Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Nigeria's Future

How do you see Nigeria developing in the next ten years (a) with and (b) without solutions to urban challenges? What kinds of solutions should be explored?


  1. Thinking more specifically about Lagos in Nigeria, we are given an idea of how it may develop in the next 10 years through its expected growth.

    It is thought to be the second fastest growing city in Africa. Rapid population growth requires future planning now to ensure the city can sustain the future numbers of people. With any city, if it grows at a rate that authorities and government cannot keep up with, a huge gap emerges amongst the people and their quality of living. As I think about this I keep being reminded of the development of Mexico City (the third most populous city in the world). This city experienced and still does experience enormous growth on a daily basis which has resulted in the creation of suburbs of slums around the peripheries of the city and are now encroaching on the surrounding lands outside of the city.
    Mexico city is an example of what the development in Lagos COULD look like in the next 10 years if the officials are not able to create plans that are able to address the urban challenge of rapid population growth.

    If effective measures are put in place, the development of Nigeria could take on another form and become a mega city of the world by 2050 rather than just one of higher populations.
    Such measures to shape the development of Nigeria but more specifically Lagos are:
    - Affordable housing; this will encourage migrants to the city to invest in housing rather than the emergence of slum suburbs.
    - Sufficient public transport systems that have greater importance placed on them rather than a priority of catering to the private vehicle.
    - Infrastructure installed throughout the city to withstand the increasing volumes of people. For example greater amounts of water pipes to ensure access to clean water and more extensive sewage networks to ensure a clean city scape.

    It must be noted that the extra works that will be carried out to ensure Lagos develops in a sustainable and healthy manner, will naturally create employment for the existing population but also those who are moving into the City.

    Below is a link of an article that is quite interesting in regard to the changing nature of cities around the world and the shift of populations throughout history.

  2. Sorry forgot to put my ID in,
    Claire MacDowel 1146802

  3. Following on from what Claire MacDowel said...I also agree that the biggest issue facing Nigeria and Lagos is population growth.
    Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and experiencing rapid population growth. Nigeria has grown in population from 33 million in 1950 to 150 million in 2008.

    I personally think the Nigerian government needs to look at passive measure to reduce the fertility and immigration rate of the country to avoid unsustainable over-population. But I don’t think extreme measures such as China's one child policy are reasonable. A combination of migration restriction and family planning education could be solutions, but obviously easier said than done! Reducing population growth will have other positive flow on effects such as:

    *reducing overcrowding and housing shortages
    *reducing traffic
    *allow government to keep pace with urban growth
    *reduced environmental impact of population growth

    To conclude I don’t think the resources and land of Nigeria can physically support the growing population, if growth is not curbed limited resources will be stretched amongst an exploding population

    Andrew Moore 1197247

  4. As previously mentioned, population growth is the single issue that several other serious issues stems from, such as traffic congestion, inadequate infrastructure provisions, overcrowding, poverty etc.

    Therefore, to address the issue of managing population growth, Nigeria’s government must look at ways to manage birth rates and migration – the two main contributors to population growth. In particular, the population issues in Lagos are of serious concern. Appropriate solutions to adapt to the present conditions must also be explored.

    Possible solutions to positively direct the development of Nigeria could include:
    - Strategic land use planning (eg. location of city centres) to focus development in areas where they may like to direct population growth.
    - Providing appealing opportunities in cities that are more capable of supporting population growth.

    It is difficult to find a solution to ethically and practically limit population growth, but I agree that passive measure should be taken. A measure that has been taken is providing family planning services. I found this article that analyses the attitude of Nigerians towards family planning interesting -http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/2508699.pdf

    If Nigeria does respond to urban challenges with effective solutions, there will be an improvement in the quality of life for people in Nigeria including additional environmental benefits.

    If Nigeria does not find effective solutions, cities that are currently struggling the most could potentially have issues spiral out of control beyond repair.

    Hsin-Hua Hsiao
    hhsi021 1144014

  5. As my class mates have already pointed out, population growth is the major issue that Nigeria faces over the next 10 years. There is no doubt that it will be.

    Significant issues that come hand in hand with growth is the increased formation of slums, so the point of making affordable housing is essential. One solution to manage the growth that Nigeria will be facing is in total agreement with Andrew. Controlling growth at the source is essential. This must be done where it does not effect the economic growth of a city.

    This report outlines very comprehensively the three stages that countries go through as they develop http://www.uni.edu/~drbill/professional/teaching/notes/population.pdf. I fear that Nigeria can be categorised as stage 2 where the birth rate is much higher than the death rate so the growth is alarming fast.
    As stated the key to moving onto stage 3 where the population evens out and stops increasing at such a large rate is education and increased standard of living. Actually implementing these strategies is another question altogether

    Hannah Good
    ID: 1229712

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. (b) Nigeria without urban solutions:

    Without solutions to the urban challenges in Nigeria vast migration to Lagos State is likely to continue. Being the primary trade area for Nigeria, Lagos has acted as an anchor for many Nigerians wanting to improve their quality of life. Unfortunately Lagos has become hugely over populated and this area faces the huge urban challenges associated with over population such as a severe lack of housing, basic infrastructure and traffic congestion. To add to this Lagos has outstanding flooding issues. As a result in the next 10 years development and funding is likely to be focused in Lagos but will never be able to ‘keep up’ with the migratory trend and related over population issues.

    (a) Nigeria with urban solutions and possible solutions:

    Nigeria with innovative urban solutions could be a completely different place in the next ten years. UNLIKE MY CLASSMATES I believe solutions should be focused around empowering rural communities and towns. Resources should be used to facilitate growth in these small existing urban centres so that Nigerians do not feel the need to move to the already over populated Lagos State which is already above a safe carrying capacity. I know many large organisations such as the United Nations and other large aid agencies tend to focus on helping small communities sustain themselves and macroeconomics.

    Here’s a UN document which explains some macroeconomic and ‘stimulating small-scale business’ developments in Nigeria. I found this useful in supporting my arguement.


    Georgia Stillwell
    gsti009 4910474

  8. I agree with what you are saying Georgia, about shifting the focus to the rural, smaller communities and creating an environment that encourages them to stay in these areas rather than shifting to the big city- however, in these areas there is the typical belief that the grass is greener on the other side (in the City).

    Perceptions such as this are hard to address since they are so deeply embedded in their thoughts HOWEVER, this would probably be no harder than trying to get people to reduce the amount of children they have since that is also a huge part of their lives.

    It is all very easy to say we can change this through passive measures such as education... but for years they have been trying this in African villages in seeking to address the overpowering birth rate yet women still have more children than we do here in western society.

    Their entire culture and way of life is so completely different to what we know... can education really change their perceptions and attitudes in the next ten years to curb the growth of the whole country or Lagos?

    Claire MacDowel

  9. I would have to agree with most of what has been said on this topic, how population growth is managed or checked in the following ten years will most likely make all the difference to quality of life and living conditions for the people of Nigeria.

    According to the Journal of sustainable development in Africa (volume 12, no.1, 2010), Nigerian Cities at this time already have high rates of environmental degradation and their urban areas have some of the lowest levels of liveability in the world. I think that without adequate urban planning Nigerian Cities will be unable to develop sustainably over the next ten years, and associated effects of rapid unplanned urbanization such as environmental degradation, or negative impacts on human health will become widespread and of such great scale that it will be very difficult to resolve them. Already around 50 percent of the Nigerian population resides in cities, without real planning solutions to this rising urban challenge there will be an uncontrollable increase in:

    -The development of slums, ghettos or ‘shanty towns’ where levels of criminal activity are often high, along with pollution, which leads to the spread of disease.

    - Uncontrollable urban sprawl, which leads to the depletion of green space, open areas, and natural resources. Such sprawl also makes travel or navigation of cities difficult, time consuming, and costly.

    - Vulnerability to natural disaster may be increased for portions of the population when city development happens unchecked or without due consideration. Districts of a city may be built upon areas vulnerable to flooding, and the increase of impermeable surfaces associated with urban development may even exacerbate seasonal flooding to the level of natural disasters.

    In order to avoid the prevalence of such problems across the country there needs to be an investment in real solutions through not just planning methods (such as the formation of ‘master plan’ city planning documents, and infrastructure regulating bodies), but also through the use of economic, legal and educational tools.

    The article referenced can be found here and I suggest any interested parties check it out for an interesting and illuminating read. - http://www.jsd-africa.com/Jsda/V12NO1_Spring2010_A/PDF/Urban%20Environmental%20Problems%20in%20Nigeria%20Daramola%20(Ibem).pdf

    Adam Tung 4928850

  10. I think Nigeria will continue to experience rapid urbanisation especially in Lagos with or without solutions. This means Nigeria will experience various degrees of development, with urban areas growing in population and rural areas declining in population.

    With proper policies and practical support on the ground Nigeria’s development could:
    • Occur in a more targeted and logical manner
    • Living standards for the general population will increase as more people will have access to basic services and infrastructure
    • Urban growth may be more spread across Nigeria

    Without proper policies and practical support on the ground Nigeria’s development could:
    • Degrade the natural environment
    • Cause infrastructure failure due to demand and overall decrease the living standards of everyone.

    Solutions that could be explored:
    • Providing rural people with opportunities in their current location.
    • Educating the rural sector.
    • Create more ‘pull’ factors in other major Nigeria cities.

    Rhezza Layco

  11. How do you see Nigeria developing in the next ten years (a) with and (b) without solutions to urban challenges? What kinds of solutions should be explored?

    From the lecture material it is known that Nigeria is expecting rapid population growth in the next 10 years. With appropriate solutions to urban growth Nigeria ultimately could become a thriving country (with emphasis placed on Lagos), especially in terms of economic growth, and reducing inequalities present at the current time. Without appropriate solutions developed, the disparity recognised in the country will inevitably increase, as well as all the other social and economic problems becoming compounded with this increasing population growth expected.

    The kinds of solutions that should be explored in my personal opinion include:
    - sustainable solutions
    - building on the strengths of the country
    - increasing international investment
    - developing education opportunities
    - increasing public healthcare

    From my personal perspective, the single most important solution would be gaining experience and expertise from other countries, who have been in similar situations, of mass population and the issues experienced. These countries could include China and India, and others similar. These countries have often developed appropriate responses to wide scale population growth, and to the issues associated with this occurrence. The development of green or environmentally responsive responses is a must in terms of future developments within Nigeria.

    Kelly Parekowhai

  12. As discussed in class, Nigeria, in particular the city of Lagos, is the most populous city in Africa. Lagos City is considered to be the most developed city in Nigeria and is the trade centre of west Africa. Being the trade centre and the most developed city in the country, it is certain that more people would want to move to Lagos in the next ten years. However, these would result in overcrowding of the city, which would put pressure on the housing, infrastructure, traffic congestion, environmental and health issues and crime insecurity of Nigeria.
    Solutions to urban challenges over the next ten years are essential in order to improve the economic, social, environmental, cultural and even political development of Nigeria. Urban solutions include:
    • Improving physical infrastructure, including roading to ease traffic congestion. In addition, increasing the capacity of stormwater pipes could reduce the number of flooding incidents.
    • Housing, in terms of quality, quantity and affordability should be explored. The provision of state housing developments could be considered beneficial for Nigeria’s development over the next ten years.
    • Educating the public on environmental and health issues would be an advantage. In particular, advocating for sustainable development for Nigeria is significant in ensuring that urban challenges to increasing population could be adapted to and mitigated over the next ten years.

    Pamela Santos

  13. I believe that urbanisation is a trend that cannot be prevented in Nigeria. It had been proven time and time again in history: PEOPLE MOVE TO CITIES BECAUSE THERE ARE MORE OPPOTUNITIES. Why should planners plan against the trend? Yes, Lagos - or indeed any major city in developing/underdeveloped countries - suffers from problems associated with overcrowding and lack of infrastructure, but is it any easier to provide adequate infrastructure in the rural areas?

    It is easy for planners sitting in their offices to say that we should empower rural communities, but with already limited funds and resources, wouldn’t it be better to try to concentrate on improving the economic base of the country, i.e. the big cities?

    It is a pity that people will have to suffer from overcrowding and lack of infrastructure, but it is a phase all countries have to go through. All the industrialised countries went through this phase, didn’t they? And what efforts did the UK government make to prevent people from crowding into Manchester and Newcastle in the 19th century?

    Just as the Western society is trying to tackle the issue of urban sprawl, putting in metropolitan urban limits etc. after realising the costs associated with providing infrastructure over large areas, who are we to say that a country like Nigeria should do the opposite?

    So my opinion would be, to the best of their abilities, continue to improve the infrastructural provisions for the big cities even though it may not be able to keep up with the on growing demand. At the moment there is a 50/50 split between urban/rural populations. I believe by the time the distribution is around 85% urban and 15% rural, we will not be talking about empowering rural communities anymore, rather finding ways of tacking urban sprawl and urban regeneration.

    Sorry for the long entry

    Yiqiang (Daniel) Shao

  14. Daniel,

    Do you not think that vast amounts of funding has already been allocated to the large cities to cope with infrastructure and such problems in the past? Has it not only resulted in more over crowding and exacerbated the problems associated with it?

    Sure people believe there are more opportunities in the cities but is it not a good idea to allow for the creation of these opportunities outside of urban areas? Should planning not try to facilitate these opportunities?

    Georgia Stillwell
    gsti009 4910474

  15. What is meant by creating opportunities outside of urban areas? Is it to create new satellite towns to accommodate growth, e.g. Milton Keynes; or is it to improve the lives of rural farmers, so that staying on the paddocks to farm is more desirable than to move into the cities?

    Of course it is a great idea to create opportunities for people outside of the urban area. But everything has an opportunity cost. Investments spread out over lesser populated rural areas may not bring about the same return as if the money was spend in the urban area.

    Yiqiang (Daniel) Shao


  16. To me, Lagos is a great example of where Westernised planning traditions and systems are attempted to be adopted by a city that is so vastly different from any Western city which ends up causing a bigger mess than what was there previously.  The pictures in the lecture were rather startling. Traffic congestion at that level is virtually unsolvable, expecially given the inability of most the population to do without a private vehicle for whatever reason.  The classmates above have been quick to point out that the easy solutions for Lagos’ problems is to cure traffic congestion and to provide affordable housing.  These two uses are land-intensive and are already competing for space in a sprawling city.  Where is the money for this expected to come from? And how on earth can you provide that much housing for people?  One of the reasons slums develop is because the population is just too great for the housing sector to provide for, and urban planning isn’t likely to be able to help that.  To be honest my four years of study has not prepared me to deal with, or even comprehend, any problems at this scale.  Our thoughts and practices are just incapable of solving them.

    I don’t have any ideas on how Lagos would turn out with or without urban planning solutions, but one thing that I am sure of is the knowledge needed to combat these issues does not exist yet.  The Mega-City project that has been instigated in Lagos looks interesting, kind of like a grand manifestation of planning ideals for a utopian city, much like Brasilia was meant to be and look how that has turned out (I recommend you all to look at this city).  And just look at how clear the streets are in those photos. Could it be that people are not able to afford to live there?  I think Georgia’s ideas on focussing on rural communities to stop the flows of migrants is interesting and feasible.  However the pull of the city is just too great for most people, for no other booming city has been able to slow their growth through intervention alone.


    Anthony Blomfield



  17. Without solutions to urban challenges, Nigeria will continue to experience rapid increases in growth and urbanization. This will place enormous pressure on infrastructure to treat sewage, traffic congestion, crime and all other social and environmental problems associated with overcrowding and urbanization over the next 10 years if nothing is done to deal with this situation now.
    However, if solutions are explored to deal with the issues Nigeria is facing, the future of Nigeria could see greater security. This is important in maintaining social stability and environmental stability. Due to the fact that Nigeria is experiencing rapid urbanization and growth pressures, the problems it is facing center around environmental and health issues, crime and insecurity, housing quantity and quality and traffic congestion. Solutions need to be explored to solve these types of issues.

  18. Nigeria as most countries has both an urban and rural population. The vastness of the country and the difference between the Muslim North and predominantly Christian south will continue to contribute to development trends over the next 10 years, regardless of planning intervention.

    With or without this intervention, it is likely that the population will continue to urbanise following well documented trends of developed and still developing countries.

    If this trend is left unchecked and uncontrolled, it is likely that the problems already identified with urban Nigeria (over population, lack of infrastructure, health and environment issues, crime and a lack of housing) will grow and become more of an issue as more people continue to pour into the main cities through want of a better life (who wouldn't). These cities may continue to function, but it would definitely be unsustainable, as resources and infrastructure are already at capacity.

    A solution to these problems will be hard to come by, it will involve a lot of money, time and co-operation from locals. As pointed out by many, reducing the influx of people seems the sensible option, which essentially means restricting people's movement in their own country, a solution that doesn't strike me as fair. incentives and development could be attempted in rural Nigeria to convince people to stay. I personally think it will be an upstream swim against the proven trend of urbanisation.

    If this is unrealistic, it would appear that focussing on improving infrastructure and accommodation should be a priority, this may eventually allow a more useable transport system and hopefully keep slum development to a minimum.
    It is clear that Nigeria's cities in the south will continue to grow at a rapid rate, while the lecture suggested that those in the North are less likely to change as rapidly.

    Samuel Foster 1231978

  19. Steven Sanson - ssan075 1264497

    In the next ten years without solutions to various problems i envisage Nigeria as a populous and urban mess. However, with solutions, preferably through legislation, the problems that Nigeria may face such as increased population growth and urbanisation and the subsequent problems of housing, traffic, environmental health, and human health issues, i think that in the next ten years Nigeria may mitigated some of the effects of such problems.
    I am of the opinion that in this case, because of Nigerias vastness and contrasting cultures in both the north and south that legislation, especially that pertaining to the problems mentioned need to be created and implemented so that the processes in lower level agencies have direction for facing the future and its associated problems. This, in the next ten years, can help to reduce problems over time, rather then relying on quick fix measures that are expensive and potentially unreliable

  20. Nigeria, more specifically Lagos has the largest urban population centre in Nigeria is faced with many issues that arise from rapid urbanisation.
    With a solution:
    Lagos has the potential to become a mega-city that reacts to urban challenges through a strategic and legislative framework which is cohesive to the overall vision of a successful urban environment. To see substantial changes in Lagos will take longer than 10 years due to the process in which urban regeneration is achieved. The commitment Lagos government is making to the city is one of long term planning, which requires the establishment of basic infrastructure and health provisions as the fundamentals to creating a megacity of the future.
    Without a solution:
    Population increase and migration to Lagos is likely to continue without the implementation of a number of policies and plans which help to mitigate and avoid the movement of people into Lagos. Without solutions the issues will keep increasing and at some point solutions will have to be deployed. But at what points does it get critical?
    As many of my class mates have pointed out there are a number of solutions which can be implemented to aid Lagos’s growth. These can range from providing rural areas with education and employment opportunities to lessen the rural migration into Lagos, to implementing policies around fertility rates whilst providing necessary infrastructure and health provisions as the fundamental basis of development.
    This document gives an overview of Nigeria and in particular Lagos infrastructure and services and this issues of implementation, which is interesting to read.

    Charlotte Belsham 1195495

  21. Without effective solution to the urban change, in the next ten years, Nigeria will face a series of significant issues. Among all, the one that adversely affect the urban environment most is the rapid population growth. The growth of population will concentrated in the south of this nation, with emphasises on Lagos and Abuja. This will put these two cities under huge pressure; existing issues such as housing problem, environment and health issues, traffic congestion and crime and insecurity will be intensified. Urbanisation process is not only promote the boom and development of Nigeria, it also has some dark sides: increasing gap between rich and poor, environment degradation, overcrowding, damage to the heritage, etc. In order to positively face to the urban challenge, Nigerian government should not only focus on the appearing problems, but exploring the causes of them, to eliminate these issues from the roots. Also, the Government needs to listen to and to understand what the people really want for their future, especially people who are struggling from the bottom of the society, who are living in the slums with poor infrastructure and facility services. After all, this disadvantageous group takes a large proportion of the whole population.

    Yiwei Zou

  22. Without a doubt, Nigeria is facing huge problems, now and is likely to continue to in the future unless drastic action is taken. Water shortages, limited resources and infrastructure and extreme traffic congestion are just a few problems plaguing the country and its main cities such as Lagos. Without solutions to the problem these issues are just going to continue to escalate and cause huge destruction and suffering for those living there. I think a lot of the problem comes from the political climate in Nigeria, who has been in power in the past and who is now in power are not making good decisions. We know this from the lecture when Eziaku told us that in 1980 – the Master Plan (for Lagos), initiated by the UN was a casualty of the military regime. I think if drastic change is to happen to get the urban problems in Nigeria fixed then this needs to come first from a stable government, which can in turn influence other organisations and people to come together and form solutions.

    One important solution will be developing a comprehensive and effective master plan for the main cities as they experience huge amounts of growth. This needs to focus on good public participation and partnerships with organisations in the country to ensure that the best plans are written to benefit Nigeria in the future. In the past planning has fallen short as seen in Abuja, where even though it was planned by the government, it has had such huge population growth that it cannot cope. Future cities need to be more organised in planning for more people.

  23. Personally I tend to agree with Anthony, Nigeria and Lagos are a disturbing example of colonisation and the global trend of assuming west is best. Today, we recognise that imposing a foreign system upon an area without understanding the context is fated to fail.

    Anyway, I am of the belief that little can be done over the next 10 years to respond to the issues that have arisen. In a place of the scale of Lagos with the bulk of population, with such a vast scale of inequality I can't see how any action would be effective. It may sound cynical but as far as I see, the rich will only get richer, the poor poorer. The consequence of this would be areas within the city that are of high standard and quality and then those which remain slums. I would also anticipate that as oil supplies dwindle and fall, investment will fall and we will see a regression similar in part to what has been experienced in Zimbabwe.

    Sid Scull

  24. The development of Nigeria over the next 10 years.
    (a) With solutions to urban challenges
    With solutions in place to address and tackle the greatest challenge of population growth existing in Nigeria, development over the next 10 years can be imagined as more organised and functional. Given that flooding is a major issue, it would be highly beneficial to invest efforts identifying the most flood prone areas and restricting development at a spatial level accordingly.
    Affordable housing options should also be explored to house the growing population and avoid the development of slums that will give rise to issues as identified in (b) below.
    I also support Penny’s suggestion in the development of an updated masterplan for Nigeria to outline responses and action areas for specific issues that exist in Nigeria to insert organisation, management and functionality to the nation.

    (b)Without solutions to urban challenges
    Issues arising in public health and sanitation with population growth causing overcrowding with the insufficient capacity or planning responses to cope with such issues.
    Shelter will also be under pressure due to increasing demand with population growth. Population numbers outgrowing housing supply will also make affordable housing increasingly scarce and magnify disparities amongst groups. Like my classmates have mentioned, this is most likely to accelerate slum development and cause whole range of social issues to develop E.g crime and corruption in the cities. This also causes the synergistic effects of environmental degradation, increasing pressure on infrastructure such as sewerage and road networks and sourcing adequate funding to address and rectify such issues.
    Considering that flooding is a major issue in the Lagos State, the careful selection for where development will take place is crucial. Continuing to develop settlements in flood prone areas will place people in a state of vulnerability during and after natural events as they have less access to resources assisting in their recovery.

    Mary Wong ID# 4920891

  25. As earlier established, Nigeria, like most countries is facing population growth which is expected to only worsen. Given the current planning context of Lagos, any attempts other than to manage this growth seems futile. Adaptability is vital in order to tackle urban challenges such as exponential population growth, a vulnerable economy and unstable government system, therefore both social and physical infrastructural upgrades are crucial.

    Nigeria will need to consider the spatial and physical planning of the city of Lagos through the implementation of something like a master plan in order to accommodate an influx of people and facilitate more efficient transportation. Issues such as affordable housing and key growth centres can be targeted and dealt with. It is also important to think about how the power of local government can be used to support and influence this ground plan and the successful implementation of it. But first, corruption, which is often at the heart of the regime needs to be tackled. If this is not addressed, disparities between different social groups will only widen and proliferate tensions, not to mention funding opportunities will be threatened. Family planning along with stricter and more transparent immigration laws need to be provided for as this is where the heart of the problem lies. Physical infrastructure in waste management and ensuring that slums are not proliferated is crucial meaning that community development will need to be a strong focus. And as many of my classmates have already identified the synergistic flow on effects such as heritage and environmental degradation need to be accounted for as well.

    Like Georgia, I agree with the fact that rural communities should be included as a solution to the problem. By designing self sustained towns outside of the city centre, this can help to stabilize the population growth and offset it a fraction in the city centres, creating less stress in the city centres and even upskill locals through an improvement of living standards. In saying that, it is still important to manage the urban challenges within city centres as population influx into these areas are inevitable.

    Audrey Songan (4966080)

  26. I think the biggest issue Nigeria is facing is poverty. Population growth and rural to urban migration are interrelated issues that compound the difficult reality many people in Nigeria face. Rural people in poverty are attracted to the higher wages to be earned in cities.

    a) With solutions to urban challenges:

    Options for existing urbanized areas:
    The latent potential of the people who have already migrated to cities needs to be harnessed by fostering grassroots initiatives. Sustainable options for transforming existing slum communities with greater resilience and self-reliance need to be explored. Solutions that have worked elsewhere include: community-based schemes for growing food (hydroponics and community gardens), and international funding for equipment for micro-generation of power and sewerage treatment.

    The bigger picture:
    Nigeria needs a stable government with fair and just political involvement. All levels of government need to foster participation. Stable governments will help provide continuity for planning initiatives.

    There is the need for an agile planning system able to nimbly respond to changing circumstances of rapid urbanisation. It seems with corruption issues there must be high levels of accountability, but low control to ensure decentralized and delegated authority to get things done.

    There is a need for greater integrated land and transport planning. Housing, employment and transport need to be provided for in a master plan. Based on catchments, ecological issues such as flooding will be taken into consideration in the allocation of land. This will ensure a just and equitable city where the poor are not marginalised on marginal land.

    Nigeria needs to further develop the sustainability of rural lifestyles while continuing to improve the quality of life in Lagos and other cities. RE: Georgia and Daniel: I think it is a both-and situation. Foreign investment needs to regulated to benefit projects that sustainably develop not only Lagos, but other areas of Nigeria.

    b) Without solutions to urban challenges:
    More: poverty and inequality in urban and rural areas, civil unrest, corruption, housing and health issues, congestion and transport issues, decreased quality of life, increased religious/ethnic tensions, crime, vulnerability to flooding and other adverse environmental events.

  27. Anthony stated:
    ‘To be honest my four years of study has not prepared me to deal with, or even comprehend, any problems at this scale. Our thoughts and practices are just incapable of solving them.’
    It pains me that only in our third year of this degree we are lightly brushing over urban issues in developing nations. Currently 1 billion people live in slums. This is predicted to increase to 2 billion by 2030. Training in Western planning pedagogy is not always applicable to these urgent urban problems in developing nations.

    There is a need for collaboration between different disciplines to gain the whole picture in tackling these complex issues. I agree with Anthony’s sentiment that town planning is unlikely to solve them alone. Economists, engineers, ecologists, sociologists, community development workers, investors, and so on are also needed. However I do believe planners have an important role to play in being able to see the connections between these various disciplines in solving urban issues.

  28. Sorry I forgot to add my name and ID to the last two posts:

    Melanie Cripps

  29. I found this article about Lagos interesting: Making Over Lagos. Time Magazine. By Alex Perry, Thursday, May 26, 2011.

    New Hope for Nigeria.
    Time Magazine. By Alex Perry / Abuja, Monday, April 25, 2011.

    Melanie Cripps

  30. Yasmin Tapiheroe (ytap002)
    ID: 1247099

    The issues facing Nigeria reminded me a lot with the similar issues facing Indonesia, where I am from. Although I agree with most of the comments posted here, that the biggest issue facing Nigeria and Lagos is population growth, I also believe that POLITICAL CORRUPTION is another major problem that needs to be addressed. Corruption in urban governance and planning poses a huge barrier in implementing strategic actions and solutions in many developing countries, including Nigeria and Indonesia. Corruption takes away public funds and taxes that are supposed to go back to the society by providing them adequate services and infrastructures. Without effective governance and planning at the top of the government hierarchy, there won’t be much effective planning implementations when practicing a top-down approach. The kinds of solutions to address this political corruption can be:

    • Empower democracy and restructuring the political system to avoid too much power vests in one person or a few, as this will result in corruption flourishing
    • Strong legislations must be implemented consistently to ensure effective practices
    • Ensuring decision making to be inclusive and participatory by encouraging public participation and partnership

    Once the political corruption is ended or diminishing from the system, then we can focus on the real planning problems facing the society in Nigeria, which have mostly been discussed in the previous comments. Inadequate housing and infrastructures, traffic congestion, poverty, and environmental problems can be addressed with solutions such as:

    • Empowering small rural communities to flourish in order to move away from migrating into the already crowded urban centres
    • Transit-oriented development in order to encourage the use of public transport
    • Provide basic services and infrastructures to all residential areas, including the slums

  31. Without solutions to urban challenges, the people of Nigeria will become more disadvantaged and deprived. Currently there are issues of crime, a lack of housing and infrastructure is at a poor standard that cannot withstand the current population. With population growth inevitable in places such as Lagos City, effective responses must be undertaken by the Government. Solutions could include urban growth being spread across other areas of Nigeria, providing at least basic infrastructure within all towns, empowering rural communities and increasing family planning education. Essentially, these solutions will help to maintain population growth however there is still much to be done in Nigeria to improve the quality of life of its people.

    Shilpa Maharaj #1271697

  32. Nigeria is suffering the same issue that has been seen across the globe, the mass migration of people from rural areas to urban centres. The establishment of the new capital Abuja has obviously been an attempt to steer growth from Lagos, but has done nothing to slow growth in Lagos and has itself been overwhelmed by population growth.

    If Nigeria was to do nothing to try solve its urban challenges then social disparity will continue and increase in cities, resulting in problems in all aspects of urban life. While population and problems will increase in the city, there will also be problems in rural areas as the population declines, especially from younger people leaving for job opportunities in the larger cities.

    Nigeria’s cities, especially Lagos, are facing countless problems associated with rapid population increase as well as having to deal with extreme flooding events. Within the next ten years Nigeria needs to have democratic stability, without corruption, for government to be able to help create a better future. There needs to be a balance between investing and improving in infrastructure in urban areas, as well as investment into rural areas to help improve the rural standard of living and economy. New sustainable technology should be explored in Nigeria that could help both rural and urban communities to become self sufficient, if new urban developments set up without needing to be connected to major infrastructure networks then it will relieve pressure on government authorities and quickly improve peoples way of life.

    Rereata Hardman-Miller

  33. The main challenge for Nigeria will be population increase. With that comes urbanisation which creates problems such as traffic congestion, increase of slum areas, poverty, overcrowding, strain on infrastructure, housing and public health. Currently, the city of Lagos is already facing these issues. If the population continues to rise, and no adequate solutions are done, then the conditions in Nigeria will only worsen.

    The solution that Nigeria can do may be:
    - improve public transport, infrastructure, and education and healthcare facilities.
    - regeneration of rural areas. If rural areas are improved, there would be less people who will move to urban areas lessening the strain of overcrowding and slums.
    - develop a planning framework and develop a more honest government. Corruption is a problem of many developing countries like Yasmin already stated. For Nigeria to develop successfully, the Government should act responsibly and efficiently for its people.

    With solutions like improving and revitalising rural towns and managing resources within rural areas, Nigeria may prevent massive issues with population growth in the urban areas. If regeneration occurs in rural towns then there will be less internal migration as people will not find the need to move to urban areas. The focus of development and planning should not be done in the urban areas only. Improving facilities and services of rural areas will be beneficial for the future too to prevent polarisation between rural and urban areas.

    Without solutions, the conditions in Nigeria especially in Lagos City will deteriorate. The issues of poverty, inequality, public health and traffic congestion will increase dramatically. If Nigeria does not plan ahead and solve issues they are currently facing, the quality of life will decline and the people will be more disadvantaged than they are now.

    Angela Taganahan 1215556 (atag007)

  34. The main issue that Nigeria and in particular Lagos currently faces is the rapid population increase that is occurring which in turn puts pressure on infrastructure, housing and other systems.

    To tackle this issue, Nigeria needs to look outside of Lagos to the source of the issue. Population increase is a result of increasing migration therefore it is necessary to look outside of Lagos and work on dealing with the issues that are occurring in the rural areas. Are the population in rural areas being adequately provided for? What opportunities are they provided with? Services? In order to establish why a large amount of the population is moving out of rural areas and into Lagos it is important to answer these types of questions. Dealing with population increase at the root of the problem will prove to be more beneficial than trying to resolve a potentially never ending problem of population increase if nothing is done in these rural areas. The resolution of this issue at point source will see less people migrating to Lagos for better opportunities as hopefully more adequate opportunities will be provided for in rural areas. For instance many people migrate to the city for better education offered at universities as well as white collared jobs (considered to mostly be in the city not in outer areas). Providing increased employment and education opportunities in rural areas would be an area of interest to look at in improving the respective issue. It is only after this that Nigeria can focus on combating pressing issues within Lagos such as housing and infrastructure. Without this solution Nigeria will continue to face the same never ending problem of population increase, only with significantly more pressure and stress on its systems.

    Holly Coates

  35. Nigeria will be able to significantly reduce the growth of extreme social deprivation and poverty over the next ten years if effective planning solutions are applied. Evidence of this can be seen within the un-managed development o Lagos City and the significant issues associated with this. The major issue that needs to be addressed for effective planning solutions to be applied is management of local population movement to ensure local infrastructure and social provisions are able to keep pace with local populations. Key methods for ensuring this are;

    Promoting the growth of the rural economy (government provision of key resources, research into locally applicable methods for improving effectiveness/efficiency of agriculture/horticulture, tax subsidies/grants for rural employees)

    Educating the rural population (increased schooling requirements and teaching of locally applicable knowledge)

    Improvement of rural infrastructure (this will work towards the development of above two points but also facilitate growth in other areas)

    Reduce international migration to Nigeria

    Harry Halpin 1023992

  36. Right now population growth is the biggest issue facing Nigeria. This issue is hard to combat, and as others have stated a number of problems have surfaced and will continue to get worse as time goes on. As the years pass, if nothing is done to curb population growth, the negative amenities will flourish unchecked. Especially as more and more people find Lagos a more popular place to live, the population will become more urbanised and issues relating to housing and public infrastructure will become more prevalent.

    Managing population will not be an easy task but it is essential for Nigeria. In particular Lagos, a city which is as others have stated, the most populous city in all of Africa, will feel the brunt of this population explosion. Therefore services revolving around the improvement of public infrastructure is absolutely necessary. One of the major issues that arises from population growth is the increase in traffic congestion. Therefore this needs to be one of the first issues that needs addressing. Also improving stormwater management to prevent flooding is essential. As it seems to be such a large and unnecessary issue that should not plague a modern city.

    Benjamin Christian-Webb

  37. There are multiple issues that need to be considered when thinking about how to tackle urban challenges over the next ten years, including population growth, slum development, flooding and traffic.

    Without urban solutions, Lagos is likely to suffer immensely with a lack of housing which would result in further hygiene issues within the slum developments. Further development of housing will produce more impervious surfaces, contributing adversely to flooding. Traffic congestion is likely to worsen, with some people likely to be travelling more than 4 hours to work.

    With urban solutions, I believe that Nigeria could begin to shift to be a more sustainable place to live. As discussed in class, solutions should be focussed to the rural communities and address the push factors from the rural area and the pull factors to Lagos. What are the reasons they want to leave, and why is Lagos more appealing? More opportunities should be produced in rural areas, including education, employment and basic infrastructure.

    Rachael Thomas

  38. In the next 10 years Nigeria is set to experience rapid population growth. Without implementing any solutions to curb or manage the population, this growth will be uncontrolled and the people will not be appropriately provided for. This could result in slum housing, deterioration of the physical environment and inadequate utilities and public infrastructure, not to mention continuing and ingraining poverty and social deprivation.
    Some solutions that Nigeria should explore (particularly in Lagos and Abuja):
    -Education i.e. around birth control, safe sex etc
    -Laws/incentives for reducing the number of children born
    -A tougher stance on immigrants to Nigeria
    -Focus growth in areas other than the two main cities so that the population is dispersed in a more manageable way.

    Elsa Weir

  39. The rapid population growth will definitely become one of key issues in the next ten years of Nigeria urban development. Relating with current situation, there are series of other issues may arise by the essential urban challenge, which is high density of population. The implicative issues include environmental, health, crime, insecurity, quality and quantity of homes, traffic congestion and so on.

    To mitigate and avoid these urban challenges, adequate institutional and legal framework should be explored. Specifically, the framework should concern the specific urbanisaiton process of Nigeria, which will effective to ensure public participation and partnership, enhance communication and information dissemination, and public development.

    From long term point of view, sustainable development should be key approach to guide urban governance and planning of Nigeria. Currently, the Urban and Regional Planning Act and Land Use Act are leading the country towards to a positive development. However, more practical strategies for rural development and urbanisation should be concern.

  40. As a number of class members have already noted, it is evident that within the next ten years, regardless of the solutions to urban challenges Nigeria is going to experience:
    • a rapid growth in population
    • therefore an increase in the demand for
    • and the pressure to supply adequate and healthy:

    infrastructure and resources to cope with the expansion. This is especially applicable to the prevalent and most populated city of Lagos, where it is seen as highly desirable to many immigrants, and migrants.

    Described as “dysfunctional yet dynamic” Lagos is currently the fifth most populated city in the world at 9 million people, only set to be the third largest mega-city in the world in the next 4 years. This gives a clear indication where Nigeria will sit in the next ten years and is overwhelming to deal with.

    While immediate solutions dealing with space, crime and insecurity, traffic congestion, etc. gravely need to be looked at, I believe under such circumstances it is easy to overlook the social and environmental wellbeing of Nigeria. Therefore, these should also be prioritised and maintained, in conjunction with the provision of open space, effective transportation, and water, sewage and housing systems which go hand in hand and are interlinked with social and environmental aspects of planning. It will also be very important to plan ‘with’ people and not ‘for’ them, as this can deliver undesirable outcomes.

    Another solution to consider in order to cope with the growth, especially in cities like Lagos and Abuja in the next ten years, is to ‘empower’ people so they can then equip themselves and move away from these urban areas, and back to their home towns to establish themselves, so eventually growth in Nigeria is evenly distributed and not overly concentrated in certain areas.

    Deanne D’souza (ID: 1072559)

  41. The population growth rapidly is the one of the most significant issue should be mentioned and considered by the Nigeria’s government. If Nigeria developed without the urban solution in next ten year, it will see mass of slums around the city central and suburbs area. More and more citizen of Nigeria can afford the house and daily life.

    However, there are some solution should be made if Nigeria’s government created a plan to find the urban solution about the rapidly population growth in next ten year. The government should create the policy to manage the birth rates and migration to control the population growth. In addition, affordable housing, efficient public transport system and more infrastructure installation should be explored as the solutions. Providing more opportunities for the employment also is a good solution which should be considered.

    I agree the government should provide family planning services and find more passive measure to control the population growth.

    Ye Kang

  42. As Nigeria has one of the fastest urbanisation rates in the world, it inevitably faces future urban challenges. Unlike other African countries, where one city completely dominates, Nigeria has a network of several, large dense cities.

    Projections estimate that by 2025, 60% of Nigerians will live in urban areas (United Nations, 2005).

    Poverty rates in Nigeria are dramatically increasing. 70 million Nigerians presently live in poverty; a figure topped only by China and India (United Nations, 2005). Explosive urbanisation will only worsen this poverty problem. Without solutions, increased demand will cause catastrophic failure for basic infrastructure and services such as sanitation. This will most certainly lower the quality of life for all Nigerians.

    This document provides an excellent outline of Nigeria’s problems:


    This video shows the problems faced by Lagos, Nigeria:


    There is no ‘silver bullet’ for this situation. Nigeria must take small steps to slowly deal with its issues. Clearly an obvious solution could be the implementation of birth control measures to halt population growth. However the concept of having a large family is largely embedded into Nigerian culture; it could be a difficult task to convince Nigerians about the benefits of family planning (NPR, 2011).

    In my opinion, planning for new cities in Nigeria could be advantageous. Having new settlements could distribute the population more evenly, and avoid the problems associated with Nigeria’s existing cities becoming too large.


    UNITED NATIONS 2005. http://www.un.org/docs/ecosoc/meetings/2005/docs/Alkali.pdf [Accessed 14/10/2011]

    [Accessed 14/10/2011]

    Simon Christopher Mitchell (smit075) I.D: 1284770

  43. Pang Yi
    ypan053 1544405

    At present, Nigeria is an overall under-developed country which has a large number of population in a compact area. The population density is approximately 167/km2. The key challenge that Nigeria confronts is the huge gap between the rapid population growth and the lack of development planning that suits national conditions in terms of economic, environment, political, as well as physical and social infrastructure.

    If Nigeria government does not take any action to resolve the current main issue, the situation of the whole country may get worse in most directions:
    - Cities such as Lagos may continuously be in a dysfunctional urban form with the problem of overcrowding
    - Economic development is undeveloped completely falls behind other countries
    - Risk of poverty and hunger heavily increases
    - the number of slums increase gradually as a result of growing population and unaffordable housing, and it may consequently cause a turbulence situation in Nigeria
    - the natural environment may degrade, as a result of the increased pollution and excessive utilisation of land and resources
    - the frequency of natural hazards and disasters may raise as the environment has been damaged
    - the situation of society cannot be settled down and the rate of crime may increase
    - lack of adequate institutional and legal framework

    In order to reduce the possibility of above problems, Nigeria government must implement reasonable solutions such as:
    - make strategic economic development plans, keep the good partner relationship with developed countries, and take fully advantage of international funds
    - formulate reasonable local development plans based on the various condition in different cities
    - take the land, natural environment, and diverse resources seriously; establish relevant strategies and policies to protect them
    - provide job opportunities, affordable housing, and public transport systems to improve the life quality of people
    - increase the provision of physical and social infrastructures, as well as the provision of amenity
    - particular attention to the cities like Lagos, make extra efforts such as time and money to meet the needs of this kind of cities

    In that case, Nigeria may develop sustainably in a healthy manner, with steadily developing economy, legal hierarchy and framework, protected natural environment and resources, sufficient physical and social infrastructure which are all led by diverse realistic strategic plans.

  44. Being the most populous country in Africa, Nigeria, especially its main city of Lagos is vulnerable to many development problems such as pollution, overcrowding, congestion, housing shortage, infrastructure shortage and ever increasing poverty with its associated slum/ squatter encroachment on public land, in which the country is currently experiencing. The rural-urban migration is one of the main reason for increase in Lagos' population. Without solutions to issues such as housing and infrastructure shortage, Nigeria will increasingly suffer from the effects of overpopulation and also environmental degradation which will result to the continuing decline of its economy. This equates to more and more people suffering and living below the poverty threshold, which may require the help of international aid to support its people in the next ten years.

    Some solutions which may help in the development of Nigeria is by limiting the in-migration of people from rural to urban land through providing jobs in the rural area where people can make a living. Another possible solution to urban problems of increasing slum development is by having a government led public housing provision close to jobs and transportation. Having this as the one of the government priorities that meets the basic needs of its people may lead to a better development and future for Lagos city. An example of a city that implemented this is Singapore, which used to be a squatter settlement (Hamnett and Forbes, 2011. Planning Asian Cities). This perhaps may still be achievable for Lagos, however for this to happen it requires a strong government action and commitment to have clear development priorities and effective planning that will direct the future of the city, its country and its people.

    A (slightly extreme but not impossible) example that could be seen in the housing development in Nigeria's main city of Lagos in the next 10 or more years could be like the one seen in Hong Kong, one of the most densely populated cities in the world. This cool and interesting video link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lg9qnWg9kak), an example from Hong Kong, shows how even a small space can be transformed into a livable place/home that is desirable and even sustainable.


  45. Many of issues i have seen in this topic is focused on population and population reduction, this reminded me what china was experiencing 40/50 years back, which fast increasing population resulted a compulsory family planning progream to be implemented.

    the reason for the dramatic increase of poupulation can be attributed to many things, but foremost would be low health standard, low infant survival rate forced parents to have more children so to have a higher chance of survival, which reulted more impervishment because more mouth need to be feed, more chhildren die because of hunger and disease and therefore more children are needed to make sure at lease one can survive, this in light of this, i think the state need to increase its health care abilities and reduce the need to for families to have multiple children, this coupled with family planning services, would likley to have a long term effect in slow the countries poupulation growth.

    Fengqiao Han