I was driving down to Ajah from my school campus at Ibeju-lekki when I realized I forgot to carry my laptop along with me so I had to make a quick U-turn. Unfortunately, what was supposed to be a quick U-turn turned out to be a five-minute wait for a compassionate driver. Out of the multitudes of cars speeding by, none would slow down for me to make the turn. While I was waiting for the endless fleet of cars passing, I couldn’t help but ask myself “how many people dey live for this Lagos sef?” Trust me, if you have ever been to Lagos and you had reasons to move from point A to point B, then I can bet my money that you can relate.
I have met a couple of people that have propounded different theories to explain the reason for the sickening traffic in Lagos State and the best solutions to tackle the issue. I must confess that I have heard some really cool theories. However, I personally find it rather ironic when the cause of a particular problem brings up theories about the cause of the same problem. All I am saying is that I find it ironic that people residing in Lagos, (myself included) complain about the traffic situation in Lagos when we are the cause of the traffic itself.
My own theory is that the traffic situation is a result of too many people driving too many cars that cannot be easily handled by the existing roadways, plus too many buses battling to accommodate too many people going to various destinations for so many different reasons. Of course, the traffic situation is made worse by so many trailers breaking down on the highway (I was tempted to write “so many highways”).
Having all these in mind, it becomes a little more glaring that the issue with Lagos is not just the traffic; it has a lot to do with the population. The scariest part is that according to reports from the UN World Urbanization Prospects, the population of Lagos state has been increasing annually. The report shows that the population increased from 10.7 million in 2010 to 14.2 million in 2017. The report also estimated that the population of Lagos State could rise up to 300 million in the next 25 years; it is worthy to note that the entire population of the United States is slightly above 300 million. I am not in the best position to say whether the annual increase of the population in Lagos is beneficial to the state or not, mostly because there is little I can do to control it and also because anything that has advantages surely has its disadvantages and vice versa.
However, the most logical thing to do right now is to wonder why people keep trooping into Lagos with big dreams and small wallets; you have to ask yourself “are they sharing money in Lagos?”