• Thursday, February 29, 2024
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Lagos: Top 13 challenges of living in mega city

People living in Lagos grapple with various issues that impact their daily lives, from traffic congestion and bad roads to insecurity and a high cost of living.

These challenges, rooted in complex social, economic, and political factors, demand innovative solutions to improve the lives of Lagosians.

According to a report “behavioural causes of traffic congestion in Lagos” 2023 report conducted by the Danne Institute for Research “Among the most pressing challenges 22.5% of respondents’ top challenge they are facing is traffic congestion,The second challenge was bad roads (about 13% of the sample). Since bad roads contribute to the traffic congestion problem, if we put both together, we see that about 35% of respondents consider mobility and connectivity to be major challenges living and working in Lagos. the bad roads, and insecurity.”

To tackle challenges in Lagos, we need a comprehensive approach: urban planning, sustainable infrastructure, and economic reforms. Enhance public transport, invest in renewables, and foster economic opportunities.

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Strengthen law enforcement, address root causes for security, and provide subsidies to counter rising living costs. Invest in renewable energy and modernize the grid for improved power supply. Focus on efficient waste management, drainage, and environmental education for environmental concerns.

Here are top 13 challenges of living in Lagos


Over a fifth of respondents, or 22.5%, identified traffic congestion as the most pressing challenge in Lagos. Colorful expressions like ‘unbearable’ and ‘crazy’ highlight the frustration residents experience in the face of relentless traffic jams. Abandoned construction projects, such as Awoyaya and St Finbarr’s Road, aggravate congestion, turning commutes into time-consuming ordeals.

Bad Roads

About 13% of respondents emphasized the significant hurdle presented by bad roads, compounding the city’s traffic challenges. The intimate link between poor road conditions and traffic congestion underscores the pervasive nature of mobility issues in Lagos. Ongoing construction setbacks, particularly in areas like Lekki Peninsula, contribute to the predicament, affecting both daily commuters and local businesses.


Insecurity emerged as the third most mentioned challenge, reflecting broader national concerns. Rising crime rates, the intrusion of thugs, and roadside theft are creating an atmosphere of unease, impacting both personal safety and economic prosperity.The ramifications of insecurity extend beyond individual concerns, influencing the city’s overall social and economic fabric.

Cost of Living

Approximately 10% of respondents pointed to the escalating cost of living as a significant worry.The persistent rise in the national inflation index and the soaring cost of food contribute to financial strain on both households and businesses.This challenge mirrors the economic uncertainties faced by Lagosians amidst broader national economic dynamics.

Power Supply

Episodic power supply, a nationwide issue, troubled just under 10% of respondents. Repeated collapses of the national grid and the surging cost of diesel have drained the disposable incomes of households and businesses. The quest for reliable electricity supply impacts daily life and the operational efficiency of businesses across Lagos.


Just shy of 10% of respondents highlighted environmental challenges, with a particular focus on the lack of drainage. Challenges such as poor waste disposal, frequent flooding, the absence of essential amenities, and pollution compound the environmental woes faced by residents. The critical issue of inadequate drainage emphasizes the urgent need for sustainable urban planning and infrastructure development.

Unemployment, low income, and overpopulation

Unemployment, low income, and overpopulation collectively form a significant concern for many Lagosians. The competitive job market and limited opportunities contribute to the persistent struggle for employment. Simultaneously, the challenge of low income exacerbates difficulties associated with the high cost of living. The city’s overpopulation adds another layer of complexity, straining resources, infrastructure, and public services, amplifying the daily challenges faced by residents.


Housing issues were raised as challenges, reflecting Lagos’s broader urban planning and development shortcomings. The interplay between affordable housing significantly influences the quality of life for many residents.


Surprisingly, respondents explicitly pointed to challenges related to “agberos” (street touts). These unconventional challenges underscore the intricate social and political dynamics at play in the city, impacting residents in ways beyond the more commonly acknowledged issues.


Respondents explicitly identified bad governance as a distinctive challenge in living and working in Lagos. Issues such as inefficiency, corruption, and inadequate public services contribute to a sense of frustration among residents, impacting their overall quality of life.


Transport challenges were explicitly mentioned as a distinct concern. Inadequate public transportation, poorly maintained infrastructure, and the lack of efficient mobility options contribute to the daily struggles of commuting and navigating the city.