Reducing Unbearable Lagos Traffic: Myth or Reality?

Nigerians Suggest Ways to Solve the Problem of Unbearable Lagos Traffic

(Photo credit: Screenshot from CCTV News video)

Lagos, Nigeria’s port and commercial center, is notorious for its chronic traffic congestions and terrible accidents. has asked its readers to suggest what the Lagos State Government could possibly do to ease the tension on the roads.

President Goodluck Jonathan’s aide on New Media, Reno Omokri, is constantly informing Nigerians of Jonathan-led government’s achievements. Rehabilitation of roads across Nigeria is major part of that. Many readers have, too, stressed in their comments that Lagos has visibly changed for the better under current governor Babatunde Fashola. But many things still require attention and improvement. The responses we got look very logical, but will the authorities heed the advice?

The root of the problem, as pointed out by some Naij readers, lies in the overpopulation of Lagos. Indeed, as of 2012, Africa’s fastest-growing mega-city boasted 21 million residents; in two years’ time, this number has likely been surpassed.

As some urged to undertake drastic measures, such as “deporting all non-indigenes back to their home states” or even dividing Lagos, the majority have agreed that a law needs to be introduced to reduce the growing number of private vehicles on the roads (such as banning one family to have more that two cars or taxing owners of luxury cars).

Almost all respondents have emphasized the significance of both repairing the existing roads and extending current road network by constructing new bypasses and flyovers, as well as keeping traffic lights in working condition.

Many have maintained that Lagos needs underground roads, a developed subway and railway system, with some prompting to restore the waterway transport – all of this at a reasonable cost to stimulate residents and guests to use these alternative means of transportation and increase the service life of the roads. Furthermore, some improvements to the school bus services could be introduced.

Nigerians Suggest Ways to Solve the Problem of Unbearable Lagos Traffic

(Photo credit: Screenshot from CCTV News video)

Some readers have assumed that, by restricting movement of commercial vehicles (trucks) to a certain window of time (for instance, from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m.) could help reduce the daily traffic.

To prevent traffic congestions, a number of markets, factories and offices could be relocated – and not only within Lagos, but even other states as weel so as to prompt people to seek employment elsewhere. Roadside traders were mentioned as obstacles to the movement.

To achieve prominent results, road users should be properly educated. For instance, many say that the manner of BRT buses drivers to park denying all traffic rules, and their general rude attitude are very discouraging. They should be banned from stopping to drop and pick passengers on major roads and highways; instead, designated spots to do so should be allocated to these purposes.

Many have noted that the officers with Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) often neglect their duties and collect bribes. Thus, as many trained and “reliable” traffic and police officers as possible should be tasked with watching and regulating situation on Lagos roads, making sure that all traffic participants obey the rules.

All in all, Lagos traffic “chaos” is a problem that needs to be urgently addressed. What is your view on the issue?