Lagos is Nigeria’s largest city and one of the world’s five largest cities is home to over 21 million people. The mega city has a very diverse and fast-growing population as a result of migrating people from neighbouring states and other countries. Lagos is a home to different businesses, both small and large, and this makes its economically attractive for investors, both within and without the country.
Despite the many positive sides to Lagos, the lives of some of its residents tell another story. Take for instance, Toni, who has struggled for years to get a single university admission, yet to no avail. Few secondary schools in Lagos are able to provide high quality education for students and this in turn affects the performance of these students in their secondary school certificate examinations. Such students become just another face in the city’s population, seeking means of survival. There is also the case of those that live in communities that are almost inhabitable.
For Funmi, auto repair is a highly recurrent expenditure as a result of the poor condition of roads in her area. She lives in Ayobo, a Lagos suburb that barely has passable roads for its residents. It is not uncommon, there, to see vehicles stuck in muddy potholes during the rainy season. However, for residents like Funmi, who are living in their own houses, it is not easy to simply relocate.
Let’s shift over to the case of Saliu, one of many young boys who have turned the streets to their home. With nowhere to go and no one to look after them, he has become the property of the streets, just like many others; pick pocketing, bus jumping and begging for alms, in the mildest cases. It is heartbreaking that while his eleven-year olds counterparts are adjusting to secondary school, he gradually learns how to become a nuisance in the society.
It would be too easy to point fingers at each other, blaming ourselves for the negative issues we observe and experience in Lagos. However, let us take the path less travelled by Nigerians, and actually do something! This is not the government’s duty alone, Lagosians need to rise above the negative circumstances around them and seek out positive opportunities to become better people in better situations. Only when this is done, can these fine faces in Lagos have beautiful stories.
P.S I wrote this some months back, but could not publish it on my desired platorm….politics. Dont let anyone hold you back, they say you cant do it this way, find another way to do it. 😀