• Fear of demolition grips Lagos slum dwellers

    The urban renewal programme in Lagos is threatening the housing security of residents who live in the many ‘illegal’ settlements in the megacity. Beautification and channelization appear higher on the Lagos State Government’s list of priorities than secure housing for the city’s over 12 million residents. Tunji Bello, Commissioner for the Environment, visited an illegal […]

  • Planning for exclusion in Abuja

    Nigeria, a nation deeply scarred by colonialism and years of civil war, took the decision in 1991 to build a new capital city at the country’s centre. Abuja is Africa’s first modernist capital and follows in the tradition of other planned cities across the world, from Brasilia (Brazil), to Washington D.C. (USA) to Chandigarh (India). […]

  • Lagos to represent Africa at international conference on urban social challenges

    The Nigerian capital is one of 22 cities nominated to present problems and solutions to issues afflicting cities across the globe. The conference will be hosted in San Francisco in May. While half of the nominees are from Spain, Britain and the USA, Lagos is Africa’s only representative. Cities Pilot the Future  intends to match […]

  • Lagos slum residents live among garbage at “Dustbin Estate”

              A documentary produced by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) in Nigeria highlights how high rentals and poverty in Lagos, one of the fastest growing cities on the continent, have driven thousands of residents to build shacks at “Dustbin Estate,” a slum in Awodiora, Ajeromi Ifelodun, to the west […]

  • Fuel profiteering in Abuja

    They are back in business and every day, they smile to the bank. The pain of motorists, who drive many kilometres round the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in search of fuel, is their gain. In a twist of irony, what the motorists could not get at many of the filling stations in the FCT is […]

  • Hope in troubled waters: Developing water transport infrastructure in Lagos

    In West Africa’s most urbanized city, many experience that while “water no get enemy”, it certainly does pick and choose its friends. These words are part of the lyrical heritage bequeath by the late world-renowned Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti, whose rally cries against military rule, corruption and colonialism resonate with his Lagosian kinsmen decades on. […]

  • Lagos and the terrorist threat

    In today’s world of entrepreneurial cities, at least two things matter more than size when it comes to inspiring investor confidence – urban infrastructure and security. Lagos, Africa’s second-largest city and fastest-growing urban economy, is no exception. Yet despite considerable efforts to deliver physical upgrades, instill formality into local practices and depopulate suspected brewing stations […]

  • Food for thought: reforming governance through food

    From roadside “Mama Put” canteens and street vendors to sprawling supermarkets and vast catering networks, a booming food culture in Lagos is transforming the city’s landscape and culture with an industrial intensity nearly unmatched by any other commercial venture in the local economy. Much of this can be attributed to the stable growth of Nigeria’s […]

  • A city too big to fail

    If Lagos were a person, she would wear a Gucci jacket and cheap hair weave, with a mobile phone in one hand, a second set in her back pocket, and the mother of all scowls on her face. She would usher you impatiently through her front door at an extortionate price before smacking you to […]

  • Makoko demolitions prompt accusations of institutionalised elitism in urban planning

    Home to over 80,000 people, Makoko’s stilt-supported timber dwellings have long been an urban motif along the city’s inland shoreline – illustrative of the tough but vibrant life of Lagos. Yet, with a decision that simultaneously flouted international human rights conventions, encroached on federal jurisdiction and opened the floodgates of public scrutiny, the partial demolition […]