The Punch

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Lagos population now over 20 million


The Lagos State government has put the current population of the state at around 21 million, making it 10 per cent of Nigeria’s population, which was recently put at 167 million by the National Population Commission.

Lagos Population


In an interview with SUNDAY PUNCH, the Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba, said even though the state had yet to conduct another census, it established that the population was 18 million in 2006.

He said, “Although, we have not conducted any census since 2006, we however counted 18 million residents. By our projection, population should now be about 20 to 21 million.”

The increase of 18 million in 2006 to 21 million in 2011, means that the state’s population rose by an average of half a million annually.

Ibirogba attributed the rise in population to the fact that Lagos is the social and commercial hub of the country.

In response to grim predictions of overpopulation and environmental disasters in Lagos, the commissioner said the state government was aware of the projections and was consciously investing in transportation, security, housing, health care and the environment to mitigate the possible effects of overpopulation.

He said “From the 1960s, Lagos has always been the centre of attraction. Lagos always had large population. Out of every 10 Nigerians, nine want to come to Lagos. Many people think it is classy to live and own a house in Lagos. About 60 per cent of school leavers want to get a job in Lagos. Our state is cosmopolitan in nature with people of diverse backgrounds. It has always been like this, so there is nothing to suggest a population explosion. Nothing is getting out of hand.”

He added, “Because of the need to maintain the facilities on ground as we build new ones, government has given everybody the task of protecting available facilities.

“We are investing in every sector of our society. Recently we delivered 429 housing units to Lagosians and we are working on facilities in our hospitals and schools. We are also increasing efforts to ensure that traffic is flowing freely.

“We are telling people if you don’t have anything doing on the road, stay at home and do your business on the phone. We have also built jetties in different places to boost water transportation and our light rail project is on. So generally, if you look at all these, you will know that we are managing our population well, so there cannot be population explosion in Lagos.”

Ibirogba also debunked rumours that the state government had given transport fares to indigent, jobless residents, sending them back to their hometowns.