so easy. Still Nigeria is not half as hard as it is portrayed in the news, I guess bad news just sells better than good news.

Part 2 will follow soonest. MY 2010 5.0 SC Galway green and sand interior!!
Have the Faultmate MSV2 Extreme to be tinkering with the settings etc. !!
Suzuki B-King rider Smile

Post #141742 18th Sep 2012 1:18pm
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