Monday, September 30, 2013

Blog 9: Nigeria

How do you see Nigeria in the next 10 years with and without a solution to the urban challenges of today?


  1. Nigeria is faced with a rapid expanding population with 168.8 million people in 2012 compared to 33 million in 1950.

    Development without solutions:
    Lagos, the most prosperous state of Nigeria (projected to move from the 5th to 3rd largest city in the world by 2015), is likely to face greater migration if no solutions are created. If this prosperity and growth is not managed the already severe urban problems in the area (overcrowding, health problems, inadequate and informal housing and traffic congestion) are likely to worsen.

    Development with solutions:
    Possible solutions and outcomes include;
    • Focusing on growth in more rural areas through providing resources to rural communities to stimulate those areas = Encouraging migration to these areas instead of Lagos state
    • A focus on the improvement of physical infrastructure, especially in Lagos could improve traffic congestion as well as through a focus on integrated public transport
    • A focus on quality affordable housing to reduce informal settlement and inadequate housing.

    Prepared by Onyeizu, E., 2013. Nigeria – Urban development and Stability. Planning 332. University of Auckland – National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries, Auckland, New Zealand, unpublished

    Victoria Bell

  2. The rapid and concentrated nature of urbanisation in Nigeria has created extreme disparities between the recipients of this urbanisation (Lagos and Abuja) and the rest of the country. Without the implementation of any solutions, the fundamental issues (e.g.: degrading quality of life; increasing informal settlement; degrading environmental quality; transport/traffic) facing these cities are likely to intensify and become ever more ingrained in society.

    Modern day solutions to increasing urban populations are unlikely to create any successful outcomes – individual financial pressures prevent public engagement in solutions like high-rise development, recycling, public transportation etc. Instead, it may be more beneficial to facilitate rural-urban migration by creating (and promoting) sources of attraction in rural settlements – employment, living standards etc. This will take the population pressures off urban centres, allow for a more diverse economy, and create a situation in which both urban and rural areas can begin to develop economically, environmentally and socially.

    Source: Jiboye, A. D. (2011). Sustainable Urbanization: Issues and Challenges for Effective Urban Governance in Nigeria. Journal of Sustainable Development , 4 (6), 211-224.

    Emma Chandler
    ID: 2920994

  3. Rapid and uncontrolled urban growth in Nigeria, specifically in Lagos, has necessitated the need to think critically about how planning can influence the urban future of the country.
    Without fundamental planning intervention, cities such as Lagos will continue to proliferate. This will further worsen existing issues including traffic congestion, slum development, water access and inadequate sewerage systems.
    Attempts to address the ever-growing population of Lagos have been made, however, due to its thriving economy, the perception of Lagos as the ‘be all and end all’ location to set up business in Nigeria remains. In this way, economic development can be a key concept to addressing this rapid urbanisation.
    Central government investment in other regional and local economies could take the economic emphasis away from Lagos, and promote migration to smaller areas of the country, thereby reducing the rate of urbanisation in Lagos . This would have to be managed and monitored carefully to ensure that new urbanisation was occurring in a controlled way.

    Sebastian Clarke 1551226

  4. Nigeria is facing with the problem of rapid increasing of population and rapid urbanisation. Nigeria has a population density of 166.71/ Lagos State is the 5th largest city in the world (projected to become the 3rd largest mega-city in 2015) and the highest populated city with population of about 9 million. As results of overcrowded population Nigeria have faced with many urban challenges such as environmental and health issues, crime and insecurity, housing problems and traffic congestion.
    If there is no solution to these urban challenges in the next ten years, the problems will be worsen. Population will keep increase in the Lagos State if there is no a growth management strategy or any solutions to expand growth in more rural area. Solutions to improve the situation within the next ten years could include the government investment in other cities to attract and distribute population to other cities and reducing population intensification of Lagos. There should be more effective land uses regulations to manage physical infrastructure in Lagos as well as housing problems.

    Thidarat Samart

  5. Frankly, I have no idea where Nigeria could be in 10 years with or without a solution. Without a solution, I was inclined to suspect national, violent, resource scarcity and ethnic-driven conflict similar to the 1994 Rwandan Genocide but Nigeria’s strong(er) democratic governance (and thus hypothetical capacity to actually resolve resource management issues) makes that suspicion uncertain. However, violent conflicts driven by resource scarcity have already erupted in the Nigerian state of Kebbi between the herders and the farmers, which is also often the division between Muslims and Christians. Thus regional violent conflict may be more likely. Regarding where Nigeria could be with a solution, I’m actually more interested in the solutions. Textbook planning responses will only smooth over the real issue of managing population growth from both births and immigration, which ultimately drive land use issues. Responses such as providing affordable housing and quality public transit must be coupled with family planning, contraception, universal education, deliberate empowerment of women and prudent immigration policy. Beyond that, I don’t know nearly enough about Nigeria to even pretend to know its future.


    Bigagaza, J., Abong, C., and Mukarubuga, C. (2002). Land Scarcity, Distribution and Conflict in Rwanda. In J. Lind and K. Sturman (Eds.), Scarcity and Surfeit: The ecology of Africa’s conflicts (pp. 51-82). Pretoria, South Africa: Institute for Security Studies.

    Brown, L. (2004). Outgrowing the Earth: The Food Security Challenge in an Age of Falling Water Tables and Rising Temperatures. Washington D.C., USA: Earth Policy Institute.

    Gendron, R. and Hoffman, E. (2009). Resource Scarcity and the Prevention of Violent Conflicts. Peace and Conflict Review, 4(1), pp. 1-13.

    The World Bank. (2013). Nigeria. Retrieved from (accessed October 3, 2013).

    Tom Chi

    1. "Frankly, I have no idea where Nigeria could be in 10 years with or without a solution." Haha, so good!

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  7. Rapid urban growth is a challenge being faced in Nigeria, in particular Lagos. With its current growth rate, Lagos has a possibility of becoming the third largest city in the world by 2015. Without a solution increased migration and rapid urbanisation in Lagos will continue. With this continued growth issues such as informal settlements and sanitation may become worse and unmanageable.

    With a solution urban growth may be controlled, and adequate housing, efficient sanitation and transport systems may be provided. Strategies to provide incentives for people to migrate to outer rural areas or other cities would be a way to reduce overcrowding in informal settlements. These incentives may include more employment opportunities, a higher quality of life, and better housing that may attract people to these outer areas.

    Teresa George

  8. Lagos, the 5th largest city in the world (9 million), is growing – projected to be the 3rd largest soon! Lagos is overcrowded, leading to issues such as:
    - Pressure on infrastructure
    - Slums
    - Congestion
    - Environmental degradation
    - Health and sanitation issues
    A potential solution is de-urbanisation, distributing the population to rural areas, by incentivising businesses to locate outside of cities. This could be cheap. If successful, we could expect Nigeria in 10 years to have an evenly dispersed population and quality housing (basic, but good design).
    Without a solution, current issues will be exacerbated:
    - Continued haphazard sprawl of Lagos
    - Increased informal housing
    - Insufficient infrastructure
    - Increased health issues

    Kahlia Jemmett (2313174)

  9. Cities within Nigeria are experiencing large influxes of rural to urban migration, resulting in issues of urbanisation. Abuja city has the lowest population hosting 1 million people; this is increasing by 20% to 30% per year.
    In other areas such as Akure, the current solutions of urban land use controls through policies are ineffectively managing urbanisation issues such as: slum formations, costs of land, housing, accessibility, flooding, overcrowding etc.
    This is due to poor communication between the many different land use agencies. Without solutions, disjointed ineffective policies will continue.

    To increase the effectiveness of policies to create solutions to urban challenges, a better understanding of the interconnectedness of urban issues is required. An integrated land use management approach needs to occur as the connectivity of urban issues should be reflected in the policy solutions.

    Afolabi Aribigbola. (2008), Improving Urban Land use Planning and Management in Nigeria: The case of Akure. Theoretical and Empirical Researches in Urban Management, Year 3, Number 9, 2008 Cercetări practice si teoretice în Managementul Urban, Anul 3, Nr. 9, 2008 ISSN: 1842-5712.

    Eziaku, Onyeizu. Nigeria Urban Development and Stability.” Lecture 9, Planning 332, The University of Auckland, September 30, 2013.

    Sophie Waldron

  10. The current state of Nigeria suggests that major problems are increasingly unmanageable, seen specifically in the Lagos. Lagos is the fifth largest city in the world with a population of nine million increasing. The problems that this city faces include, overcrowding, health issues, environmental degradation and massive pressures put on existing infrastructure among many other significant issues.

    Without a solution, the issues will blatantly inflict massive environmental and socio-economic decay in Nigeria during the next 10 years. A solution is completely necessary in addressing the urban challenges of today and an obligation of the Nigeria government. The actually state of Nigeria in the next 10 years is dependent on the implementation of legislation (solutions) such as the Nigerian Urban and Regional Planning Act, and Land Use Act.

    Alvin Jung

  11. Without effective integrated governing system, the rapid urbanisation process in Nigeria will keep bring a number of deteriorative urban development challenges to the country, such as environment and health issues, crime and insecurity, housing related problems (e.g. quantity and quality), traffic congestion and so on.

    However, right scale urbanization in general brings higher productivity because of its positive externalities and economies of scale; high density settlement can also make public transport viable and reduce the length of trips. Other advantages of urbanisation process have been widely acknowledged. Therefore, a good solution which helps to keep the cities in Nigeria with right population size is quite important.

    Li Tianhang

  12. Nigeria is considered one of Africa’s most promising states with earnings from its substantial oil exports driving the economic development and diversification of the country into a greater international standing. However, rapid population growth is placing huge pressures on urban development.

    Population increase is inevitable for Nigeria as its prosperous development attracts migration. If this is to continue to go unchecked there will be an increase in incidents of overcrowding resulting in overburdened education, health systems and infrastructure. Coupled with inadequate or inefficient development solutions, the worst case scenario will be a collapse of the county as these critical systems begin to fail.

    To develop Nigeria with solutions to these challenges through use of initiatives such as low impact urban design and affordable housing we could witness the continued growth and eventually a transition of a developing country into a developed country.

    John McCall

  13. In the recent decades, the population of many cities in Nigeria have increased dramatically due to both the high natural growth rate and the rapid rate of urban migration occurring throughout the country. This has led to many urban issues developing within these cities, including severe traffic congestion, poor health conditions, and insufficient provision of housing and infrastructure. Without a solution to these challenges, it is obvious that the state of these cities would continue to decline, and it is likely that more complex issues would arise.

    However, if appropriate solutions, such as controlling urban growth and providing adequate urban services and infrastructure, are implemented, Nigeria could begin to embark onto the path that leads to its full potential as a country within the next 10 years.

    Tianhang Liu

  14. Lagos continues to develop at a high rate of urbanisation. The city continues to present a raft of issues, which is predicted to become one of the world’s most-populated metropolises. If continued, this will exacerbate and result in:
    - A poorer society from the insufficient provision/quality of shelter
    - Inadequate infrastructure and services
    - Long-term deterioration of human and environmental health
    - Socio-political tension
    One solution involves the revitalisation of rural towns and centres: This would direct the growth and slum-dwelling population into well-serviced, low-rise public-housing units; built for quality and affordability. This is anticipated to alleviate issues in:
    - An improved lifestyle, from a less overcrowded and congested environment
    - Providing quality access to healthcare, education and employment
    - Greater public confidence in the political and economic prospects of Nigeria

    • Source:
    Onyeizu, E. (2013). Planning 332 - Lecture 09: Nigeria – Urban Development and Stability. Planning 332 – Comparative Planning (Elective Special Topic). University of Auckland – National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries, Auckland, New Zealand, unpublished

    Andrew Poon
    (ID: 5691154)

  15. The 5th largest city in the world: Lagos, Nigeria, which is estimated to become the 3rd largest city by 2015, this is indicating the tension of urbanisation for this state. Therefore, it is absolutely critical to have solutions to the urban challenges of today to see a well-managed and sustainable Nigeria in the next 10 years. Some solutions could be to develop other city centers in more rural areas to encourage migrations away from the already bursting cities, attracting new migrants with new developments, opportunities and better life styles. For the overcrowded cities itself, improvements could be made in various aspects from better designs of infrastructures to increasing the quality and quantity of affordable housing.

    Otherwise, the rapid population expansion will worsen the current problems of overcrowding, housing shortage, illnesses, traffic congestions and the list goes on. This would make Nigeria an unhealthy, unpleasant, and unsustainable place to live in with a destroyed atmosphere and a poor environment.

    Mia Zhen

  16. Without solutions, Nigeria’s current urban issues like overcrowding, strain on infrastructure, diminishing environmental quality and health service provisions will become more anchored with the rapidly growing population and urbanisation rates. Furthermore, they will lead to physical conflict and a halted economy.
    As population growth and rapid urbanisation to the capital Lagos are exacerbating Nigeria’s urbanisation challenges, they need to be addressed for long term benefits. Population control methods will reduce the strain on infrastructure and services in the long term, but not within the next 10 years. Dispersing the population more evenly in Nigeria’s cities will be more effective in solving the urban challenges on Lagos. In 10 years, this will have increased access to infrastructure and services and from a governmental point of view, the population will be more involved in decision making processes due to the increase in local government context.


    Prepared by Onyeizu, E., 2013. Nigeria – Urban development and Stability. Planning 332. University of Auckland – National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries, Auckland, New Zealand, unpublished

  17. Nigeria has currently over 353,000 square miles and a rapidly growing population of over 40 million people. Similar to other cities that have not dealt with the issue of urbanisation efficiently, Nigeria will see dramatic changes to further degradation of their environment, insufficient housing, poor health care, and eduction which is not effective or existent. All these issues will continue to rise in a much faster pace if Nigera does not take prompt action to urbanisation challenges. Its economic benefits will also effected. Lastly, the government will lose control over the country where legislation if implemented will not be followed.

    Zak Nasir

  18. Nigeria has huge potential but will only be able to realise it with good systems, policies and structures in place. Urban Planning will go a long way in addressing the future challenges and harnessing the future economic potential that is yet to be realised. The positives of having a “Plan” of sorts in place for future development are;
    • The creation of Strategic Plans and Structure Plans that are flexible and responsive to the different areas and communities that they will serve
    o These plans can encourage participation of people so they are able to share their ideas, articulate their needs
    o Strategic Plans identifying potential business, retail and industrial areas or areas where agricultural activities can occur
    o Market areas where local produce could be sold
    o Small home businesses so people are able to earn a living and reduce urban poverty
    o Also allows for the prioritisation of developments
    o Gives a framework for orderly development
    • The reduction of urban sprawl and the creation of adequate housing that meets diverse needs
    o Addressing the reduction of Slums or the upgrading of slum areas
    o Creating Mixed Use areas to encourage small businesses
    • Reduction of impacts on the natural environment, air, waterways, ecosystems that all assist with sustaining life
    • Giving people an opportunity to experience a productive life where they are able to plan long term and sustain themselves in a positive way

    If there are no structures put in place for urban development you will see an escalation and increase of some of the problems already being experienced;
    • Slums, poor inadequate housing that encourage the proliferation of disease and poor health
    • Increase in crime through urban poverty due to not being able to work for a steady and stable income
    • Lack of educational opportunities resulting in poor life options
    • Poor family planning exacerbating problems even more
    • No economic development, any economic development will be at the informal level. It will not be about long term financial security but rather survival
    • Degradation of the natural environment, compromising of natural ecosystems resulting in fewer resources

    Leonie Mullions

  19. Nigeria has experienced rapid population growth to a point it is now 39 times the population of New Zealand yet only three times the land area. The most populous are is Lagos, with nine million people. Nigeria is currently facing severe urban problems and disparity with respect to overcrowding, health and environmental issues, lack of quality housing and traffic congestion.

    Development without solutions:
    An inadequate solution to today’s urban challenges will lead to intensification and an ingraining of the above issues. Inadequate solutions could allow for extensive informal settlement creation and expansion and inappropriate levels of sanitation leading to sickness and early fatality.

    Development with solutions:
    Incentivising affordable rural living and localised growth outside of main centres would lead to decreased over population and would eventually eliminate informal settlements. Similarly, provision of infrastructure for public transport would reduce congestion and would allow development along the transport route and take pressure of main cities.

    Kirsten Wood

  20. Due to increasing population and urbanisation, Nigeria is currently facing urban challenges such as slum development, lack of resources (drinking water and land), pressure on transport systems and environmental pollution. Lagos is the largest and most populated city in Nigeria. It is perceived as ‘the city of dreams’. If in the next 10 years people keep flocking to Lagos in hopes of better lives, the current urban challenges Nigeria faces are likely to worsen.
    It is impossible to come up with one particular solution which will solve all urban challenges Nigeria currently faces. The government should probably consider establishing other towns around the country and attracting people there by providing employment opportunities, thus taking some of the urbanisation pressure off of Lagos. This plan will have to be coupled with other plans such as improving access to resources and decreasing population growth rate all over the country, for it to be successful.

    Manasi Vaidya
    ID: 5985611

  21. Urban growth in Nigeria is occurring at such an accelerated place that it if neglected, will only serve to further complicate and exacerbate social problems such as poor health, poverty, inadequate quality of life etc... The integrity of the natural environment will continue to be degraded if demands on waste management, resource management, sanitation etc...,if these challenges are not addressed.
    Strategic planning efforts in Nigeria have attempted to implement more balanced development strategies, such as focusing on the development of rural centres, reducing the pressure on already saturated urban centres such as Lagos and Abuja. However, a strong partiality towards urban development remains, rather than “coordinated efforts at rural development”. It is important to ensure that people do not have to choose the lesser of two evils, and that rural development strategies create a viable and better alternative to the current urban lifestyle.

    Jacinta Naicker

  22. The rapid urbanisation and population growth of Nigeria has resulted in many urban problems within its cities. As a consequence of Nigeria’s poor governance on planning development, cities in Nigeria faces issues such as environmental degrades, crime, insecurity, housing problem, traffic congestion and illness. Lagos the biggest city in Nigeria has a population of 9 million, currently been the 5 largest city in the world it is projected by specialist that it will grow to become the 3rd largest city in 2015, this shows the rapid trend of urban growth in Nigeria in the next 10 years. If Nigeria does not provide solutions to resolve these urban challenges with the trend that urban population in Nigeria will continue to grow. Urban problems are set to worsen to a state where cities become unmanageable; this even may lead to the collapse of civilisation in Nigeria.
    A solution of that Nigeria planning agencies can implement to revert the migration of citizens into cities is to provide resources and support for development of rural areas. Making rural areas more attractive where its population will stay and attract some from urban cities. This method of decreasing the number of migration to cities will provide more time for the Nigeria government to find more solutions that will actually solve issues that remains within cities.

    William Xu (2975020)

  23. Nigeria and in particular the state of Lagos, is suffering from major urban growth. Lagos is currently the 5th largest city in the world, with projections to become the 3rd largest city by 2015. Already Lagos is suffering detrimentally as a result of this issue, and without an effective solution repercussions of this issue will include increased poverty, inadequate infrastructure leading to health issues, poor sanitation, unemployment and so on.

    Urban growth can be controlled in a way that will provide a solution to many of the issues and inherently lessen the extent of the damage. Firstly, rapid urbanisation is largely due to rural to city migration in hope for employment and opportunities, therefore placing incentives for affordable housing and establishing support and employment opportunities for rural living would result in a reduction of population within main centres. Moreover, providing adequate sanitation, and infrastructure especially for those living in informal housing, would provide an integral shift in the living standards within Lagos and Nigeria for the better. If these measures are taken the next 10 years could change the lives of many.

    Kayla Versey

  24. Nigeria- the ‘Giant of Africa’ is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous country in the world; hence it is facing major urbanization challenges. These include: rapid population growth, inadequate housing and informal settlements, improper waste management, transport and overall environmental degradation. Without a solution, these problems will only continue to exacerbate and create further social, economic and environmental implications. It is difficult for me to predict with certainty what the urban front of the country will look like even with quality urbanization solutions(compact transit orientated development, family planning, education, affordable public transport and housing), as a 10 year period is not long enough to measure the true success of the required changes in urban policy development and implementation.

    Tsvetina Arabadzhieva

  25. Nigeria has a population of approximately 174 million people, with over 9 million people living in Lagos. Lagos is experiencing rapid population growth and is predicted to be the third largest city in the world by 2015 if left to its own devices. An inability to manage population growth in Lagos will result in severely exacerbated urban issues such as health, crime and insecurity, inadequate living conditions, traffic congestion and environmental degradation.

    If growth is stimulated in rural areas, there is the potential to relieve current pressures on Lagos. While ever-changing social and political conditions give rise to challenges in policy implementation, there is an opportunity to improve infrastructure, living conditions and overall quality of life if states cooperate and focus on economic and community development in smaller cities and towns.

    Michaela Davidson (2366284)

  26. Nigeria without a solution:
    Continual population growth, migration and urbanisation in all the major cities in Nigeria. This would result in further informal settlements and create a huge issue for the state government to provide both quality and quantity of formal housing for these people. This is embellished by the Land Use Act in Nigeria where occupants of land can lawfully be granted statutory rights of occupancy. The government will face numerous challenges including further crime and insecurity and the health issues that these create.
    Nigeria with a solution:
    Nigeria has the ability to form solutions to the housing issue caused by urbanisation and population growth. Because traditionally and currently the land is still communally owned through the government there is the opportunity to develop infrastructure on the existing land to cater for the existing population.

    Hannah Miln

    Nigeria Land Use Act:

  27. Nigeria is undergoing rapid urbanization, and current institutions and mechanisms in place are inadequate in addressing the present and future challenges that Nigeria faces. Populations are rising in urban centres, and little is being done to combat the impact of this. Poverty, informal settlements and health will only continue to deteriorate if appropriate solutions are not formulated.
    Urbanization essentially needs to be controlled. Strategies such as improving rural conditions may reduce people from moving to urban centres. Yet it is easier said than done in a country were the urban sustainability issues are vast and complex. The answer may lie in grass roots action. Improving informal settlement facilities such as water supply is an example of how citizen’s conditions can be directly improved.

    Grace Wilson

    ID: 5798170

  28. Nigeria's population has increased by approximately 30 million people between from 2006 and continues to expand and urbanise at a growing rate. Nigeria's population can be described as being a youthful population with 42.3% of the population 14 years or younger.

    If left unplanned the urban challenges of Nigeria would ultimately lead to poorly urbanised centres of informal housing with inappropriate infrastructure to support the growing dependant youthful population.

    If the challenges faced by an urbanising Nigeria are solved, Nigeria would have a more sustainable balance between agriculture and urbanisation. A shift away from informal settlements to more robust urban settlements that have appropriate infrastructure. This future Nigeria will have to strengthen its responses to climate change to ensure the solutions in place are strong enough to handle any change.

    Thomas Morrison - 5697521

  29. Nigeria’s current biggest problems revolve around the topic population, in 2012, Nigeria already has a population of 168.8 million. This is especially obvious in Nigeria’s biggest state, Lagos, already being the 5th largest city in the world, it is still continuously growing at a rapid pace. Lagos is currently many urban issues such as health problems, infrastructure shortage, housing shortage, overcrowding, serious traffic congestion etc. If these problems are not dealt in a planned and organised way in the future, these problems will continue, causing new problems to arise (e.g. major disease spread).
    Some suggest that the government of Nigeria can slowly guide the population to rural areas and create job opportunities, communities and install infrastructure to raise their living standards. This may be a feasible solution, as if everything runs as planned, people will be attracted from the city to rural areas and spread out the population. However, I consider that creating policies encouraging couples to have less children could also be helpful to the development of Nigeria, if the above solution is assisted with such policies, the planned strategies may be implemented more effectively.

    Melissa Chen

  30. Urban development problems in Nigeria could be viewed from both socio-economic and environmental perspectives. The most challenges of today’s Nigeria has typified by substandard and inadequate housing slums and lack of infrastructure, less protection of poverty. Without development solution of urban challenges, urban congestion and environmental degradation lead to future pressures and problems. Integrated environmental, economic and social objectives into decision-making represent the major tool for sustainable development by national governments, in order to solute the problems from today’s situation by either elaborating new policies or strategic or by adapting existing policies and plans. Those are influence to reduction of environmental degradation and achievement of sustainable urbanization.

    Fei Hua