Lagos population now equals 30 African countries – Ambode

According to the Governor of Lagos State, AkinwunmiAmbode, Lagos State is struggling to meet the needs of its many residents.

The state needs to build a million houses every year for the next decade in order to supply all the state’s residents with shelter. In addition to this, Lagos State requires more than 10,000 megawatts of power to function properly. At the moment, it is only supplied with 2,000 megawatts or less. Lagos is also suffering from the lack of water, as it only receives 210,5 million gallons each day out of the required 750 million.

This information appeared in Lagos State news on October 9, when Ambode spoke at the roundtable on the topic of infrastructure financing. The event was organised by the Lagos State government in collaboration with the Harvard Business School Association of Nigeria (HBSAN).

Governor stated that Nigeria was at a very critical point in its history, which was why a careful assessment had to be made in terms of infrastructure deficit. Based on that assessment, the government would be able to take deliberate actions to deal with the problem.

Ambode mentioned that the government administration understood that the situation had reached a point of no return, and solid actions had to be taken in order to provide the younger generation with a proper future.

He has also shared an interesting fact: the population of Lagos alone, which is 24 million, equals the size of at least 30 African countries. If things continue like this, by 2050, there will be 36 million residents in Lagos, which will make it the sixth biggest city in the world by population (after Kolkata, Kinshasa, Dhaka, Delhi and Mumbai). It will be bigger than New York, Mexico City, Karachi or Tokyo.

According to the news about Lagos State, 86 people migrate to Lagos each hour. This migration rate is higher than in Mumbai, London or New York. The population density is almost 7 thousand people per square kilometre, and each household inhabits five people on average. This means that there are many pressures and challenges on the social and physical infrastructure.

In 2010, Lagos State faced a deficit in the infrastructure of around $50 billion, including the expenses on education and housing. It is hard to imagine the size of the deficit in 2017.

In 2015, the state had a road network that spanned over 16 thousand kilometres with a daily traffic of more than 7,5 million people and over 2,8 million cars. Every day, the state generated more than 13 thousand tonnes of solid waste. These numbers were higher even than those in New York.

Ambode has admitted that the government is aware of these challenges. Every mega city experiences things like that, so it comes as no surprise. However, the main issue is that the government is not ready to deal with these issues; it does not have the answers. For that reason, he and his colleagues gathered at the roundtable.

One of the attendees of the meeting, John Macomber, the professor at the Harvard Business School, said that one of the main problems of Nigeria was over-centralisation. If not for that, the federal government would have had an opportunity to resolve the problems with the infrastructure.

In other Lagos State news, Governor Ambode also ordered the opening of a DNA forensic centre the first of its kind in the whole of West Africa. He noted that this development would significantly improve the process of resolving crimes with the help of new technologies.

The centre can be found on Lagos Island, Odunlami Street, and, according to the governor, it represents an important milestone in the reformation of the justice sector that will make the state much safer for residents and visitors.

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