The Inyang Effiong Show

The PodCast About People and Events around Nigeria and West Africa

Six Days in September – My trip around Nigeria Day 1

Have you heard of Ofada Rice? If you live or have visited Nigeria, it is likely you have heard, seen or eaten Ofada Rice, usually served at Upscale Restaurants trying to give diners that home cooked feel, with designs and National Geographic simulations of how we should have been eating back in the good old days.

I looked up Ofada on the map and it is really close to Lagos, under an hour if you exit Lagos at Ikorodu and take the expressway leading to Ibadan. But that timing is on paper and getting it in real life is a dream, especially if you decide to travel on a public holiday which I did. I took off for Ofada and points West and North during the Eid holiday weekend, we left on Saturday a day after the holiday had started to reduce the traffic shock but I still went in a long loop.

Rather than go North from Lekki, I did a 100 km more by going through Epe, Ijebu Ode then Sagamu before descending into Ofada Town. Nice steady driving as against staying in traffic fending off crazy drivers on a mission to wreck their cars before they get home at past midnight.

I arrive Ofada town and then started looking for the rice fields….

No rice for lunch (or dinner) was the prognosis, back on the road, everyone I asked told me to go back to Sagamu and take the road to Abeokuta. My next stop was Oyan River Dam and I definitely did not want to go through the centre of Abeokuta so I head West again to Papalanto, I just like the name of the place.

A brief stop at a waterworks close to Ofada, in Mokoloki town. Lots of sand harvesting just downstream of the waterworks, travelling during a holiday weekend is interesting as some otherwise busy places will just be a shell of their hectic self.

40km of hellish road later, I met the main road coming from Ota to Abeokuta, at least one could drive on this without throwing up or losing any tooth filing. Up Northwards and approaching Abeokuta town, there was this lovely fenced compound with trees and a fully grown forest by the left. Long fence as I marked a kilometre with no break, when I got stopped by the police ahead, I finally saw the sign over the main gates, Aro Medical Centre… wow, the famous Aro Mental Health that has entered the Nigerian lexicon as a synonym for crazy.

The grounds look like a good place to camp, but the risk of being put in the dangerous inmate ward was not worth it so I continued on to Oyan River. I saw the big lake on google map and have been itching to go and see it in the real, it was worth the trip.

 

Oyan River Dam Ogun

Oyan River Dam in Ogun State

The night was drawing near, so a quick hop over the border to Igbo Ora in Oyo state and I shut down there for the night. Just that it was not so simple, getting permission to camp at the Catholic Church grounds took more than an hour! But I guess I wore the parish priest down and he finally relented and even gave me a room to pass the night.

Quick setup of the spirit stove, dinner washed down with rich cocoa and milk, then wash the inner cloths and backup all photos and videos, bed called and there was the end of the first day.

EP19 HowTo Improve Business Skills and Disability Advocacy


Discussion with AVM Femi Gbadebo (rtd.) on starting and running a sustainable business & his work in disability advocacy. He talked about his journey from a fighter pilot to the higher echelon of the Nigeria Airforce, transiting to civilian life, his experiences in disability management and why we should all look into and contribute towards making Nigeria a place where the disabled (and their family) can lead a fulfilled life.

In this interview, we discussed;

  • His Airforce Journey
  • Teaching at the airforce and in civilian life
  • What it takes to start a business
  • How to make your business have staying power/growth
  • Living a life for others and so much more

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EP18 How to Teach Engineering Design the Modern Way

Click above to listen.

Interview with Prof. OA Fakinlede oafak.com on the best practices in teaching engineering design in Nigerian Universities and other resource-constrained countries.
In this episode, we discussed the best way to teach hard subjects so that students will gain relevant knowledge, how to leverage current technology to improve lecture delivery, design as a solution to multiple issues and what lies ahead in engineering education.
We discussed Autodesk’s Fusion 360 and why this software has revolutionized the way engineering design and modelling is being taught.

Prof. Omotayo Fakinlede is a visiting professor of Mechanical Engineering at LandMark University, Omu Aran in Kwara State of Nigeria.
With over 35 years experience, he has been at the forefront of engineering education and practice in Nigeria, both at the University and in research and support institutions.
You can reach Prof. OA Fakinlede at his website oafak.com.

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Using Nigerian Languages for Learning in Schools

On a forum of classmates from college, someone posted a video of a Professor who wants children to be taught in their native language. Some parts of the video were well thought out and she had some empirical facts to back up why such a method may be better. Listening was a big chore though as she spent a lot of time speaking in a language I do not understand. She also missed the point that some people have English as their first and only language.

I prepared a short WhatsApp type message to pass my points across but found out I needed a lot of background information sent first and ended up writing this article on my thoughts concerning language usage and cultural issues in Nigeria.

A. Yoruba people expect everyone to speak Yoruba.

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7 Common Problems in 3rd World Countries

Living in the third world comes with a set of problems you do not encounter in the developed world. Some are so baked into the psyche of the residents that they are not even thought of as problems again but as regular day to day minor inconveniences to be managed!

A visitor to a third world country will have a system shock right from when the plane lands, when crossing into the country by land – only for the brave -, and all through their stay. For both visitors and residents, we have gone ahead to list the top 7 problems in  third world countries here

Note: This was compiled from my Facebook page via a series of live videos with audience feedback used to update the list.

No. 1 Checkpoints

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Nigeria Railway Corporation Lagos Terminus Iddo Foundation Plaque

7 Things I learnt on my Train Trip from Lagos to Kaduna

What did I learn and what are my thoughts about train travel in Nigeria from my recent trip on the Lagos – Kano line? Here is my list of the seven things I learnt and picked up. Some are old but the journey re-confirmed them.

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Traveling by Train from Lagos to Kaduna pt4

The business of the weekend done in Abuja, it was time to head off to Kaduna. I had heard good things about the Abuja-Kaduna line, time to experience it myself.

The first challenge was getting information on the location of the train station, for some reason, I only made calls and never really checked it on the map. Was I groggy from 27 hours spent on the train from Lagos to Minna

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Traveling by Train from Lagos to Kaduna pt3

Step back, apart from checking out if the railway still works, I planned to be in Abuja Sunday AM! So time to review my options.

Earlier stories here Part 1 Here  Part 2 Here

Our ETA Kaduna was looking like the predicted 8pm, and the connecting train from Kaduna to Abuja  has the last departure at 6pm, that means an overnight stay in Kaduna. Time to look at options.

Postpone decision to Minna arrival, then we will have a better time of arrival at Kaduna. Meanwhile, kick back or rather, roam around and enjoy the scenery and other stuff on offer.

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Traveling by Train from Lagos to Kaduna pt2

After the military ops to board, took a look around the coach interior and it was rather nice, above expectations.

Part 1 Here  Part 3 Here

Chairs were comfy, could recline real low without disturbing the person behind you and the drop down tables in front work. Good lighting you can read by, a couple of AC 220V outlets near the middle, most in working order, overhead space to store your luggage. Hmmm, not bad at all.

 

First class couch Lagos Kano Express Train

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Traveling by Train from Lagos to Kaduna pt1

Nigeria Railway Corporation Iddo Terminal

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Is the Nigeria Railway system still working? One way to find out, take a train from Iddo terminal in Lagos to Kaduna 905 km as the train travels up north. The last time I was on the train in Nigeria was in 1988, an epic 18hrs of suffering – standing between rail cars from Zaria to Ilorin under the heat, dust, cold, then rain. Things should have improved. Time to find out.

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