Lagos(Eko as fondly called by most Nigerians) is without doubt the most talked about city in Nigeria and Africa at large and this arises from different factors that tend to make the city valuable in all aspect; from being a port city, to an entertainment hub or its economic prowess, Lagos appears to be one city you surely can't ignore in Africa and the world in general.
Housing or traffic jams is surely one of the greatest problems Lagosians face and this is solely due to it ever growing size.
According to the world population review website, "Lagos has enjoyed tremendous growth, reaching 21 million from just 1.4 million as recently as 1970" and one begins to wonder what measures were put in place to accommodate for this tremendous increase in population size. The Lagos government also revealed that the city receives about 150,000 people daily, quite alarming one must say. The influx is surely not going to end soon as the city now generates 25% of Nigeria's total gross domestic product and judged also to be the 8th fastest growing city in Africa and would have the fifth largest economy in Africa if it were a country and surely with this statistics the city is sure going to receive more people.
Lagos according to the Economist, ranks 2nd, behind Damascus and ahead of Tripoli in the world's most liveable city index and one wonders why this demeaning rank despite it being the economic hub of Nigeria.
The major problem Lagos faces is population, as the city failed to plan ahead while building its infrastructures to cater for a sharp rise in the population but this problem could also have been avoided if proper planning by successive federal governments were done to limit the pressure on the city.
The traffic problem in Lagos state from our independent study arises from three main factors, the population size, attitude of drivers and the government.
The population size according to the population commission is about 21 million and it is the most populated city not even adding the daily influx of people who come for one form of activity or the other. The number of vehicles in the country is over 11 million with Lagos accounting for about 1/10th of it. The high vehicular movement in the state greatly had to the traffic in the state and thereby causing a gridlock.
Second on the list is the attitude by drivers and their total disregard for traffic rules. With the large amount of vehicles moving in and out of the city one expects the drivers to be mindful of traffic rules. An average Driver in Lagos is in an hurry always, there by breaking rules and jumping lanes. The attitude of the drivers also borders on them not checking the state of their vehicle and as such could lead to a break down resulting in traffic gridlock as the city needs the tiniest of excuse to have a jam.
Thirdly is a role the government should have solved which they failed to, the state should be giving a special attention so as to cater for its need as it already generates a quater of the nation's GDP. The problems the government should fix is fixing major infrastructures that serves the need of the nation(i.e the Apapa road).
The traffic issue in Lagos is difficult but not impossible to solve as there are steps that can be taken to reduce it and this starts with the government.
The government should fix the roads in the state as a starter and begin immediate moves to de-congest the port as a large number of trucks come into the state to lift products(petroleum, cars and many more).
The government should begin move to open other port cities in the country so as to shift the attention from the Lagos port. There are over four port cities in the Niger-Delta area starting from Warri, Koko, Port-harcourt and Calabar, this cities should be open as to receive goods meant for Lagos so as to reduce the trucks entering the state.
Other means of transportation should be constructed in the city other than road transport, train and water transport should be looked into as the city is covered by water.
The populace should be trained to respect traffic laws and see nothing wrong in using public transport system so as to reduce the number of vehicles in the state. Also a quick response system should be created to attend to emergencies on the road that lead to gridlock.
With all this being put in place, overcoming traffic in Lagos is possible