On Lagos’ renewed efforts at tackling gridlock

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Being a cosmopolitan city, access to a highly organized public transportation system remains one of the major challenges of Lagos residents. As it is with similar cities such as New York, New Delhi and Jakarta, population growth in Lagos compounds the challenge of public transportation. With a population in excess of 22 million people while also attracting 65 per cent of Nigeria’s commercial activities, Lagos, no doubt, has a peculiar public transportation challenge. The ubiquitous Lagos traffic, complicated by the legendary Lagosians’ knack for impatience in addition to motorists’ impunity, make commuting in Lagos a very tricky experience. 


Sadly, traffic gridlock has severe consequences such as economic losses arising from delays, weakened productivity, wasted energy, environmental deprivation and a diminished standard of living. Other effects are failed appointments, increased fuel expenses, decreased productivity and diverse health challenges. This, no doubt, poses great threat to socio-economic development in the state.

A variety of strategies have been deployed by subsequent administrations in the State to deal with the perennial Lagos gridlock. In the past 20 years, the State government has expanded and rehabilitated major roads across the State. In same vein, the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) scheme, a mass transit initiative, was developed to advance and enhance public transportation.  Similarly, the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) was created for efficient management of traffic.

Efforts were also made to improve water transportation while the first light rail project to be undergone by a State government in sub-Sahara Africa was initiated. Also, the first traffic radio station in the country, Lagos Traffic Radio, solely established to give traffic news to commuters, came on board in May, 2012. Equally, the Lagos Drivers’ Institute was set up in June, 2008 to improve and moderate the driving attitude of motorists