Archive for the 'LAGOS FACTS' Category

Lagos fields

Conditions are creating an influential field of forces in the urban environment. The flocking of forces and their inherent mechanics are displayed by an emerging pattern of various reactions and effects in the urban space. Effects are constantly reinterpreting and reinventing function and program of urban space and create a dynamic changing environment.

The transformation of Oshodi

“Oshodi is the interface between time and the interchange between destinations; the meeting space for people between places, the living stage where a collage of scenes are acted and played out without a script. Oshodi is the playwright´s envy, the planner´s blurred vision, the administrator´s ineptitude and a police nightmare; the pick pocket´s dream, the lay-about´s vineyard, the transporter´s gambling arena for time and passenger, and the jousting space for sellers and buyers.” David Aradeon

That´s how David Aradeon, architect in Lagos an longtime urban researcher of the city described the situation at at the Oshodi market. Oshodi lies at the interchange of the Agege Motorroad and the Apapa Oworonshoki expressroad, two major roads with each 6 to ten lanes. Through the site also runs the Lagos railway line, paralleling the Agege Motor road. Until 2009 Oshodi was a place which gave prevalent forces of the urban field a visible appearance. Oshodi was not only a site it was a device for urban development.

Makoko – The Floating City


The population of Lagos has increased thirty times over since 1950. In a city marked by great inequality, the rich live in areas separated from the rest of the population. The vast majority barely scrapes a living by working several different jobs. Many country people have come to Lagos hoping to find work and make their fortune. Buying a few planks and recycling other materials enables them to build a home, so the city has mushroomed as slums spread rapidly in the absence of urban planning. These settlements have no electricity or running water and can disappear as quickly as they are built when bulldozers cut swathes through the slums to clear land for buildings. (pic.

Sea level rise – African cities at risk



Spatial development

Historical setting


The history of Nigerian borders draws back in the time of colonisation dating in the 19th century. The country borders are the product of european imperialism and were defined by the british colonial power who aimed to delimit influences from the french and german colonized environment .

The modern history of Nigeria, as a political state encompassing 250 to 400 ethnic groups of widely varied cultures and modes of political organization, dates from the completion of the British conquest in 1903 and the amalgamation of northern and southern Nigeria into the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria in 1914. The history of the Nigerian people extends backward in time for some three millennia. Archaeological evidence, oral traditions, and written documentation establish the existence of dynamic societies and well-developed political systems whose history had an important influence on colonial rule and has continued to shape independent Nigeria. Nigerian history is fragmented in the sense that it evolved from a variety of traditions, but many of the most outstanding features of modern society reflect the strong influence of the three regionally dominant ethnic groups–the Hausa in the north, the Yoruba in the west, and the Igbo in the east.

There are several dominant themes in Nigerian history that are essential in understanding contemporary Nigerian politics and society. First, the spread of Islam, predominantly in the north but later in southwestern Nigeria as well, began a millennium ago. The creation of the Sokoto Caliphate in the jihad of 1804-8 brought most of the northern region and adjacent parts of Niger and Cameroon under a single Islamic government. The great extension of Islam within the area of present-day Nigeria dates from the nineteenth century and the consolidation of the caliphate. This history helps account for the dichotomy between north and south and for the divisions within the north that have been so strong during the colonial and postcolonial eras.

Second, the slave trade, both across the Sahara Desert and the Atlantic Ocean, had a profound influence on virtually all parts of Nigeria. The transatlantic trade in particular accounted for the forced migration of perhaps 3.5 million people between the 1650s and the 1860s, while a steady stream of slaves flowed north across the Sahara for a millennium, ending at the beginning of the twentieth century. Within Nigeria, slavery was widespread, with social implications that are still evident today. The Sokoto Caliphate, for example, had more slaves than any other modern country, except the United States in 1860. Slaves were also numerous among the Igbo, the Yoruba, and many other ethnic groups. Indeed, many ethnic distinctions, especially in the middle belt–the area between the north and south–were reinforced because of slave raiding and defensive measures that were adopted for protection against enslavement. Conversion to Islam and the spread of Christianity were intricately associated with issues relating to slavery and with efforts to promote political and cultural autonomy.

Third, the colonial era was relatively brief, lasting only six decades or so, depending upon the part of Nigeria, but it unleashed such rapid change that the full impact was still felt in the contemporary period. On the one hand, the expansion of agricultural products as the principal export earner and the corresponding development of infrastructure resulted in severely distorted economic growth that has subsequently collapsed. On the other hand, social dislocation associated with the decline of slavery and the internal movement of population between regions and to the cities necessitated the reassessment of ethnic loyalties, which in turn have been reflected in politics and religion.

In the three decades since the independence of Nigeria in 1960, a period half as long as the colonial era, Nigeria has experienced a number of successful and attempted military coups d’état and a brutal civil war, let corrupt civilian governments siphon off the profits from the oil boom of the 1970s, and faced economic collapse in the 1980s. As the most populous country in Africa, and one of the ten most populous countries in the world, Nigeria has a history that is important in its own right but that also bears scrutiny if for no other reason than to understand how and why this nation became as it is today.

source: “A country study: Nigeria”, historical setting, Paul E. Lovejoy;

2000 people/ day – growth

Channel 4 News has made a documentary on population explosion. Have a look by yourself.

Where is Lagos? – Geographic Position

The metropole of Lagos, Nigeria, Africa.




Lagos is one of the largest urban agglomerations, currently counting 9.5 million inhabitants (Unhabitat,2008).  Since the late 70ies Lagos experiences an enormous population explosion and has a growth rate of 5,7 percent per year (Unhabitat,2008). This means, Lagos is growing 2000 inhabitants per day. As the city´s growth rate and the slum growth rate are mostly the same, the city development is not able to connect and to build at that speed. Lacking infrastructure and the emergence of informal settlements and at first glance chaotic conditions are resulting effects.


Informal settlements in Ebute Metta, placed at the main access route linking mainland Lagos to the three main islands of Victoria, Ikoyi and Lagos Island. 


Map of Local Government Areas, LGA´s.

The picture above shows the 20 Local Government Areas LGAs of metropolitan Lagos, which are considered to be independent cities. Due to the city´s  historic background and geographical position Lagos is Nigerias most important traffic-, economic and culture hub.

Local Government Areas of Lagos

Urban Area

Lagos Island
Lagos Mainland


Amuwo Odofin
Eti Osa
Ibeju Lekki

Lagos on Googlemaps

Population Data



Final results of the 2006 census in Lagos, showing the population rate for each Local Government Area. (Source: Federal Republic of Nigeria)

LURG rss feed