At about 4:15 pm Yesterday, i was heading back home from YCombinator’s Tech Circle Event held in Lagos Business School Ekpe, wait let me first tell you about our 3 hrs journey within Lagos to the event before the 4:15pm. There was “environmental”(curfew for environmental sanitation) in Lagos till 10am that Saturday, at about 10am i prepared for the event and we got going and started our journey through the numerous bad roads and traffic of the almighty Lagos to Lagos Business School Lekki, the venue of the event. Am not a Lagos Guy, proudly IB :D, but even though i come to Lagos very often, the only places i know are few places on the Island and Ikeja axis, so i have no idea where Lagos Business school is, so don’t crucify me
If you are just interested in the 3 things to do before using ATM in Lagos Nigeria, and uninterested in what transpired before the eureka moment, please scroll to the end of this page to read the 3 things otherwise, please proceed below
So we got going I and my Colleague Mr kazeem, I fired Google maps App and punched in Lagos Business School, i smiled when i saw Lekki underneath the LBS on Maps, at least google Maps can lead me to the venue. We passed the ikoyi-lekki interlink bridge and got to the Toll gate, at that point i had just 600 Naira, an empty fuel tank in our vehicle and my ATM Card. Before we left home, i had tried to transfer funds from GTbank to my ATM account, as at after 2 hour when we got to the bridge, “i never get alert” one part of my mind was praying the “money enters”, At the bridge we had to pay 300 naira as toll, so am left with 300 naira after passing the toll point, so i fired Google maps and it seems like we will soon be at the venue LBS, entering Lekki, we spotted a forte oil pump station, and bought 800 Naira fuel(500 from Mr Kazeem), still the fuel gauge was on empty, but at least we are sure we would get safe to our destination.
So we got back with Google Maps and after the 2nd lekki roundabout, we were told by google maps we where close to the LBS, alas upon getting to Google Maps LBS, we discovered it was Shoprite Building, we searched everywhere in that building for LBS but couldn’t locate it, then we decided to ask the Taxi guys, before asking the Taxi guys, we asked 3 people and their response was i don’t know, the last guy had to even think for 1 min before telling me i no know o, in my mind am like these Lagos people don’t know any place except for their places of work and their house. So the Taxi guys told us, “he still far o, u bring car? go after the 3rd round about after Abraham Adesanya and you will see it on the right”, so we kept going on that path, we counted 3 round about and got to Chevron Road or so, so we decided to ask again, we further ask about 4 people and their response was i don’t know. At that Point i almost lost hope on asking for directions from Lagosian, the 5th Guy we asked appears to know the place and told us we have not gotten to Abraham adesanya, “oga just dey go straight, you will see the place on the right hand side”, after driving for the next 30 Mins we got to LBS
Now back to 4:15pm, i tried to send some funds from my emergency account to my ATM card since the GTbank transfer “neva enter” the transfer was instant, i was happy, then we saw a Keystone bank,GTbank and an oando pump station, so i thought this is the best place to stop over and withdraw from an ATM and fuel up.
So i went to GTbank to check and the queue was like exodus of the Israelite out of Egypt, there were 2 Free ATMs in the GTbank, so i asked the dude standing near it are they dispensing, he said “The machine done chop my ATM card and i no get any money with me”, i said thank you and left the bank, so i had to settle for Keystone with a shorter queue. There were 3 ATMs but people only queued in-front of 2 ATMs so i thought, “Make i try my Luck” as an Entrepreneur risk taking has been an easy thing for me, So i went to the lone ATM machine, and keyed in my pin, punched in the withdraw amount, which was everything in the account, my cousin’s Birthday was that day and i Promised we would go out after church on Sunday, so i had to be liquid. Then i press proceed with the transaction, then after like 3 sec the ATM did its krrr…. sound and alas, No cash came out, my heart skipped 3 beats when the Machine spitted out my ATM card, then with sadness and shame inside, i quietly went to join the 2 ATM queue i was asked, “is it working”, i said No faintly, but i had no more money in the ATM and it could take between 24hrs to 45 days before a reversal can be complete. so i had to go back to the emergency account and transferred the remaining 2000 naira in it to withdraw for fuel.
After withdrawal , i came up with these rule of thumbs that will be helpful if you need to withdraw from an ATM in Lagos Nigeria
Scenario 1: There is no one at the ATM point or Gallery
- Check if the ATM doesn’t appear to have been repaired, probably they just fixed it and may have not been configured well, as in my case above, if it looks like it is currently under repair, avoid it like a plague
- after 1 above, insert your card, try to do a non-cash transaction, like say checking balance or recharging your phone, if its successful go to 3 below
- withdraw the minimum amount the ATM supports first, if you are able to “cash out”, then you can confidently withdraw everything you need.
Scenario 2: There are people at the ATM gallery but for some reason, they didn’t queue in-front of a Machine. i think the above 3 rules will also apply in this scenario to that lone machine, the other ones in use have passed those rule and is safe for use.
At 6:25pm the GTbank “Alert Entered” for the curious ones.
You can add other things to note before using ATM in your City.
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