Lagos state is known to be the largest city and the largest megacity on the African continent in terms of population. It is also the fourth largest economy in Africa. The rush and hustle that go with living in Lagos no doubt is occasioned by the fact that it is the most populated city. This clearly explains why there is always a mad rush in the metropolis. It has a population that has been estimated to be over ten million. Lagos encompasses an area of 358,862 hectares which is about 0.4 percent of the total land area of Nigeria. Is it not alarming that people migrate to the wonder city for greener pastures? One cannot but wonder if Lagos is the only haven in Nigeria.
A lot of people who live in villages have the erroneous belief that once a man steps his feet in Lagos then he is made. What these schools of thought are ignorant of is that the streets of Lagos are not made of gold. Not even the most developed areas have trees growing money. Every dime made in Lagos requires an exertion of mental and physical energy. The parlance that “no food for the lazy man” is in full operation in Lagos. The traffic situation in Lagos is rather told as a tale than experienced. As it is Lagos has no dawn or dusk. People are always on the move. Is life better in Lagos than other major cities, towns and the most remote places in Nigeria?
There is no doubting the fact that Lagos has a plethora of opportunities open to all and sundry. However, such opportunities can be created in other parts of the country if the right mindset is instilled in the hearts of most Nigerians. It is a well known fact that the farms have been abandoned by able bodied men to women, the aged men and the few young men who have no wherewithal to migrate to Lagos. After all who wants to suffer? On the contrary life in Lagos is only an easy ride for the rich who can afford the luxury that Lagos has to offer.
Unfortunately, a man armed with the best results and backed with numerous certificates and qualifications will have to either eat them if he is unconnected to the connected that will help him to secure a decent job. Do you think that with little or no white paper from an examination body or a reputable university you will be able to hit jackpot if you do not cut corners? Stemming from high rentage, to heavy gridlock, Lagosians can only live with a glaring hope, simmering at the end of the tunnel with a rhythm of “tomorrow will be better”.
Clearly life is not a bed of roses in Lagos. Although food and clothing may be more affordable in Lagos than in other major cities, if a choice has to be made given the indices, one has to think more than twice before jiving to the buzzing city.
A lot of people in Lagos are like most Nigerians and Africans who nurse the thought of going abroad only to be disappointed when they get there and discover that it is also “jungle out there” like Lagos. Gold is not common abroad even though King Solomon made it so, neither does manna fall down from heaven abroad. The pastures are not as green as envisaged. They soon discover that their imagination and thoughts of what life entails over there is just a mirage.
An African adage has it that “if a man loses tract of his destination he should be able to remember the route he has followed and retrace his steps.” Painfully, this cannot be said of many Lagosians as they will rather perish in Lagos than accept defeat and go back to Bethel. So many people are engaged in menial jobs just to keep soul and body together.
This is because not everybody is favored to land into a well-paying job or establish a business that will generate the income that will help them live a middle, average or large life. A lot live in shanties or under the bridge. Not to worry because there is no stamp on a man’s forehead to ascertain where he is coming from. To meet a lot engage in fraudulent activities, prostitution or in what has been modified to be “runs business”. If a man embarks on a journey and discovers that the tales of his destination are indeed a mirage, is there no longer reverse gear in modern cars?
These same people return during the yuletide to their home towns to display the greatest act of hypocrisy; just to impress. Lagos is fast growing and is no doubt full of new opportunities but young people should begin to think of growing other towns into megacities. Only time will tell if Lagos will be able to bear the ever influx of people from all parts of the world. If you are in Lagos and you are trapped, it is time for you to swallow your pride and go back to base. It is not going to be easy but time always heals even the deepest wounds. There are a lot of opportunities in towns and villages waiting to be harnessed. All you need is a little thinking outside the box. Who knows you become the business tycoon of your generation.
For those in towns and villages who have been swept into the euphoria that is heaven out there because of the hypocritical posture Lagosians in villages, you need to calm down, look around you and think of how you can bring about the development of your Jerusalem. Conversely, if you must migrate you have to bear in mind that the largest city is large enough to swallow you in even though you must be ready to pay the ultimate price.