Is Lagos a great city to live in?
Is Lagos liveable?

Many years ago, Rem Koolhaas, a luminary figure in global urban architectural design, and the winner of the 2000 Pritzker Architecture Prize (basically the Nobel Prize for architecture), gave an interview with the Guardian UK, where he spoke about the work he and Kunlé Adeyemi did in Lagos in the late 90s.

Key takeaways:

  • With over 5,000 people moving to Lagos daily, the city would be the most praised city in the world if feet could talk. Yet, for all its promise of economic and social liberation, Lagos has more in common with Tehran, Tripoli, and Damascus, scenes of recent armed conflicts.

  • The EIU says Lagos is the second least habitable city in the world. Numbeo says Lagos is the fourth most expensive place in the world. Data from eight different liveability indices also show that Lagos is not improving. 

  • Lagos manages a negative podium finish in almost all available rankings, such as cost of living, stability,  business activity, education, etc., among global cities by any metric and every dimension.

Koolhaas mused on working in a region considered at the time to be virgin territory, remembering a place equally full of intrigue and danger. "Nigeria was blank on the map—there weren't even any maps. But Lagos at that point was not very inviting even to Lagosians. It was considered a no-go zone, almost in its entirety."

25 years later, Lagos, a self-proclaimed megacity, with an economy that would make it Africa's fifth largest, and home to anywhere between 15 and 25 million people, remains unforgivingly hostile. As the author Uzodinnma Iweala evocatively put it, the state's motto, "Centre of Excellence," is tinged with sarcasm.

Nigerians have a love-hate relationship with Lagos.

On the one hand, most Nigerians are understandably appalled by

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Michael Famoroti

Michael Famoroti

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