One of the fastest growing cities in Africa is Lagos with an estimated population of 17.8 million people
However, this rapid growth has become a cause for concern to the State Government as it has been accompanied by several challenges. Nonetheless, there has been a proactive response by the State Government which has led to the formulation of a Development Plan.
The Lagos State Development Plan
This plan spans 2014 to 2025 and the project is built around 4 development pillars which include:
- Economic growth,
- Infrastructure development,
- Social development and security, and
- Sustainable environment.
So what does this development plan really entail?
Well, before we go into the details, let’s take a look at some of the important facts about Lagos
- Lagos contributes 25% to the national GDP while being the smallest of the 36 states.
- The state also contributes 65% to the country’s tourism and 50% to the national port revenue.
- Lagos is responsible for over 70% of international air traffic and 50% of national energy consumption.
- The state economy has been estimated to grow annually at a rate of 7% over the last three years.
- Lagos adds 600,000 new inhabitants every year, growing at a rate of 6-8% a year.
- 40% of Nigerian fuel supply is used up in Lagos.
- The state has one of the busiest ports in Africa and it is an important centre of international trade.
Despite these interesting facts, the state is currently plagued with many challenges. One of the major challenges is the lack of adequate infrastructure. For instance, power supply is not only erratic, it is expensive. For manufacturing companies, the cost of electricity represents 20-40% of the total cost of production which is more than double what is paid in developed countries.
This can be explained with the fact that the state needs between 5000-8000 MW, while the current supply fluctuates between 900 MW and 1200MW, leaving an enormous power gap.
Also, the road infrastructure is another challenge. Everyday, over 1 million cars drive along the Lagos roads and these vehicles transport over 7 million people around the 9900km of road.
Unfortunately, the road transport which represents 93% of the total passengers in the state has been responsible for the incessant traffic congestion which sometimes makes it impossible to move around easily. Often times, Lagosians spend an average of 3 to 5 hours commuting to and fro work daily due to the traffic situation.
Water supply is another basic amenity in Lagos that isn’t up to par. The demand for water is estimated at 3600 billion litres while the current supply is 1200 billion litres. Also, the water service covers only 4 in 10 Lagosians.
Unemployment is another challenge. 64% of Lagosians live on less than $2 a day (N600) and only 31% have access to formally paid job while 57% are self-employed. However, the state is awakening to its responsibilities as one of the goals of the State Government is to reduce the unemployment rate to 5% or less
But it’s not all negatives for Lagos State; the Government has made giant strides in certain areas like education with its subsidized education.
Currently, the literacy rate is estimated at 61% although only 14% of students are in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) faculties.
Also, the State Government has been working quite hard to improve its manufacturing capacity. Currently, plans are in place to increase the activity of the manufacturing sector from 4% to 43% as well as the annual GDP growth to at least 10% within the next few years.
The Lagos State Development Plan was presented by the former Governor of Lagos state, Babatunde Fashola, on the 16th of December 2014 and the plan spans 15 years from 2012 to 2025.
Basically, the Lagos State Development Plan (LSDP) is an aspect of town and country planning comprising of set of documents which include written statements and accompany maps.
These documents have been created to set out the overall strategy for proper planning, development and use of land in an area in other to achieve sustainable development and create human settlements that accommodate a variety of land uses to meet the needs of the people who live in this settlements.
This policy document was able to integrate all existing high level policy documents that were operational in the State. As a result, the plan captures past strategic development plans and statements and harmonized them with the current plan.
According to Babatunde Fashola, the vision of the state is become Africa’s Model Mega City as well as the Global, Economic and Financial Hub in terms of safety, security, functionality and productivity.
This explains why the LSDP is an important platform for providing direction for the growth and development of the State.
In the transport sector, one of the goals is the completion of the ferry terminal in Badore, Osborne and Ikorodu.
The Lagos Light rail is another project in progress with the train terminus already built at Mile 2, Orile and Costain
Water supply is also experiencing progress with the Adiyan water works up and running. In some parts of Lagos, long term desalination is being considered due to limited water resources. Also, there’s an ongoing water project at Odo Iya Alaro Waste Water Treatment Plant.
In the housing sector, there are ongoing projects are multiple sites and the state has been delivering home to qualified residents every month.
Overall, the development plan is an essential guide enabling developers maintain a stringent guidelines when working on projects. Also, the plan also ensures the evaluation of the progress made with the goals and objectives of the plan. Additionally, the plan will serve as a template and reference anytime there’s the need to seek international assistance by the State Government.
During the presentation by the former Governor, he reiterated that the execution of this plan doesn’t lie solely in the hands of the State Government. Instead it’s a document which everyone (public, private and civil society) must take ownership of and contribute their quota to its success.