Should Nigerians embrace the idea of paying for parking space in public places? This is a u-turn no doubt, from the free parking privileges that many car owners have been enjoying (and possibly abusing big time) for decades.
Two leading names in the business of parking are Balosh Integrated Services and Servest. Balosh is 100% Nigerian (thumbs up) while Servest is almost 100% South African.
Well, whichever way you answer, paying for parking is spreading like wildfire in urban Nigeria and Lagos is bustling with it at shopping malls, cinemas, hospitals, tertiary institutions, etc. Park and pay. Nay, pay and park. A man reported his experience to a blogger friend in Germany Friday July 1st and below are extracts of what Stella posted on her blog. Please pay attention to her readers’ comments especially.
“A family member was ill and had to be taken into the medical emergency ward of LASUTH because she was in critical condition, we were so in a hurry and we drove straight into LASUTH and we were directed to medical emergency ward. On getting there, some Balosh Company men said we can’t go in until we pay N300 for parking.
“Our problem was not the N300… My point here is, this is a medical emergency for God’s sake; parking should not be a problem, people should be able to come in and park without delay. It’s an emergency and they even have a barricade to stop cars. Should Lagos State Government be collecting money for parking in emergency ward section at all and using a private company (like Balosh) to do it.”
There is so much I could say in reaction to this, but the comments posted below say most of it well. It looks like Nigerians who know what obtains in well run societies are fast embracing services like the parking expertise offered by companies like Balosh…
Comment 1: I honestly don’t know about Nigeria but in Europe, only ambulances use the emergency area. Other vehicles have to pay for parking in hospitals. But considering the fact that there was an emergency in this case, I think the guys should have allowed you to take the casualty into A and E while one of you remain to sort them out.
Comment 2: You had an emergency and had time to be taking pictures (of Balosh operatives). You had time to argue instead of just paying the 300 Naira since “it wasn’t a problem.” People like you will now claim you have an emergency and won’t even park well. If everyone parks by emergency, you wouldn’t have seen where to park. It is from miles away that you will use leg and carry your emergency for head to the ward.”
Comment 3: Yes, because Nigerians will now go to the Emergency unit and park car and enter market. If you need them to move, you won’t see them. They will block ambulance point and space for the main staff and people with real emergency.
Comment 4: When you bring patients to the Emergency, you stop your car at the emergency entrance and once the person has come down, you can then proceed to the car park. This one you have now refused to pay for parking, I am sure when it is time to pay for hospital bill, you will start asking why you will pay for treatment.
The complainant also said the Balosh operatives were rude, but Balosh management told HAMILTONSTYLE that they are a courteous company with great investments in customer service. Well, everyone loves to be treated well for paying for any service and Balosh and other companies that are into this growing service must make customer relations/staff behaviour their #1 priority.
For more about the Nigerian company Balosh, you may visit www.balosh.com