Cover Stories, People

Lagosians on what they love and hate most about the city

For those who live in Lagos, the commercial hub of Nigeria and its entertainment capital, the buzz, hustle and bustle and the opportunities are so attractive and addictive.

And in spite of the congestion and traffic gridlock, they won’t trade living in the Centre of Excellence for anything.

We spoke with settlers and indigenes about the challenges and opportunities of living in Lagos…


‘Lagos is a land of opportunities and stress’ -BANKE ADEWUNMI

Banke Adewunmi is a Nollywood actress and CEO, Glitters & Glamour. She resides in Ikoyi, Lagos. She is in her 30s and was born in Lagos. In her assessment of Lagos when ENCOMIUM Weekly had a chat with her, the fair-skinned thespian and successful entrepreneur said, Lagos is a centre of excellence but full of stress.

In her words, “There are opportunities in Lagos. As it’s rightly said, no place like home. By virtue of the fact that I was born in Lagos has made me a Lagosian. Lagos is a centre of excellence just as it’s designated but it’s also full of stress.

Part of the attraction in Lagos is that you can mingle with different types of people from different cultural backgrounds. And that will actually be of help to you if you are an interactive type. There are business opportunities in Lagos. It’s also a place you can fast develop yourself, careerwise.

I like Lagos a lot! The fact that there is good population, your business is bound to develop. And there are lots of beautiful places to catch fun unlike some other places in the country. Also, social activities thrive in Lagos. So, that creates a sort of balance because all work without play makes Jane a dull girl.

I don’t like the traffic of Lagos. There is always heavy traffic on whichever route. At times, it’s irrespective of time. It’s usually very difficult to plan your day very well because of the time you spend in traffic. You may have about five meetings or places to attend in a day, you may end up attending just two due to the traffic which at times is unpredictable. And with that, you become stressed at the end of the day.

For rating, I will give Lagos five or slightly about that. I think the main thing is that the state is congested and that led to pressure on the state. That has even led to the increase in crime rate. What I think the government can do to improve Lagos is to first decongest the state of some jobless individuals that contribute nuisance in the state which may be very difficult. But if that could be done, the better it would be for the state and its residents.

The road network needs an overhaul. The government should develop all the link roads. If that’s done, there will be less traffic across the state.


‘No matter the rating, Lagos is still better’ -NNANNA EMMANUEL

Nnanna Emmanuel is a successful businessman from Imo state but has been in Lagos since 1982. He is in his 50s and resides in Ogba, Lagos. In this chat with ENCOMIUM Weekly, he told us how he rates Lagos, especially in terms of opportunities.

In his words, many things attracted me to Lagos, but the main factor is population. Lagos is highly populated and anywhere that’s highly populated helps business growth and development. And since the introduction of GSM, every business has become more successful than ever, including mine. I deal in buying and selling of goods, including beverages, wines, recharge cards and more. And each day, I record high patronage which is not possible if I remained in my village. So, Lagos is a land of opportunities. For instance, it’s when I got to Lagos that I met my mentor in business, Mr. Bayo Shittu, who is from Osun state.

He was the one who introduced me to the distribution of Mentolatum balm. He was the marketing manager in John Holts Limited then. Through him, I began my busyness with the supply of Mentolatum to different parts of Lagos, which was a great opportunity then to know how many areas and have many friends. So, Lagos is a land of opportunities.

What I love most about Lagos is the fact I see people. That alone gives me confidence that I am in a right place. I love almost everything. It’s not possible for any state to be okay in every aspect of life, but Lagos is better off.

The major challenges are accommodation, followed by transportation. Then, there is too much stress in Lagos. The transportation bottleneck which is due to congestion makes me hate Lagos.

Lagos is above the average. At least, I will give it six out of 10. No matter the rating, Lagos is still better than every other state in Nigeria. The state government should focus on developing rural roads. With that, there will be free flow of traffic and that will even help business growth in the state.

The water supply in Lagos needs overhaul. The government should see to the aspect of water supply. There should be a kind of protected water supply across the state instead of every house having its borehole. I don’t think the Iju Water Works is still functioning, which is not good for a state like Lagos. Government should do something, as a matter of urgency, in that aspect.


‘Lagos has the best social life’ -MICHAEL IRABOR

He is a blogger and journalist. He was born in Lagos state, and he lives in Ipaja, Lagos For Michael, the attraction he finds in Lagos state would be the social life.  “Lagos has the best social life in Nigeria. Another opportunity in Lagos state is the fact that the city is filled with different job opportunities, legal or illegal.”

He loves the street credibility of Lagos state. He likes the fact that Lagos toughens people. You can’t be dull and live in Lagos. He also loves the night/social life.

For him, the major challenge in Lagos is the traffic, and the rush. Lagosians are always in haste even at their leisure. He will rate the standard of living as six on a scale of one to 10. He wants the government to repair roads in Lagos state.


‘They are always rushing to nowhere’ -ABAYOMI OLUWASEGUN

Abayomi lives on Allen, Lagos state. He came to Lagos more than a decade ago. He is a business man. He finds going to the mall, cinema as attraction in Lagos state. The opportunity he sees comes from hustling. According to him, once you can hustle, you will get more opportunities.

The traffic, hike in cost of living is the major challenge he sees in Lagos state. To him, if you don’t have money in Lagos, you will be tempted to go back to your village. Abayomi hates the fact that Lagosians are always in haste. They are always rushing to nowhere. On a scale of one to 10, he rates the standard of living as six because, it is on the high side. He wants the government to provide good roads and link roads accessible.


‘Lagos is congested’ -ABRAHAM IGWE

Abraham lives in Agege. He came to Lagos over 15 years ago. He is a businessman. What he finds attractive in Lagos is the beautiful places to visit and relax, the cinema, the malls and the beaches. Finding it easy to survive is the opportunity that lies in Lagos state and he loves the fact that one could live the life you can afford.

He finds waking up so early every day as the most challenging thing in Lagos, likewise the hold up and spending hours in traffic.

To him, the congestion, over population is what he hates about Lagos state. On a scale of one to 10, he rates Lagos five in terms of standard of living. Abraham wants Lagos decongested. Government should create link roads and repair major roads.


‘Lagos is a land of opportunities’ – RUTH AMUSA

Ruth Amusa is a teacher, she lives in Igando. She was born in Lagos state. What she finds attractive in Lagos is job opportunities, opportunity to meet people and social life and civilization. She sees the hustle and bustle of Lagos as a major challenge and hates it as well. She rates Lagos seven in terms of standard of living and wants the government to improve the traffic situation in the city.


‘The standard of living is high’ -FUNKE TOYE

Funke Toye is a caterer. She has lived in Lagos for a decade. She lives in Ipaja, Lagos.

What she finds attractive is the fashion sense of Lagosians, places of attraction to visit. Finding something valuable to do even if you are unemployed is the opportunity she sees in Lagos state. The fact that one can get things you can’t find elsewhere is what she likes about Lagos.

For her, the major challenge is the high standard of living and hike in house rent. She hates Lagos passionately and rates standard of living as eight. She wants the government to repair roads and make Lagos more affordable.


We should have free access to clean water’ -CHISOM IROEGBU

He is in his late 50s; has been living in Lagos for about 30 years

“Next year will make it 30 years since I’ve been in Lagos. I work at Wharf, Apapa. I was staying with my elder brother when I came to Lagos and we lived at Cement, around Iyana Ipaja.

Yes, there are a lot of challenges. When I came to Lagos, everywhere was clean and healthy, less noise except on weekends. But now from Monday to Sunday, there’s noise everywhere. On the road, on your street, even in the house you live some neighbours will be playing loud music.

That’s one thing you can’t deny, there are a lot of opportunities. There are a lot of companies here in Lagos and many people, so you know that if you invest in a good business, there is market for it.

I will score it six out of 10. To make Lagos better for us, the government should improve the infrastructure, especially roads and water. We should have free access to clean water.


‘Traffic can make you go crazy’ – KUNLE AKANNI

I’m not from Lagos but I was born here. So I can say that I am Omo Eko. My father moved here with his parents when he was around 13, according to what he told me.

For me, the fact is life is better here, compared to my home state. I can’t get a proper job there. If I want to do business, where do you think I’ll go to? Lagos, of course! With the number of people in Lagos, you know whatever you want to sell, you will make money. Lagos is a hustling city with people that are ready to pay, you can’t compare it to the village.

The number one challenge is traffic. Sometimes, the traffic can make you go crazy, especially when you are late for work.

Only five over 10, there’s work to be done. In the area of transport, we should have better buses or other form of transportation. This will really help. Also, they should control all these LASTMA people. Their palaver is getting too much.


‘You can never have a dull moment’ -KOLA OLADIPUPO

That’s an interesting question. Living in Lagos has its ups and downs, just like any other thing. There are times when I get frustrated and feel like moving, but there are also other times when I tell myself no where fit be like Lagos.

My brother, who no go like Lagos? Na here life dey. You can never have a dull moment. That rushing, traffic gridlock keeps you going.  There’s no business that you can’t do in Lagos, even selling tissue paper, you can make money. There are many people that’ll buy it.

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