Lagos, located in the South-West Region of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is, no doubt, one of the most powerful states in Africa. According to PulseNG, Lagos State is the sixth-largest city in the world (going by population) and handles 80% of Nigeria’s imports.
Lagos State is said to be overpopulated at the present, housing more than 21 million people according to National Population Commission of Nigeria. Meanwhile, prior to the 2019 General Elections there were speculations that citizens in the state were about 35 million people. Howbeit, the state is known for multiple things, both good and good.
A. Lawal recounting her childhood experience of the state said:
Growing up was fun, whenever I go to Lagos Island, sweet memories still flood my mind, memories of a clean sparsely populated and breezy neighborhood which encompassed streets like Bishop Street, Olowogbowo, Elegbata, Koseh, John Street, Daddy Alaja, Tom Jones, Idumota, Alakoro Marina, Balogun Street, Broad Street and the main Marina. Everywhere was our playground including the gutters and right in the middle of black well tarred roads, cars hardly passed by, it was only a few people that had cars, commuting was not common then.
What is Lagos State known for at present?
Well, life has changed from what A. Lawal used to know in the state, in that life seems miserable for the masses while a few enjoy the dividends of affluence. Traffic jam is the major problem that citizens in the state now face, on daily basis, as a result many of those in paid employments and entrepreneurs who have business meeting to keep have had to hit the road as early as 4:00am if they must beat the traffic jam – this has contributed to rising case of louts snatching commuters’ belongings in public transits or at various bus stops in the state.
The above challenge, notwithstanding, the population in Lagos keeps rising due to rural-urban migration. Hence, another challenge of accommodation – many live in slums just to stay and work in the state, but there are those who live in eyebrow areas also: it just means that income is a huge factor that determines residential areas for the citizens. Explaining other challenges in the state, B. Oyesola noted that:
The rapid population growth in Lagos Metropolis results in shortages of housing and growth of slums, lack of housing finance and failure of the urban community as a whole to adapt to changing conditions… A daily feature on Lagos roads is the traffic gridlock. At times, it makes living in Lagos a real hell. It takes some people three hours to get home from work. An important reason is the sad condition of roads. Most were constructed in the 1970s and were supposed to serve a population that was still much smaller. Nobody expected this level of expansion in the 21st century… One of the major challenges to Lagos is the management of sanitation. The drainage system is poor too. It clogs far too often. It is a common occurrence to see residents emptying their wastes in the rain… The government of Lagos State is facing daunting challenges. They include rehabilitation of existing urban infrastructure and provision of new infrastructure like roads, schools, health facilities, parks and gardens, integrated transportation (land and water), the system of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), the rehabilitation of criminal gangs (the so-called “area boys”) and security improvement.
In addition to the above, generally, the cost of living is high in the state, yet, majority prefer to remain in it since their source of income and livelihood is guaranteed (irrespective of the kind of job they do).
The concern for healthy living, longevity
To be candid, the concern for safety is low (to a large extent) among majority of residents in Lagos State, as far as, earning an income is concerned: of such are some people who sell their goods in the traffic. Ironically, while the state government is trying a great deal to discourage this practice the residents are clamouring for levity (not even leniency) in handling the hawkers because they meet commuter’s needs, especially, during traffic jam.
Moreover, the stress in the state is high and this, likely, might be affecting productivity of businesses and good health of the residents (unknowingly) because stress is counter-productive. To this end, it is important that people living in the state takes enough time to rest or go on occasional break in order to restore both physical strength and creativity.
According to D. Colbert and J. Gauger, getting enough sleep will help one to learn new physical skills because sleep builds procedural memory. They affirmed that a bad night’s sleep is costly because it takes a toll on the health, saying that in the world today due to modern technology day or night matters no longer (people could work and play around the clock), however, the body or the mind was not made to work that way.
It is, therefore, important that anyone living in Lagos – who wishes to stay healthy and live long, observes the following suggestions:
1. Know the state of your health by going for regular medical check up – this will help you to know the lifestyle to adopt based on your health condition.
2. Rest well, go on vacation and create time to bond with your loved ones (to relieve yourself of mental and physical stress).
3. Drink natural, not carbonated water (all the time) to detoxify your body system from clogs of junk food.
4. As much as possible, avoid: alcohol, fumes (from industrial sites, generators or moving vehicles), dusts and bad odours.
5. Avoid self medication, instead, seek professional medical advice concerning your health, and also stick to whatever medical practitioners may have advised you for or against.
6. Embrace hygienic living: it is funny, but some adults are dirty. This little thing has a way of impairing or improving your wellbeing.
7. As much as possible, avoid staying late out of the house.
8. Be security conscious (in the house and when you are out of the house).
9. Take a course in HSE – to improve your awareness of the environment around you.
10. Above all, stay with God as you go through life – making legitimate income in the state.
Pulse Nigeria, “6 interesting facts about Lagos”, September 2019: retrieved on November 20, 2019, https://www.pulse.ng/lifestyle/food-travel/6-interesting-facts-about-lagos/sxw5k81.
World Population Review, “Lagos Population 2019”, retrieved on November 21, 2019, http://worldpopulationreview.com/world-cities/lagos-population/.
Ajibade Tobi Lawal, “What is Lagos, Nigeria known for?”, Quora, retrieved on November 21, 2019, https://www.quora.com/What-is-Lagos-Nigeria-known-for.
Bimbola Oyesola, “Urban headaches”, Development and Cooperation, September 2012: https://www.dandc.eu/en/article/lagos-city-dreams-and-nightmares.
 Don Colbert and Jon Gauger, The Seven Pillars of Health: The Natural Way to Better Health for Life (USA: Strang Communications Company, ePub), 51.