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My Home, My Interactions

Shelter cannot stand alone without Human interactions brought into retrospect. The reason why we want to stay or live in a particular location sanely should be the proximity of such place to out day to day interactions or activities. This article analyses how Nigerians decide on their places of residence against the odds.

It is said that if by 54 a Nigerian is still hale and hearty then he must be living healthy and has successfully passed the expected age of death. Simply put the average life expectancy of Nigerians is put at 54. Though at a time the average life expectancy was 45 the improvement doesn’t mean we are beginning to live right.

So many factors are responsible for this abnormality. The reduced life expectancy is occasioned by lifestyle habits, environmental hazards, poor standard of living, stress and hardship among other factors.

Also, the stress Nigerians go through day in and out is a testament to the reduced average life expectancy. In the out-gone week Nigerians were subjected to one of the most grueling period of their lives since Buhari took over the elms of affair. It was a period of time when Fuel, Electricity, Water and even the natural breeze that is the only consolation in the event of a blackout ceased for almost a week all at a go. It has been a very agonizing time for the masses who as usual adapted to the situation. Though the fuel scarcity has not entirely fizzled out it still looks better than what was obtainable this past week. While electricity and water comes as the spirit leads. The queues  at the filling stations are still being experienced though not as problematic as it was some days ago, while electricity generation has reached an all-time low of 1,580.6 MW.

The issue with the ugly situation we found ourselves in the past week is that fuel, light and water are interconnected. Some many lives depend on these famous trio for survival. Absence of one is heart-breaking, when two of the three items are missing then tragedy is the offing. Albeit when none exist at all then suicide is not so far away anymore.

By way of analysis, let us consider our various places of residence and the interactions that comes with our life’s quest in relation to the problem that reared its ugly head last week.

The average human will ensure that wherever he calls home would ordinarily be proximal to his daily interactions. By interactions, I mean his place of work, worship, comfort, relaxation, elation and where he normally derives pleasure from. The lesser the distance between the aforementioned places and his place of abode the more soothing the effect life has on the individual. It alleviates his challenges and makes living more worthwhile. However if his place of abode is not easily accessible to his place of livelihood, place of worship, place of comfort, place of  relaxation and elation, then his problems have only just begun. Unfortunately that is usually the case with most Lagosians and Nigerians alike

In view of the above premise, it becomes heart-wrenching when an average Lagosian whose workplace is miles away from home has to then contend with the hassles of commuting to work coupled with the incessant gridlock that characterizes our roads, only to be confronted with blackout and lack of water and with no fuel to even power your generator. That’s more like double tragedy! It then becomes Suicidal when the other places that draw your fancy when you are not working or at home, such as church, mosque, market place, shopping centres, entertainment centres, fun and relaxation spots are situated some distance from your home and even your workplace.

If you analyze the scenario I painted above critically you will realize how closely related it is to the fuel, electricity and water impasse that confronted us recently, hence its resultant effect.

It’s just not acceptable or healthy for any human to live his life away from those things that ensures his existence or places that give him that sense of belonging in the first place. It consequently affects his psyche in the long run.

Though Lagos is the smallest state in terms of landmass (3,345 Sq.Km), the population growth and resultant congestion gives us that impression that the city is bigger than it actually is.

Read also: Neighbourhood Effects of Industrial Land Use on Property Value

Little wonder why what supposedly should be a 15 minute drive  from Ogba to Maryland ends up spanning to an hour or more depending on the tenancity of the traffic congestion.

Now imagine that a young graduate who lives in Ibadan gets a job at Maryland and decides to move to Lagos. The first thought that should naturally come to his mind is finding a place of abode in Maryland but in the event that he doesn’t have the means to, he then has to weigh his options. Assuming he has an Uncle in Ojota and Ogba that he possibly can stay with, though both areas are not close to his new place of work one is closest and a lot more economical for him. Ojota will be his most preferred destination all things being equal.

It is not just enough to find a roof over your head, the ease at which you go about your daily interactions and movement around your source of livelihood and existence should also come to play. These are as important as finding a place to call home his. It saves you the drama and headaches that comes with surviving in Lagos with the many bottlenecks that limits us.

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