Town planner calls for decongestion of Lagos
A town planning consultant, Mr Makinde Ogunleye, on Tuesday identified overpopulation as a major hindrance to Lagos State’s dream of becoming a megacity.
Ogunleye, a former Chairman, Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the ever-growing population of Lagos posed great challenges to the state.
According to him, a megacity status is conferred by the United Nations on cities with a population of 10 million and above.
“Although a megacity status is conferred on a city as a result of population growth, but Lagos State harbours over 18 million people.
“How to cope with the ever increasing population of Lagos with its attendant consequences on existing infrastructure poses great challenges.
“So, a reduction in population will help to prevent existing infrastructure from being over-stretched,’’ the town planner said.
He said the exodus of people from the state during festive periods was an indication that many people migrated to Lagos in search of greener pastures.
“Slums are created by these immigrants who ordinarily will live in their own houses in their states but due to the high cost of living in Lagos have settled down in unhealthy environments.
“It is only when other governors develop and beautify their states that Lagos will begin to feel relief from the burden of overpopulation it faces.
“For Lagos to effectively decongest, there is a need to encourage other states to provide the basic amenities of life to their indigenes,’’ Ogunleye added.
Apart from migration from other states, he identified the lack of good roads network as another major hindrance to the development of Lagos.
According to the consultant, though Lagos is experiencing infrastructure boom, it is not enough to cater for its teeming population.
He, therefore, urged the state government to formulate policies that could reduce overpopulation in the metropolis.
Ogunleye said the government should be more proactive in improving on its infrastructure to cater for the ever-growing population.
“Most of the areas do not have link roads, making it cumbersome for residents to commute easily within the state.
“Along with the infrastructural development currently taking place in Lagos, the government can come up with policies aimed at reducing the population to preserve new and existing infrastructure,’’ Ogunleye added.
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