A MEGACITY is usually defined as a metropolitan area with a total population in excess of 10 million people. Some definitions also set a minimum level for population density at least 2,000 persons/square kilometre. A megacity can be a single, metropolitan or two or more converging metropolitan areas.
As of 2013, there are 24 megacities in existence according to the Population Reference Bureau. The largest of these are the metropolitan areas of Tokyo, Delhi, Mexico City, New York and Shanghai each of these has a population in excess of 20 million inhabitants. Tokyo is the largest Metropolitan area, while Shanghai is the largest city proper. With successive administration in the state, Lagos has been struggling to keep at least an average figure of its population.
The recent case of deportation of some 'Igbos' from Lagos and the resulting reactions led to various assumptions, in which some considered as witch-hunting, while others saw it as a system cleansing, all in the drive towards ascertaining those who live meaningfully life in the state.
The National Census Tribunal sitting in Abuja, recently, nullified the results of the 2006 National Census in 14 local governments in the state, citing illegal and inaccurate counting as reason. The tribunal ordered a fresh headcount in the constitutionally created local governments, which according to the state government, cut across 40 councils in the state.
Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Adeola Ipaye and Works and Infrastructure counterpart, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, maintained that with the census exercise conducted by the NPC nationwide from March 21 to 27, 2006, and more particularly in the various local government areas of the state, which gave the state a figure of 9,113,605, many informed commentators within and outside the state had considered the figure to be far too low.
"The shadow survey carried out by state officials during the exercise showed that Lagos State should have had a population of at least 17,553,924. A good number of residents from various communities within the state protested and, eventually, had petitions filed on their behalf when the Census Tribunal was established," Ipaye stated.
Governor Babatunde Fashola, also, last Thursday, while flagging off residents registration exercise, being undertaken by Lagos State Residents Agency LASRRA, explained that the exercise would enable the state government to ensure adequate planning structure on where and how to provide required infrastructure for its residents rather than as tax drive as being speculated in some quarters.
He urged residents, especially, parents to ensure that their family members are registered in the ongoing exercise, aimed at creating a central data base to capture the number of residents in the state. In attendance were delegates from Kano State, led by the Special Adviser to the state Governor on House Numbering, Dr. Abdulkadir Umar and other dignitaries.
"Data is the most demanding currency in the world today. It is the basis of information. But in Nigeria, a lot of data is gathered over the years but there are still many gaps in it.
"For instance the number of vehicle owners in the state is known but not all the residents of Lagos own cars. And we also know the number of pupils in the public schools but not all of them attend school and how will the state know the statistics for the state?" Fashola wondered.
He said that these showed that there was a gap required to be filled and there was nothing to fill it, adding that, "at least we target to capture about 21 million residents."
"Today is a watershed in the history of Lagos state. It will enable the state government register and collate the data of the entire residents in the state. And with this, the development that we all seek for will happen, as quality data that will aid planning." Law establishing LASRRA came into effect in 2011 but the agency commenced operation on last June 10 with a pilot exercise.
Eligibility: The exercise is expected to capture everyone who lives in the state irrespective of state of origin, while indigenes of the state that live in other states are not eligible for the registration. Anyone, who lives in the state or is coming to live in the state for over six months, is eligible for registration.
Residents can approach all the centres provided by the agency in the 20 Local Government Areas, LGAs and 37 Local Council Development Areas LCDAs, to register.