Lagos is the economic hub of Nigeria, a city with approximately 21 million persons and a landmass of 3,345km2 of which 23% of that is water. Lagos hosts 12% of Nigeria’s inhabitants with a 0.003% of Nigeria’s landmass.
Lagos is a megacity, with its current GDP (Gross National product) larger than that of Kenya’s. Lagos generates 25% of Nigeria’s total gross domestic product while being the smallest of the 36 states.
By 2050, Lagos’ population is expected to double which will make it the 3rd largest city in the world. Infrastructure is already strained at today’s population. Just picture that, Lagos with today’s population gives enough migraine, not to talk about a multiple of the number of persons that we have already in Lagos. It is said that about 80 persons migrate into Lagos every 1 hour without any hope of returning back to their previous state.
Over 1 million cars on the road already transporting about seven million persons daily. This has made traffic hectic during rush hours in Lagos. In 2050, how are cars going to drive into the island? Is it through the same Bonny camp or better still one will have to wake up by 3am, so one can meet an appointment for 9am. Well, 4th mainland bridge should have been completed before then and the light rail. Imagine how the environment will also be. Imagine the cost of accommodation. But the talk on how Lagos can tackle this, is a talk for another day. Today, is one of the reason Lagos is over populated.
Why there overpopulation in Lagos? In my own view, one of the major reasons that have made Lagos so attractive to both investors and rural-urban migrants is because Lagos houses’, Nigeria’s main port. Yes, there are others but they are not as functional as the one in Lagos. Meaning, more than half of Nigeria’s 180 million persons depend on the Lagos port. This has made economic activity easy in Lagos. For example, I want to import some spare parts-with no functional railway in the country and looking at my economics. Instead of moving my goods by road to maybe Delta state, to sell. I will probably just open a shop in Ladipo to sell them.
What can be done? Other ports should be well developed, so goods can be easily enter into other regions of the country and this will help reduce the massive influx of persons in Lagos. That is not to say, once other ports are developed, Lagos’ population will disappear. NO. But the explosive migration to Lagos should reduce a bit.
Reuters.com, cnn.com, naij.com