Year after year, Lagos generates the highest revenue, attracts the biggest foreign investment and borrows the largest amount of money among Nigerian states. But living conditions in the city are worsening. Should they?

Key takeaways:

  • Lagos recently ranked as one of the world’s least liveable cities. Yet the state attracts over 80% of Nigeria’s foreign investment, contributes around 30% to combined state IGR and accounts for about 16% of domestic state debt, creating a paradoxical situation.

  • It seems unfair to produce a ranking that compares Lagos to other global cities in well-developed countries. But, the EIU index is one of the few comprehensive attempts at quantifying an individual’s lifestyle challenges in selected cities worldwide. Some things the index tracks, such as crime rates and efficiency of transportation networks, are important for one’s experience of a city.

  • Infrastructure was one of the EIU’s metrics, and Lagos’ 46.4 out of 100 is a little shy of the median mark of 50 and lower than Pakistan’s 51.8. Considering that infrastructure is one key area Lagos often borrows funds for, the state is still spending too little on capital to make significant progress.

I live thirty minutes from Lagos’ border to Ogun state, yet it takes me at least four hours to get to work at Lekki in Lagos on the morning of any weekday. If the weather isn’t great, I might not even finish the journey to work because floods will keep vehicles at standstill traffic. The journey back will take another four hours if I make it to work, so that’s at least eight hours on the road in one day.

You might think my travel time is long and hectic because I live outside of Lagos. The irony is that I spent roughly the same time commuting when I lived in Lagos, but thankfully, I now work mostly from home.

Commuting is one of the most striking examples of how bad it can be to live in Lagos. But the latest Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) report on liveable cities shows there is more to be wary about in Lagos.

For the 3rd time in a row, Lagos bagged the title of the second