Still on Lagos special status


Carnival-goers at Tafawa Balewa SquarePHOTO: Emmanuel Osodi
Tayo Ogunbiyi
Lagos is currently experiencing such phenomenal population explosion that it is being projected to be the 3rd largest megacity in the world by 2015. Many are of the view that despite the 10 million figure declared by the National Population Commission in the last census exercise in 2006, the city’s best possible population is 40 million. Whereas the annual population growth in the developing world is 3% and Nigeria’s is 2.7%, that of Lagos stands at a stunning 8% and is likely to accelerate. The State’s landmass is rather small by Nigerian standard (Kano State which officially has about the same population is about four times in landmass). As if to aggravate the situation, a considerable part of the metropolis is covered by water, a situation that complicates its infrastructure needs.
The Lagos transformation project requires an enormous financial force to build and upgrade infrastructure facilities in the state in the next 15 years far beyond the capacity of the state government. This, then, is the significance of the call for the state to be accorded a special status by the federal government. Lagos, with over 138,000 workers (representing various ethnic groups) in its employment, apart from the Federal Government, remains the largest employer of labour in the country. Ironically, many of the states in the country with lesser population and infrastructure needs receive same monthly federal allocation as Lagos.
The special position of Lagos as the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria, and indeed West Africa, has its peculiar infrastructure challenges. Its sheer human density driven by an increasing population due to endless survival and economic driven immigration, its ports and waterways, its border with Benin Republic, its high concentration of banks, industries, companies, and other commercial enterprises makes it a very complex …Read More

Source:: PM Newspaper