Once you alight from the ever-in-motion-public-transport popularly called ‘danfo’ & your eyes sets on a unique circular structure at an intersection….– a concrete structure with a molded traditional hat & reading glasses (symbol of Bola Ahmed Tinubu – Former Lagos State Governor) atop of it, depicting a ’roundabout’ – you need not be told where you are or what to expect.
You have just gotten to the last bus stop of Yaba/Tejuosho market.
The first thought that flashes across your mind is that of you entering a hostile environment. That weird feeling that you are ‘behind enemy lines’ grips you.
Almost immediately, an obscure scenario in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Commando” movie plays out in your head. You involuntarily gulp saliva. A smile curves around your face as you remember how the actor managed to outwit his attackers. You suddenly feel safe. Well, almost, because this time, you aren’t the only good guy.
Everyone just like you who has stepped foot into one of Lagos busiest markets can be likened to the good guys. Your senses heighten. You clutch your laptop bag tight to your side as you walk. You unconsciously check your back pockets to be sure your wallet is intact.
Oh yes, your two mobile phones; you confirm that also. And with a sudden sigh of huge relief, you clear all your initial doubts & hasten your steps towards your destination.
And who are the bad guys? You need not ask. They always have a way of introducing themselves. “Big bros how far nah? You won buy jeans? Buy from your guy naa… I get stock jeans, plain trouser, office shirt, confirm t-shirts…”
In a bid to wade them off, you open your mouth to talk to one of them & before you can say ‘Jack Robinson’, you are swarmed with a host of others each echoing the same thing or claiming to have more original stock.
Some get aggressive; you get tugged by the hand, but you suddenly break free. ‘Next time, I won’t say a word’, you mutter to yourself, just as you move along.
Doing business in Yaba-Tejuosho-Ojuelegba metropolis can be quite rewarding judging from the high influx of people who troop in & out of the market daily. Luckily for us, our robust, dedicated & hardworking governor, Dr Raji Fashola is constructing an Ultra modern market, which after completion, would surly compete with any ultra modern shopping complex in the whole of Africa & even the world over. It truly is a master piece.
After my research, I have painstakingly summarized about 17 or more major brands plying their business in this zone. They are listed in the order when in transit from Yaba, Tejuosho en route Ojuelegba.
1. Diamond Bank
This bank recently re-branded their company logo giving it a midas touch. It sure looks a whole lot better. Their branch here is quite a small structure, with a well lighted banking hall. Their ATM unit always has a reasonable queue of people waiting to use the machine. It should be as a result of it been the first bank you come across when you get to Yaba.
2. Oando Fuel Station + Mr Biggs
This fuel station has virtually been over run by Muslim merchants who are in the bureau de change business. You’ll hardly spot cars drive in to re fuel their motors.
Plus, if you get hungry & need a quick snack, you can hop into Mr Biggs’ sales outlet to have a quick munch. Its a small but effective sales unit. Kudos to them.
This fast food brand sure means business. You can tell from the 2 storey building edifice strategically used as an outlet. The ground & first floors are packed filled with mouth-watering consumables while the 2nd floor is reserved for the kids. This floor is equipped with indoor games & play swings for the little ones.
4. Eco Bank
This branch is quite in conspicuous. One would have to look keenly to locate this quite commercial institute. It sits quietly at the ground floor of a plaza. Its ATM machine attracts a host of people wanting to do business in yaba.
5. Etisalat Experience Centre
Located at the heart of Yaba, this resource unit beautifies the plaza where it is situated. I think I like their different shades of green. Kudos to this youth friendly brand.
6. Total Fuel Station
A few meters away from the etisalat hub, with its usual free-air-zone vicinity & its brilliant red color, sits this fuel station. I don’t get to see cars queued up here except during scarcity of PMS. So business is rather slow here if I may add.
I must say, I was wowed when I first noticed this marvelous edifice with four magnificent front pillars. It reminds me always of ‘Count Dracula’s Castle Vania’. The facade of this structure brings to life a medieval design & feel, coupled with its crisp white coating.
I strongly believe these features depicts the value added services this bank would give to its numerous customers-strength, solidarity & accountability.
One would easily walk pass this one storey building. This bank has no ATM machine hereby concealing its existence. People stroll in & out
of the bank quietly. All you may notice is the stern looking guards positioned at the gate leading into the banking hall.
9. Sports BET
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Gambling in Nigeria has taken a new turn for the good because of its get-rich-quick-syndrome. Before now, bets were made in the confines of one’s personal residence, at a pub or bar or usually at a football viewing centre, just before the proposed match.
Now, nicely erected structures with attractive brand names, functional websites & colored pictures of footballing stars has replaced this exciting & lucrative business. As a result, numerous gambling coys have been set up in various strategic positions in Lagos churning out huge profits for the winners & sad faces, for the unlucky betters.
10. Art World
This reminds me of my childhood when as a kid, I would dream of entering a mall full of color crayons and drawing accessories. I used to glue myself to the TV anytime any art-inclined-programme is shown on the screen.
Now, walking into this arts store room sure brings back those memories & sort of gives life to that dream. I’m positive, every art passionate person would have a soft spot for this store room too.
11. Main Street Bank
This commercial institution is a product of the now defunct Afribank Plc., whose commercial banking license was revoked sometime in 2011.
If you ask me, I don’t get to see much people walk into this bank *I may be wrong, besides, I’m not a watch dog*. All I notice are black painted cars packed in front of this 2 storey tall building. But one thing is certain, I never fail to admire their crested logo. That, I would say I like.
12. 1960 BET
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This is yet another betting coy doing business in this metropolis. Their office is quite small compared to the former I mentioned. Besides, the betting business is done online along with the rewarding of its customers. These offices are put up for in house logistics & other administrative purposes.
The bank for the NEXT generation. I always like walking into this bank just for the fun of it. All I get to see ate beautiful faces of young, vibrant individuals plying their trades top notch. I dare not look ‘razz’ when entering this bank so as to ‘feel among’ while chatting up the customer care representative, who usually, is a Lady.
One thing that makes me frown at this bank is the long queues I always encounter anytime I go to make a withdrawal at the ATM unit or at the counter. I guess I am not the only one making this complaint. I think this bank needs to open up more branches to curb their excesses.
14. Samsung + Stanbic Bank
Samsung & Stanbic IBTC, Samsung mobile, Samsung centre
This two unique brands share the same building complex. The Samsung branch is a sales centre, while Stanbic Bank is a financial institute. These two brands do their businesses quietly because I don’t get to see a mammoth crowd going in & out the complex. I must say, the environment sure is quite compared to other Samsung’s offices in other parts of Lagos like Computer Village in Ikeja. The bank’s ATM unit sits neatly at one end of the building while customers walk quietly to use the machine.
15. Access Bank Plc.
With 2 MIKANO generators welcoming you into this bank’s premises, you need not doubt their readiness to do business. This branch was formerly owned by Intercontinental Bank but after the acquisition of 75% of its majority interest by Access Bank in 2012, they had no choice, than to re-brand.
The bank’s warm blue color, which they share with Intercontinental bank, reminds me of the tides I see when I visit a resort beach. The bank’s ATM unit serves a lot of business people, but funny enough, I don’t get to wait less than 5 minutes before i get to use the machine. Thumps up!!!
16. Zenith Bank
Sitting on a large expanse of land, is this two storey building constructed solely, for banking activities. It has a car park, a well isolated ATM unit which if you ask me, is always functional & operational, plus its courteous guards who search you thoroughly with metal scanners before ushering you into the banking hall.
The bank hall has a big reflector mirror which instantly shows a reflection of yourself, standing there on the queue. This perspective gives the hall an artistic feel making the hall look bigger than usual.
The excellent reception you get at the bank coupled with the bank’s well laid out scenery endears the brand to its customers.
17: Choppies Restaurant
This is the last brand I have decided to highlight. This fast food restaurant has been in business for as long as I can remember. The brand readily isn’t a known competitor in the fast food industry, but they enjoy a fair share of patronage from customers in their axis.
So next time you are at Tejuosho area, don’t forget to visit one of this brands doing business legitimately in that metropolis & enjoy reliable customer service, tasty cuisine & fresh air!