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Economist Intelligence Unit

Top 5 Unpredictable Facts about Lagos

Of a truth, there are many things you cannot predict about Lagosians and Lagos state at large. Imagine a government that suddenly decides to increase tax on real properties by a whooping 400% without thinking twice about it’s implications. Stange things evolve every single day of our lives in this city of high-tension drama that it has become a normal occurrence to those of us living in the so called “no man’s land”. However this article narrows down the unpredictability of Lagos to five basic facts

Lagos city is a place where the unexpected can happen and every way “na way”. Visitors who don’t have a fore knowledge of what works and doesn’t work in Lagos can be caught unawares by events and antecedents if they are not careful.

Are you planning on visiting the city of hustlers? Do you have intentions of relocating to Lagos? It is advisable that you get your facts right before you decide on a visit to or permanent stay in arguably the most popular city in West Africa. Even those who were born and bred in the state are still at loss as to what Lagos is really about.

Here are five things about the city where excellence thrives that you can never tell or predict:


1. When Your transformer will ‘Blow’


If there is one event even a visitor in Lagos state can predict the time of occurrence its when “Nepa” will strike! That anomaly in our power sector is not just peculiar to Lagos state. The true Lagosians always know when Nepa will seize light. They expect it to happen like the very moment light is restored, the next moment expect darkess!

There are places in Lagos that there is a time table for when to expect light. For instance, some places witness what they call; 1 day on, 5 days off; one day of light, 5 days of blackout! Abeg that one na life? Forgive my vernacular, I just had to speak pidgin to drive home my point exactly.

Nonetheless, even if you can predict when you will be having blackout because you know the moment you think about it, it happens almost immediately; they never seem to disappoint you, however you can’t predict when your transformer will BLOW! That can happen anytime as the spirit leads.

In a situation where several houses are connected to a small 50kva transformer then expect the agent of darkness anytime. The transformer serving such houses will “blow” without warning.

2. Time the city sleeps.

night life

Lagos is always a beehive of activities during the day and it even gets crazier at night especially along Allen-Opebi axis. At any time of the day the city doesn’t seem to slumber. You will be amazed at what happens in Lagos city after midnight when sane people should be in bed. Little wonder they call it the city that never goes to sleep.

I remember those days I spent growing up in Festac, when you will find all manner of youths (male and female) who never took a shower during the day dress beautifully at night, wearing all manner of make-up and perfume. Their day starts when parents are sleeping or listening to the NTA Network news.

3. The population


Over time there have been conflicting reports and figures about the population of people living in Lagos state. Presently the figures are put at 21 million and I will be telling you a lie if I said I believe that. Have you considered the number of people that troop in and out of the city daily? In fact the rate at which people come into this city is alarming.


I remember back then in the 90’s before Oshodi was revamped. Standing on the Oshodi bridge and looking down at the adjoining market usually leaves me in utter shock. Is it that the whole country comes to shop in this market? That is the question that plays on my lips each time I find my self in that pole position.

Then you come today to tell me there are 21 million people staying in Lagos…It must be a different Lagos then. I’m sure the 21 million people (that’s if they are not more or less) are those that come in and go out of Lagos frequently. So can we just calculate the number of people leaving in Lagos? Try it at your own peril…

4. The time it takes to commute within Lagos.


If you think  normally it should take you less than 30 minutes to get to work then you really have to start thinking abnormally so as not to get to work late. That does not happen in a city like Lagos where you can’t predict traffic and other eventualities. In fact you may as well leave your house around 5a.m no matter where your workplace is in Lagos even if it’s just 1 hour away under normal circumstances to get to work before 8a.m.

Woe betide you if you live in Ikorodu and work on the Island. On that one I can’t help you because waking up by 3am still doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get to work late. I can only predict you will make it to work before 8a.m if you leave your house at midnight…

5. The real face of Lagosians

These days if you don’t package yourself well and you are a Lagos babe, you are doomed. The competition of fake people and fake faces is real; its a serious something. No go dull yourself! You can’t be a Lagos babe and continue to look African when your mates are either self-styled Puerto-ricans or Mexicans. It’s called packaging!.

You meet that girl on the street of Lagos and you can’t even tell if it’s her real face or voice. There are so many of them around and knowing them for years doesn’t even guarantee seeing them without make-up, so you eventually can’t predict what they look like without their make-up; you don’t know how their real face is.

I have a friend who can’t do without wearing make-up. In fact,  I can swear she comes out of the bathroom with her make-up still on. Hers is spiritual (na follow come from villa). The first time I saw her without make up, I was so shocked at the difference that I didn’t know when I asked her; Is this your real face?

The opportunity of seeing the real face of a Lagos babe is rare no matter where you find them. Not even in a swimming pool. I’ll bet when you see them in your dreams they will still be wearing make-up.

That’s why many single ladies in Lagos have found husbands just for wearing make-up every single day of their lives

Are there other factors that distinguishes Lagos and makes it a very unpredictable city, please add yours in the comment box below

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