RE: ‘THAT LAGOS MAY NOT GO UP IN FLAMES’ -Segun Ogundeji

Introduction In response to a recent article by journalist Bola Bolawole, which critiqued the living standards in Lagos, it is essential to provide a more accurate perspective. While everyone is entitled to their opinion, facts should be upheld. This response aims to address the inaccuracies in Bolawole’s piece and present a more balanced view of Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city.

Clarifying the Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) Bolawole incorrectly stated that Lagos has 39 LCDAs when, in reality, there are 37. Ensuring accurate information is crucial in any discussion about the city.

Assessing Lagos’ Living Standards Bolawole cited a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), which ranked Lagos as the fourth worst city globally in terms of living standards. However, it’s important to consider alternative perspectives. The 2023 Brand Finance City Index ranked Lagos as the 5th Best African City, highlighting its significance on the continent. This indicates that while challenges exist, Lagos also possesses qualities that attract positive recognition.

Population Growth and Quality of Life Bolawole highlighted Lagos’ rapid population growth, implying that it contradicts its living standards. However, population growth alone does not define a city’s living conditions. People often migrate to places where they anticipate improved opportunities, which may include better living standards. Lagos’ attractiveness to newcomers suggests its potential for providing a better life.

Road Conditions and Infrastructure The claim that Lagos’ roads are constantly washed away due to poor workmanship is an exaggeration. The Lagos State government has undertaken significant road construction and maintenance projects, such as the Itamaga-Ewu Elepe road, Ojota Interchange/Kudirat Abiola Road junction, and many others. These projects have contributed to better road conditions in the city.

Furthermore, Lagos has adopted the use of concrete pavements to enhance road durability, especially during the rainy season. The Lagos State Public Works Corporation has played a vital role in road maintenance and rehabilitation, contributing to improved infrastructure.

Drainage and Bus Stops Contrary to Bolawole’s insinuation, Lagos places great importance on drainage systems. Annual desilting of drainages and the construction of various drainage channels have effectively reduced flooding. Additionally, the city boasts over 400 bus stops, with many equipped with shelters to enhance public transportation.

Waste Management and Recycling Lagos generates substantial waste daily, but the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) has made commendable efforts to manage it. Waste is transformed into compost (fertilizer), significantly reducing landfill waste. The State’s recycling campaign has also created jobs and minimized waste. LAWMA continues to improve waste management, with additional compactors joining the fleet.

Conclusion In challenging Bolawole’s assessment of Lagos’ living standards, it is essential to provide a balanced perspective. While the city faces challenges, it also offers opportunities and has received recognition for its positive attributes. Accurate information is crucial for constructive discussions about Lagos and its future development.

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