For a country that holds 25% of the continent's population and has the 3rd strongest economy amongst 60 competitor African nations, one would assume that the Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport would be in good working order to leave a decent impression on international travellers heading to Nigeria or transiting to other abodes. However, think again! I was recently in transit and spent 5 hours at this airport and cannot think of one positive thing to say about it.
1. There is no regulatory order at the airport - in other words, no one is around at the information desk nor officials directing incoming traffic to Customs. As a result, people are quite confused where to go in general upon arrival.
2. The walkway escalators appear to be permanently damaged, requiring travellers to walk great distances down a long corridor where flight gates are not indicated on the flight screen. It appears the airport relies on 'word of mouth' for passengers to figure out which gate their flight leaves from. It is up to the passenger to ask other passengers where there flight is leaving from and it appears the locals know which gates flights seem to leave from, most of the time.
3. There are airport lounges but no decent WiFi (virtually non-existent), and very crowded conditions. There is no calling of your flight - it is your job to check the departure times and speculate where your gate may be.
4. There is no such thing as priority boarding - it is literally a free-for-all when boarding your flight.
5. There is very limited seating at your gate and therefore most passengers are standing up for an hour or more waiting to board their flight with little to no air conditioning.
Overall, the Lagos International Airport is a disappointment for any traveler looking for a reprieve between their connecting flights. With so much oil wealth in the country, one would think the Government of Nigeria would do more to make a more attractive impression on the international traveler.
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