An unverified statistics estimates that an average of twenty new visitors enter the city of Lagos every hour. Ten of those visitors have no intention of leaving! With this in mind therefore, it is safe to assume that about two hundred and twenty new people take up residence [every day] in the city which already has a staggering, official population of twenty four million people. Now you can begin to imagine the implications of this, as far as city management is concerned. The Lagos infrastructural base is already one of the most overused and substandard in the world. The facilities are mostly decayed and unfit for a mega city. Therefore, the burden placed on it (no thanks to the influx of new residents), is something to worry about.
It is important to bear in mind that most of these people taking up residence in Lagos have no viable means of generating income. They come here to live in an already congested city, wholey depending on others for their survival while further putting a strain on the system. Possibilities also abound that most of these daily intakes may end up constituting nuisance instead of actually contributing to the city’s growth.
Conversely, there is more to to Lagos than the congestion and all the unpleasantness. A visit to Lagos will indeed have you struck by its uniqueness. This is a place thatbis to most Nigerians (and indeed Africans) what New York and Shanghai are to Americans and the Chinese; respectively. It is the centre of excellence, not just for Nigerians for the entire West African region and beyond. Most importantly, it is the place where dreams are made, which is probably why many people keep thronging to it on a daily basis.
In many ways, Lagos is also a resilient city. It is undoubtedly an uneasy thing to run a city much less a mega city. Now think about the huge task it is to administer a city of millions in the heart of Africa! Yet, this is something that successive administrations have done here, albeit not so successfully. But the important thing is that Lagos has sustained and been resilient. More however needs to be done.
Lagos’ uniqueness belies its strength. It is a beautiful place with lots of opportunities. And contestable as this may sound, it is a place with lots of opportunities and rooms for all. However, it is important for all who plans to visit or live here to come along with contributions towards developing the place. This is the only way to continually make it a better place for all.