Is Lagos overhyped? Are the traffic stories you hear about Lagos true or cock and bull? Is living in Lagos more expensive than living in Abuja? Making plans to relocate to Lagos, a good or terrible idea?
Keep reading to find answers to these questions and more.
Lagos is a bubbling city characterized by hustling and bustling. More like a survival of the fittest kind of city. In Lagos it’s a popular warning to shine your eyes else get left behind in different ways so before packing your bags and moving in, there are certain things you should know and certain questions you should ask.
The toughest problem with living in Lagos.
I moved into Lagos during the 2020 covid pandemic lock down hence it took a while before I experienced real Lagos traffic “wahala” . The stories you hear from time to time about people spending hours on the road due to traffic congestion is not cooked up, well some are over exaggerated but i can say for a fact that most are true. Being stuck in Lagos traffic on a bad day is frustrating enough, being stuck in Lagos traffic in an uber is even worse and not an experience I wish on anyone, not even on my enemy because it could get really messy.
I like to think that one of the toughest, if not the toughest problems of living in Lagos is the traffic congestion, stepping out and coming back is like a struggle in Lagos because of how rowdy the road gets during the day and sometimes even at night. If you are an impatient person or someone who gets sick from staying on the road for too long, then Lagos is not the place for you. Do not move in here, not the mainland, not the Island, not Lagos.
HANGING OUT IN LAGOS? WHAT TO EXPECT
Heard your friends talk about the nice hangout spots in Lagos and seen thousands of pictures hence cannot wait to be in Lagos for a mini tour? Sadly I’m sorry to pierce a pin right through your balloon because it’s all hype and remember that 2020 got murdered in cold blood because the hype choked it to death (make sure to say this line in pidgin like a true Nigerian and if you don’t know how to, make sure to ask your neighbour).
This is what you should expect from hangout spots. The Island in Lagos is beautiful to chill at when it’s dark no doubt, surrounded by chilled water or cruising in a boat with friends and listening to great background music while having chats. The beaches in Lagos are beautiful too as well as some leisure parks like Lufasi nature park and the Lekki conservation centre. The art exhibition locations like the Nike Art gallery and the Lekki arts and crafts market are also a site behold.
Click on link to uncover the hidden treasure in the Lekki arts and crafts market, Lagos Nigeria
If you do not know how to cook in Lagos and love to “Jaiye” too Lagos will help you return back to the village quickly. The high brow restaurants in Lagos are too expensive and ready to milk you dry because how should a plate of white rice and stew decorated with basic vegetables be sold at the outrageous amount it gets sold at?
Aside restaurants, relaxation spots in Lagos charge too much too. I said that because how else do you explain having to pay the sum of five thousand, in Naira for a horse ride to and fro or imagine having to pay unreasonable amounts for permission to use a camera in a fancy restaurant. In a nutshell, hanging out on the Island in Lagos is expensive and not flexible because aside the water and expensive restaurants that pay too much attention to aesthetic, there’s not enough exploring to do here.
I cannot say about what to expect from hangout spots on the mainland since I haven’t been on any outing on the mainland.
Is Lagos a good market centre?
Lagos is a good market centre. With the right business idea, adequate financing and dedicated team, you are sure to make the most out of your business here in Lagos. There is a popular saying that people come into Lagos, make money and relocate to Abuja to enjoy their wealth since living in Abuja is not as stressful as living in Lagos, as expensive? probably yes or even more in some aspects. I have never lived in Abuja so I honestly cannot say much on this aspect. However, as for Lagos being a good city to make money, I completely agree. Remember when the popular Nigerian musician, Zlatan Ibile sang “them go talk say money no dey Lagos” it is because he could figuratively see the amount of money smelling in every corner of Lagos. Making money in Lagos is like crude oil, as long as you drill into the right spot, the oil (money in this case) will ooze out in quick successions.
For creatives like bloggers, youtubers, photographers, cinematographers and others, Lagos provides the most opportunity and connections. Lagos is well grounded in the creative and entertainment aspect in general compared to other parts of Nigeria. Although in recent times, places like Abuja have began to pick up in the creative aspects since they can boast of better locations and flexibility because Abuja is less congested compared to Lagos. Hence, as someone who hates congestion and loves to think outside the box, I believe that connections and opportunities can be found anywhere. It all depends on using what is available to get what is desired.
Irrespective of the opportunities stated above, Lagos is too congested thereby having the tendency to stress out a growing or start-up business so I would advice that you try out your business idea somewhere else, in a place where the business is new because as long as it is a good one (provides solution or satisfaction) you’ll definitely make money out of it. The profits and returns will roll in regardless, even if a little slow but surely.
The best place to Live in Lagos, On the Island or the Mainland?
The advantages and disadvantages with living in certain places in Lagos overlap one another because for instance, the Island is considered safer, more serene too and considered the market for ‘new generation/trending business’ . Sadly, the cost of living on the Island is double if not triple compared to living on the mainland. From house rent to transportation and to food/food items.
However, these factors are not even the worst. The water issue on the Island in Lagos is an eyesore, those videos you see on the internet do not even do enough justice. Sometimes before I turn my tap open, I say a silent prayer hoping for the best, alas most times I’m greeted with brownish, particles filled liquid. Tried the water treatment process twice, which cost a lot of money by the way but none worked. Although, I have heard about treatments that actually worked but that must have cost a whole lot, like a whole lot lot lot and the question is, Why should you have to pay that much to get clean water from the ground?
The mainland in Lagos on the other hand can at least boast of clean water to an extent and house rents are less expensive but the cons there is that, it is not considered as safe as living on the Island. Also, electricity/power supply is better on the Island compared to the mainland. Statistics show that living condition in general, Is better on the Island than on the mainland in Lagos. Traffic congestion is reportedly worse on the mainland too, although I can’t say for a fact since I have never lived on the mainland.
Weighing all the available options could get confusing when trying to choose the part of Lagos to live in. But since one man’s food is another man’s poison, make sure to make the most favourable decision for yourself and not because of others or to ‘feel among’ as with some people living above their means on the Island in Lagos today.
- In conclusion, Lagos is already congested, We are looking for how to throw some people out (pun intended). I hope I have been able to convince and not confuse you that Lagos is not for everyone. Please don’t move in if you cannot cope, move somewhere else and know peace.
- Also, when trying to find the best city to live in Nigeria remember to go where your head tells you to. There’s no one size fits all in this situation.
- Lagos is a real struggle. If you can survive in Lagos and still flourish then you can make it anywhere in the world, although not a fact (laughing).
Please leave a comment below if or not you agree with all my observations and what else you would love for me to highlight and discuss in future. * All photographs are personal pictures taken with my iPhone. If you intend to use any, please remember to give credit*