Right from its statute as a colony in 1861, the city of Lagos had gone through many stages from a mere town by the lagoon to a city and then a megalopolis. It has served variously as a government seat of power, commercial nerve centre right from the colonial era and an international tourist site.
At independence in 1960, successive governments came up with several development plans for Lagos. General Gowon really did much to give the city the desired and befitting look of a federal capital. The expansion of roads, the building of overhead bridges, pedestrian bridges and state of the art public buildings.
When I knew Lagos in 1988, the population was between 8-10 million people but today its more than 25 million people living there. Though the smallest state in Nigeria, it is the most populated and enterprising. It is ranked the 6th populated in the world.
The city has so much to admire beautiful beaches, cool nightlife, busy working week and a retinue of activities that has characterised the place as a tourist delight.
The mega statute, I believe came into focus some couple of decades ago, when the then governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola administration turned the city around, cleared and decorated or build up some dangerous spots often being annexed by hoodlums and fierce-looking characters.
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The overall beautification of the lawns and tree planting became a norm and constant cleaning of the streets. The transport system which was ever haphazard and erratic with acute hold up of traffic all gave way to a standardised BRT lane arrangement, this to an extent added plumb and decorum to the city life.
The slogan, “Eko Oni baje” meaning, Lagos shall never go bad became a common one. And other governments lived up to this ordeal to give Lagos that mega-city image.
The city of many stars and celebrities and home to thousands of Nollywood movies. With the expansion rate and mammoth population in the city the fear of possible population explosion. Already the ocean surge is a threatening phenomenon each year. More can be done to this great city to continue to create the atmosphere of welcoming all to the centre of excellence.
Indeed, Lagos no go spoil! This is our prayers!!!