Features

The Lekki Dilemma

The Lekki-Ajah axis is considered the fastest developing area in Africa, so it comes as no surprise that the area is becoming more populated day by day, with businesses, schools, religious institutions, malls and many other attractions, and that goes without mentioning the gold mine in the form of Real Estate in the area.

Lekki-Epe-Expressway-Lagos-Island-Traffic

Ever since Maroko was destroyed by the Lagos state military government led by Raji Rasaki, it wouldn’t have taken a soothsayer to know that rapid development would take place in the area because the potential was glaring, yet the area suffers from poor planning. You realize that most of the problems faced on this axis are some that could have been easily avoided. For the sake of this article, I’m going to focus on the flooding and traffic issues.

I remember earlier this year, when the rains came in full force and the weakness of the drainage network was held on display for the world to the see, turning the republic to the butt of a very embarrassing joke. Houses flooded, cars spoilt, movement obstructed, and at some point, videos of people either swimming or kayaking on the street surfaced. I found it sad that an area said to have some of the most expensive real estate on the continent would have something as inconsequential as drainage as an issue, which is meant to have been taken care of in the planning/design phase. The most heart-breaking thing about this experience is that nothing has been done about the drainage, everybody just has their fingers crossed that heavy rain wouldn’t fall again, which makes you wonder how we would survive something as epic as a natural disaster.

Now let’s talk about traffic, as you’re reading this, I’m sure you’re constantly a victim of this pandemic. The most annoying thing about living in Lagos is how the most easily avoidable things cause hours of meaningless traffic. Apart from the occasional accident or other unavoidable road hazards, it is usually something silly; either a bad road, the random act of an idiot behind the steering wheel, or the most mind blowing of all, rain. I’m going to take the Lekki-Epe Expressway as a point of study; peculiar to most of us living in the republic, it provides access to the entire Lekki-Ajah axis. Seen as one of the busiest routes in Lagos, it was previously home to some of the worst traffic in the city. Due to the traffic it was conceived that places like VGC, AJAH, Abraham Adesanya and others, were impossible to visit and some go as far as not acknowledging them as part of Lagos (although jokingly), forgetting that Lagos is the smallest state in the country, meaning that no place should be “far”.

As much as we praise the government for replacing the roundabouts with traffic lights to ease the traffic, we forget that it was they that put up roundabouts as a traffic solution in the first place, why they made them so big is beyond me, but it is obvious that they have a recurring habit of making temporary solutions to problems. Using statistics, in a couple of years these so called “solutions” of putting traffic lights will become obsolete, because the population will keep increasing rapidly, and as usual, the government would soon start running around looking for a new temporary solution.

I could go on and on about all the problems we face but I feel I will soon start boring you. Apologies for the ranting, they are just thoughts of a concerned citizens in the form of food for thought.

Feel free to share your own rants in the comment section

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3 Comments

  1. Olumuyiwa

    November 8, 2017 at 10:24 am

    Haha!
    This is what everyone in the republic goes through. You just said what people are afraid to say. Keep up the good work man.

  2. Igwe2pac lol

    November 8, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    Before I moved to London to work in finance, I strongly considered living in Lagos full time. This summer my fund had a deal in Lagos and I chose to come back for 2 months to spear head it and realized the traffic gets worse each year and people who live in Nigeria do not realize. It was a 2-3 hour commute from VGC to VI every bloody day making my total commute up to 6 hours per day sometimes. I chose to live in VGC because it’s not in the spot light like Banana and Bourdillon and I could go on long walks on the weekend. I hated every second I was in Lagos traffic and cancelled the ~$1bn deal and chose Algeria instead to complete the deal cutting my trip to Lagos. I’m still considering a place in Eko Atlantic as I heard it would be better and looking to buy a flat however i’ll wait until it has more buildings up in the sorrounding area. My point is Lagos would continue losing major business if this simple issue of traffic and flooding isn’t fixed. My friends who work in construction have offered plans to fix both the problems in a major way, I relayed my plans to the Lagos state government and they refused to accept it simple because ‘I’m too young’. This has happens every time acompany is looking to hire me to move back to Nigeria and work for them, i’ll offer to make them (£20mn-£50mn) per year based on my current performance in return i’ll get 15% as my bonus plus N200mn as my salary paid if the return target is met ( I’ve met this target and surpassed it sometimes every year so it’s a sure thing). They always say I’m to young to collect that kind of money and offer me about N12mn per year maximum if I make £20-£50mn as promised. So they expect me to pay for their boats in Ikoyi and collect basically nothing, I’m turning 27 in one month if you’re wondering. I only know 5 people who were offered what they deserved they are all younger than me about 23-24 and now they are making a killing in Lagos although they still don’t like the traffic but maybe there’s hope.

    Anyhow change the pound to naira and see how dumb that is. Someone even once told me 500k naira per month. So I never accept and remain in London. My friends remain in London. Nigerias talent remains abroad. Some of these companies pay their 80 year old bosses billions of naira because some of my stupid mates came back thinking they would renegotiate the next year but no they always refuse and they come back to London. I’m very frustrated typing this message but Lagos should hear word. All these problems can be fixed we have talent abroad and some are looking to come back don’t say we are too young, in London they pay you in finance based on how much you bring in even if you are 5 years old. Algeria is now reaping what they shouldn’t have.

    I also have a problem with the police stopping me when they are armed I feel they would snap one day and just murder me in front of everyone then i’ll become a hashtag. They joke that I’m a yahoo boy or my father is stealing money but it’s not funny when they have AKs. A new law should be passed that armed police shouldn’t stop cars instead this should be done by un armed people I don’t mind having police on the roads but the ones that stop you shouldn’t have guns. I’ve never heard of anyone shooting a police man during a traffic stop in lekki so what are the guns for, really think about it it’s just an accident waiting to happen because Nigerians think every rich young person on the island is in a political family.

    I’ve never brought up this problem but it’s one of the reasons I don’t like coming back I keep thinking a wannabe liberator would end my life and the plans I have for nigeria. So again I shift deals away from nigeria. I’ll soon write an open letter to the government regarding this issue.

    These are my experiences sha greetings from Holborn, London. Have a nice day

    1. naijaw6

      November 12, 2017 at 12:03 pm

      Wow. That’s an interesting perspective you got there Igwe and a great experience too. I was wowed reading your comment and hope you eventually use your vast network and experience to the development of the republic. Looking forward to reading more of your insightful comments.

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