Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

Nigeria: Lagos - a City Where You Keep Up or Fall Behind

analysis

You fail to take Nigeria seriously at your peril. The country's economy is tipped to take over from South Africa as the continent's largest in the near future, with its annual growth rate more than three times that of South Africa.

And it's not just the economy growing: today, one African in four is a Nigerian. Nigeria's population has grown by 268% in the last 50 years, to over 166 million today. Lagos, its biggest city, is said to be the seventh fastest-growing metropolis in the world. REBECCA DAVIS tried to wrap her head around it.

When you step out of the doors of Lagos's Murtala Muhammed International Airport, two things strike you straight away. The first is the hair-curling humidity, day or night. The second is the sea of people waiting outside: brandishing signs, yelling, competing to attract visitors' attention. Scams around airport pick-ups are legion, with tales circulating of fraudsters collecting new arrivals with tailor-made name placards and sweeping them off to be robbed blind. The airport's ecosystem is a microcosm of Lagos itself: chaotic, loud, fast-moving and ready to take advantage of those who approach it unaware.

One of Lagos's most prominent chroniclers in recent years has...

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2014 Daily Maverick. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.