Transport is the backbone of any thriving economy. It allows the movement of people, goods, and services across a specified region.
A reliable transportation system allows for ease in doing business; for example, the lady in the baking business needs to deliver her finished product in good time. This leads to customer satisfaction.
Lagos state, Nigeria, is home to an estimated population of 15 million citizens, making it the largest city in Africa. It is also called the economic capital of Nigeria; the state capital receives 123,840 visitors daily. This makes transportation of high importance in Lagos state.
The current transport system in the state is unfit for a cosmopolitan state. Due to this, the state is burdened with heavy traffic daily, making the movement of people, goods, and services hectic and many deliverables are not achieved.
Transport in Lagos is done in four ways: road, water, rail, and air. Our focus in this article will be on water, rail, and road. Air transport supports movement in and out of Lagos.
The current waterways are underused. Lagos state has many waterways that link parts of the state together. However, these routes are not utilized as they could be, putting more pressure on the road network.
The road network, among other names listed above about Lagos state, is also known as the traffic center of Nigeria, owing to constant road congestion. This makes life unbearable for those in transit.
I used to live in Festac town on the Ojo axis of Lagos. My office was located on Victoria Island. I had to wake up at 4 am every workday morning and be on the road by 5 am. If I leave 15 minutes later than 5 am, I could spend 2 hours in a traffic jam and get to work late. At the end of work, the same thing, leave the office by 6 pm and get home at 10/11 pm. This was the daily routine until I could no longer cope and when I could afford a place closer to the office.
This is the hectic life of many Lagosians. It drains all your time, and there are health effects from sitting for long hours.
We have yellow buses, also known as Molues. We also have taxis, motorcycles (okadas), tricycles (Keke napep), BRT buses, private vehicles, and various cab-hailing services. These are the road users who use Lagos’ roads daily.
The railway in Lagos state. We have an operational railway from Lagos to Abeokuta. However, we have none that helps with transit in the cosmopolitan city. This is why a metro rail line was proposed in 2008 called the Blue Line. It is meant to run from Marina to Mile 2. Despite the completion date of 2011, the facility is still not functional after 14 years. The Lagos state government has promised that it will be operational by December 2022. Even though we have heard this several times over the years, we are optimistic. Transport of citizens via rail will help reduce congestion on Lagos roads.
Transport in Lagos state will be efficient if the water, road, and rail networks are utilized effectively.