The good people of Lagos, especially government officials and its proud settlers and indigenes, are fond of labelling it a mega-city, thinking it connotes all things positive!
But they are wrong.
Mega-city is basically a function of a huge population.
Wikipedia defines mega-city as a “metropolitan area with a total population in excess of ten million people.”
That’s all. Not a modern, stylish, current or with state-of-the-art facilities. That is another matter entirely.
Once a city approaches or surpasses the ten million people mark, it is mega.
Today, over 37 mega cities are on earth…with Tokyo (38.8 million) and Greater Jakarta (31.5 million) leading the pack.
Many challenges come with a mega city, and some make living in one burdensome.
Here are some of the disadvantages of a mega-city:
- High number of homeless people
The attraction of the city captivates those who have never lived in one. And believing in the golden dream, many leave their towns and villages to make a living in the city. But the city is a tough place to survive. With high rent and unemployment, and lack of support system common in rural areas, homelessness prevails.
Many sleep under bridges and make shift settlements.
- Slums crop up everywhere and mini towns emerge on outskirts
Because rent is high and income cannot match the high cost of living, many are driven by the economy to slums. And more live in border towns which are glorified villages with inadequate infrastructure.
- ‘Hold up and go slow’
Traffic congestion is commonplace in mega cities as the huge population task the facilities.
Spending hours commuting from one end of town to the other, and even in the same locality is common and harmful with air pollution prevalent.
Modern transportation system hardly matches the rise in population.
- Sinfully uneven wealth distribution between higher and low income earners
Those who have are so rich with all the pleasures of life flaunted at the poor.
They live in Banana Island, Victoria Island and Ikoyi with Rolls Royces and Mercedes Benzes, while majority jump on okadas.
All the splendour and high flying lifestyles can only be smelt but not touched by the majority.
- High level of opportunistic and well plotted crimes
With the rich easily within reach of the poor, crimes are effortlessly perpetrated. From kidnapping to robbery, car jacking to more, crime rate is very high in mega cities.
And among the poor in these cities, they torment themselves with dastardly crimes.
- Infrastructure and facilities are at breaking point
From schools to hospitals and other facilities which make life enjoyable, most are at breaking points and collapsing with the humongous population.
Before projections are made and met, the population jumps to an unbelievable high making progress almost impossible.
What’s encouraged in modern countries is to evenly develop regions and states and make migration unattractive. Many areas of the country are simultaneously modernised. Even those in villages there enjoy a better standard of living with all the amenities that multiply happiness within kilometres.
A situation where only Lagos and Abuja are the only favoured destinations put too pressure on them…