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Posted by on Monday January 5, 2015 at 12:38:40:

There are a growing number of shopping malls in Nigeria and they are a bit like the Leventis shopping malls of the 80s but these ones are bigger that they play host to several other shopping malls and stores. They also come with useful public facilities such as central air conditioning, car park, rest rooms, escalators and so on. While some of these facilities are being offered for free, some come at an extra cost, even to loyal customers.

One of the basic facilities one would find at the mall is a rest room or toilet room but it appears that it's not entirely meant for everyone except for paying customers.

Using the rest room at some shopping malls in Nigeria are not free just in case you don't know. Don't expect to walk in to use them without having cash at hand and you better have the right change too.

An example of a shopping mall where rest room or toilet usage fees are charged is at the Adeniran Ogunsanya Shopping mall Surulere a.k.a. A.O.S. mall a.k.a. Shoprite. It's a nice and cool place to visit in Surulere and normally attracts a lot of middle income Nigerians on a daily and weekly basis. It has a vast car park, lots of retail stores with the biggest being Shoprite.

Going to Shoprite and AOS mall is what a lot of people do from time to time in order to do things like shopping, sight seeing, social meetings, eating out and so on. One of the experiences visitors at the shopping mall would eventually face at one point of their visit is the need to obey nature's call. Rest rooms are not located at different places but at a central location at the ground floor and people will have to visit this place anytime they want to ease themselves.

The fee to use the rest room at the A.O.S. mall in Surulere goes for N20(about $0.10)in 2014 and you get a ticket after making the payment at the entry point. A user also has to pay the money forward before using the toilet facility and not afterwards. I also noticed that at times, the staff don't normally like issuing receipts - I guess they find it easier to steal the money that way.

Is it good to charge shopping mall visitors in Nigeria a fee for visiting the malls? I thought it was meant to be a social service that every visitor has a right to. Unlike the shopping mall in Lekki where rest room usage ins free, Surulere's mall at Adeniran Ogunsanya doesn't come free and I guess it's because of the large population of people living in Surulere and these are mostly made up of middle and low income class people. Perhaps, lekki is a bit different and they have less population too. Who knows? If the rest room usage was free, there might be a toilet crisis which the shopping mall might be unable to handle.

Well, I thank God for the likes of Chicken republic, other shopping malls and even some Nigerian banks who offer free toilet facilities that one doesn't have to pay for. Even parking your car at the mall is not free. I think that people who actually patronize one or 2 retail stores at the mall should get a pass on things like toilet or parking fees just by showing their receipts. However, the case is different for many shopping malls in Nigeria such as the one at Surulere Lagos.

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