Two weeks ago, I found out that Abuja taxi drivers that work the airport route hate Uber drivers (surprise, surprise) and have been known to bait them by ordering trips and then hijacking their vehicles. The other thing they do is observe travelers coming through the arrivals terminal and stalking the ones that appear to be summoning a car with their phone.
If you’re stubborn like me and want to get an Uber or Taxify ride out of the airport without incident (because the damn taxi touts are unruly, expensive and fundamentally unsafe), do the following:
1. Order the ride before you get out of the arrivals terminal and call the driver. Now you have their phone number and can communicate with them.
2. Memorise their license plate number…or get the first four characters at least.
3. Once you are out of the terminal, try not to look at your phone. People tracking their ride’s ETA with the app is the most important tell these taxi touts look out for.
4. When you spy your driver — they will typically elect to find you in person and lead you to their vehicle, which they’ve parked at a safe distance — greet them like a long-lost friend. For example, be like “Miracle, my man!”. Yes, Miracle was the last dude to drive me out of Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport. Even my companion was convinced that we knew each other.
I don’t know why this advice is still relevant in 2018, but it is. Also, I’m not sure what works in South Africa.
Stay safe, everyone.