Lagos ranks amongst worst cities to live in for nine straight years
Lagos, the commercial hub of Nigeria, has been ranking as one of the worst places to live in the world for the nine straight years, a BusinessDay analysis shows.
Data from the 2019 Global Liveability Index published by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the world’s leader in global business intelligence, shows the city has been within the range of 137th-139th position out of a total of 140 cities in the world from year 2011-2019.
Last year, Nigeria overtook India as the country with the largest number of people living in extreme poverty, thereby becoming the world capital of poverty, according to the Brookings Institute. This year, the number has risen to 91.6 million from 87 million in June 2018. Every minute, six Nigerians enter the group of extremely poor people, according to the World Poverty Clock.
Economic experts have blamed the rising population of Lagos putting more pressure on the available resources, low level of government reforms and rising poverty rate.
Gbolahan Ologunro, an equity research analyst at Lagos-based CSL Stockbrokers said, “There is a high level of people living in Lagos and I don’t think the housing infrastructure is adequate to accommodate the large number of people in the city.”
“For Lagos, being a commercial hub, there are lots of people from rural areas coming into the city on a daily basis. However the improvement for supply for housing units does not keep in pace for the influx of people into the city .So the overall impact is that you have a large number of people living in areas or homes that will be considered as inadequate for human welfare,” Ologunro further said.
According to the National Population Commission of Nigeria (NPC), Lagos has a population of over 21 million as at 2016 and by year 2050, its population is expected to double, which will make it the 3rd largest city in the world.
The EIU examines the quality of health care, education, infrastructure, stability, and culture when assessing living conditions of each city. More than 30 factors are taken into account when calculating each rank, which are then complied into a weighted score between one and 100.
From the indictors used for the ranking index which was stability, healthcare, culture & environment ,education and infrastructure , Lagos, fairly scored 20.0, 37.5, 53.5, 33.3 and 46.4 respectively which dragged its score to 38.5 from a total of 100.This score remains unchanged from the previous year but its ranking moved up by on position to 138th.
Ayodeji Ebo, MD, Afrinvest Securities Limited said that based on the indicators that were used, there have not been any major improvement and that rural urban migration has increased significantly which has put more pressure on the available resources in terms of infrastructure, health, education and social amenities.
“Even though we have seen some development, we cannot compare the rate of development that we have seen relative to the rate of the infrastructure spending or the rate of population that we are seeing. Population pressure is affecting social amenities ,which is why we are still lagging behind,” Ebo also added.
The top 5 most liveable cities in the world are Vienna, Austria scoring 99. 1; Melbourne, Australia with 98.4; Sydney, Australia with 98.1; Osaka, Japan with 97.7 and Calgary, Canada had 97.5.
The least liveable cities were Damascus in Syria, Lagos in Nigeria, Dhaka in Bangladesh, Tripoli in Libya and Karachi in Pakistan which scored 30.7, 38.5, 39.2, 40.4 and 40.9 respectively.
“Inadequate infrastructure is one of the major problems. The poverty level in the country is high and government policies or reforms are not happening as fast as they should to improve the standard of people living in the country.
If all these things do not change, then Lagos and Nigeria as a whole will still lagged when compared with other cities in the world where developmental activities are happening”, Ibrahim Tajudeem, Head of Research, Chapel Hill Denham expressed.