Lagos is home to roughly 21 million people which makes it the most populous city in Africa.
The city which in actual fact has the smallest land mass in Nigeria is undoubtedly the leader amongst others. Lagos has been more than a few steps ahead of other states in the country.
‘Eko for show’ was the popular street slogan for the city in the 90s. It was used to describe the flashy and bubbly nature of the city when compared to the other states.
Nowadays, you can find statements such as ” Lagos is not in a recession ” and ” Nigeria is holding Lagos back ” on Twitter. The belief is that Lagos is so progressive that it is amazing that it is a part of Nigeria that seems to be stuck in a mess.
Yes, Lagos city is a metropolis and the commercial nerve centre that does not need to beg for federal allocation monthly but don’t you think that the city is a tad bit overrated?
It’s more than surprising that a metropolis of 20 million people cannot boast of a rapid transit system (heavy rail, metro, subway, tube, or underground) in 2017.
The absence of rapid transit has made Lagos roads a nightmare especially during rush hour. Traffic is a major problem in the city. Yes, there is hardly any city in the world that doesn’t have traffic issues but traffic in Lagos is worse because of the poor transportation system. The roads are not enough and it has no viable alternative to transporting a large number of people on a daily basis.
Lagos is a dirty city. This is not about crime and corruption but actual real dirt. The city has been battling with refuse disposal for decades and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. People dispose their wastes on major roads. There are countless gutters littered with rubbish. The environmental sanitation exercise which has been on since forever was cancelled in November 2016. It has been a largely ineffective exercise.
Housing doesn’t fare better also. With a deficit of 1m houses and astronomical rent fees, housing is a serious issue in Lagos also. Most people can’t afford the two-year advance that housing agents demand. Let’s not forget that the cost of renting a house in Lagos is two, three more times expensive that in other states in the country.
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A poor transportation system, refuse problem and housing issue, Lagos struggles to provide the basic amenities. Electricity is also another sore spot.
To be fair to this present administration, something is being done about the refuse problem. A rapid transit is under construction even though it passed its deadline last December. When it is finished it would relieve millions of Lagosians of daily traffic.
Is Lagos overrated? No, it is not. These aforementioned shortcomings haven’t robbed Lagos of its allure. What makes Lagos tick is not what it has or lacks but the people and the culture.
Lagos is a hustler’s city. You can be broke today and be a millionaire the next day. It’s a place of fun, joy, and merriment. It’s a city of dreams. Lagos is a place where your dreams come true if you hustle hard enough.
Compared to other states in the country, Lagos is an incubator of dreams and where numerous possibilities abound. The city might not be ideal but it is not overrated.
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