Is Lagos State Overhyped?

Moving to Lagos after completing my NYSC was a natural decision. I had observed my Industrial training in Lagos and was being waited upon by my grandma to join her at her Surulere residence. Grandma often said that Lagos receives an influx of new dwellers daily. This was confirmed in a statement made by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, where he stated that 2064 immigrants find their way to Lagos daily.

Described as no man’s land, a land of opportunities and the commercial nerve center of Nigeria; Lagos is a top destination for individuals in search of greener pasture. A sizeable number of my University and Secondary school mates ply their trade in Lagos. Little wonder, some school of thought argues that every Nigerian family has representation in Lagos.

Having lived in Lagos for 7 years, I can confirm that Lagos holds a lot of opportunities and promise but it is also important to state that the type of opportunities available varies and depends on individual’s skillset. At every moment, there are thousands of nanny, factory worker, receptionist, driving, sales girl and housemaid openings. These jobs pay between 20,000 – 35,000 Naira. The same cannot be said of high paying jobs with organizations’ like Chevron, Addax, Shell, Mobil, Diamond Bank etc

Are Lagosians really better off than their kinsmen living in other Nigerian towns and villages? A Lagosian who earns a monthly salary of 60,000 Naira is no better than a Non-Lagosian who earns a salary of 20,000 Naira in other Nigerian towns and villages; not factoring the stress and sweat endured by the typical Lagos worker. It is therefore safe to conclude that some Lagosians are stuck in Lagos to avoid the shame and taunt of moving back home with “nothing”.

Before you make up your mind to migrate to Lagos in search of greener pastures, bread and butter, milk and honey, you need to ponder and consider the following:

WHY ARE YOU MOVING TO LAGOS?

What do you intend to achieve in Lagos? Many individuals move to Lagos without having answer to the all-important question – “Why are you moving to Lagos”. These individuals have the false belief that life is sweeter in Lagos than other locations in Nigeria. While it is correct to say that opportunities abound in Lagos, the skills and proficiency levels of individuals are important pointers to the level of success they can achieve.

WHAT SKILLS DO YOU POSSESS?

How proficient are you in doing the things you know how to do? Are you a professional in your trade? It is important that you attain a level of expertise before “rushing” to compete with legions of people providing the same service. Moreover, it is not advisable you relocate to Lagos just for the “prestige” of living in Lagos. Will living in Lagos make a positive difference on your career, business and income?

HOW MUCH SALARY ARE YOU OFFERED?

For those who are offered employment in Lagos, it is important you consider the job location, pay and your residential location before jumping at such offer. This is more important when you currently have a job at a location outside Lagos. Your current job may hold more promise, peace of mind and profit than a Lagos job. Consider your options before taking a decision.

Lagos is a destination for acquiring certain skills owing to its status as most industrialized state in Nigeria, it is not out of place if you are Lagos bound to acquire a skill. At the end of such training, it may be wise to choose a non-Lagos location to ply your trade. The decision to remain in Lagos or not is yours to make.

For those who are stuck in Lagos and ashamed to try another location or return home, I’d advise you to explore other alternatives.

In the end, determination, focus, willpower, strong commitment levels, effective communication and good interpersonal skills are important values needed for survival in any environment. If Lagos is your choice, I wish you the best.

Share your Lagos experience with us @ www.ekocitymagazine.com via info@ekocitymagazine.com.

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