FUN AND CHALLENGES OF LIVING IN LAGOS
Lagos, Nigeria’s centre of excellence, currently rated as the 17th most populated metropolitan area in the world and 2nd in Africa with the population of over nine million people.
Like every major city of the world, Lagos too has got its own challenges. One of the toughest challenges the government is facing is how to manage the people and overcome the ever increasing congestions in the state. But notably, in spite of all efforts, there’s still no visible improvement and the situation only gets worse with more hold-ups on the road and poor living condition for a bulk of the population.
Most people move into Lagos seeking to improve their well-being. For some, well, it's a dream come true, while others come face to face with array of problems which most times they never even thought of. Realities, such as joblessness, housing problems, filthy living conditions, poor power supply, air and noise pollution, poor health and nutrition all resulting to a low standard of living. The majority with no education remains mired in poverty and squalor.
Of course, in search of a way out many people have sought out "interesting" ways of making ends meet or what else could better explain the high rise in thuggery, road side begging, child hawking, armed robbery, commercial sex workers, household burglars, and scams?
Well, the slogan “shine your eye, this is Lagos” is not merely a cliché. It is a popular saying among lagosians because in Lagos, life is highly characterized by the survival of the fittest. “Lagos is a land for the brave” they say and definitely no place for the faint hearted. For a newcomer, Lagos might just be the most horrible and unlivable place to be. For me, the moment I dread the most is getting trapped in one of the endless hold-ups and being condemned to the annoying, irritating and maddening effect of the traffic noise. That could be a nightmare especially when you have an important appointment to meet. Also being attacked and burgled in broad day light? I hate to imagine the feeling because it is definitely heart breaking. But despite all these problems associated with Lagos life, many people still flock into the state looking for greener pastures. What is it that makes Lagos so tick? Sometimes I wonder if it is because of its diversity in terms of people. Come to think of it, I am yet to learn of the existence of a race that is not represented in Lagos. Looking at the cultural heritage, the city can well qualify as a centre of culture. Visit the National Museum; there you’ll see collections in archaeology, ethnography, and traditional art. The National Theatre stages plays, dance performances, music concerts, and also houses collections of contemporary Nigerian art. The Eyo festival still remains one of the most colourful events I have attended. Well, not forgetting Nollywood and of course sports.
The economy of Lagos is very promising. Lagos is Nigeria’s leading port, particularly for imports of motor vehicles, machinery, and industrial raw materials. It is also the western terminus for the Nigerian railway system and is linked by rail and road to Ibadan, Kano, and other major Nigerian cities. The Murtala Muhammed International Airport is also located in the city’s centre.
In education, the University of Lagos, Yaba College of Technology, Lagos State University, and Lagos State Polytechnic are located in the city, as are several major research institutes. Lagos is also the site of the National Library of Nigeria. Lagos is an important centre of Nigerian intellectual life.
In truth, people have diverse reasons why they prefer Lagos. To the young graduate, it is easiest place to get a job and also the perfect place to start out in life. To the entrepreneur, it is a strong market base. Some people perceive Lagos as the most liberal place to be; a city that encourages and supports free expression of speech, ideas and creativity.
It is no news that Lagosians are fun loving people who wouldn’t trade their recreational time for anything. Whatever your taste or social status, in Lagos there is always something for you. There are clubs and hangout joints in almost every neighbor-hood where lagosians go to after working hours to burn down the day’s stress. There they hook up with friends and relax with a plate of hot pepper soup, “Isi ewu” Goat head, or “Nkwo bi” Cow tail along with a few drinks preferably alcoholic, while they await the weekends to explore the endless social activities at their disposal. Some people might prefer family outings like going to the beach, cinema, the theatre, the stadium, church or well, for some singles and still searching a club or a show could be the a good place to have a catch or get caught. The good thing there is that you have fun doing it all.