Flashback to Coolum in Australia in February 2002 where the Commonwealth Heads of Government were meeting. There were tricycles everywhere, transporting even the presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers and diplomats. But, sources said they were most likely brought in from China and well produced or produced on purpose.
Back in much of Africa, particularly Nigeria where it is known as ‘Keke NAPEP’, the same tricycles are more or less pollutants, never been more than for transporting common men and women. It is even said that none of the companies behind it in Nigeria is manufacturing it in Nigeria. They do not even have a decent warehouse . Above all, the manufacturers operate as a monopoly. And the price of one is nudging towards a million Naira.
So, what is strong elsewhere and, therefore, a sign of progress is not so in much Africa. Certainly not in Nigeria where the ‘keke NAPEP’s contribution to public transport has become a debate.
Which is which, then?