Every city in the world, no matter how developed or underdeveloped, has a mixture of good and bad. And Lagos is not an exception. If you’re looking for a city in Nigeria that’s bubbling with many diverse opportunities, Lagos is the place to go. The various sectors that range from manufacturing, construction, transport, service, retail to wholesale are all available for you to explore.
However, if you relocate to Lagos without doing your homework, many aspects of the city’s normal way of life may come to you as a surprise—which may not all be wonderful. Here are just a few things you should be aware of before you consider relocating to Lagos:
When you visit a ‘buka’ joint or restaurant in Lagos, expect to get your tongue spiced up. Most Lagosians like it hot and the cooks or chefs in these eateries do well to give them what they want. If you can handle some extra pepper, then don’t fail to check out some local delicacies like ofada rice, the popular Nigerian jollof rice, asun (seasoned meat with sprinklings of pepper and onions), pepper soup, amala and ewedu (a special combo). You can never go wrong with Nigerian meals.
Rent Can Be Pricey
Honestly, the cost of comfortable and fitting accommodation in Lagos will have you gasping for breath if you decided to relocate to Lagos. A two-bedroom flat will cost anywhere from 250,000 Naira to 1,000,000 Naira per annum—depending on the part of Lagos. Focus your house hunting in the mainland part of Lagos like Yaba, Oshodi, Ojuelegba and so on if you can’t afford to spend more than N500,000 on accommodation. In the serene and high-class island of Lagos, expect to spend nothing less than 800,000 Naira or more on a two-bedroom flat.
Go-slows Are Inevitable
Yea! Do you think you’ve seen the worst traffic jam in your hometown? Wait till you get to Lagos. You will come across a traffic jam, commonly known as go-slow in lag, at almost every major road. The kind of go-slow that will have you arriving your destination 30 minutes to 2 hours later than should be the case. The seasoned Lagosian’s way of coping with these traffic jams is to leave the house hours earlier than the stipulated time for work or some other event. Don’t be so shocked when you see a danfo bus (a public bus painted yellow and black) ‘overtaking’ your ride in a risky manner—it’s all for the sake of escaping the traffic jam.
SARS Is Real
SARS, short for Special Anti-Robbery Squad was created to fight against robbery in Nigeria but seems all they do now is combat Nigerian youths. ‘Unique’ or ‘different’ signals armed robber or internet fraudster for SARS. Cover your skin with a tattoo, carry locs or tinted hair, have an iPhone or Apple laptop in your bag and immediately, you are seen as a suspect worthy of harassment.
Currently, Lagosians are protesting against SARS, pleading that the government ends the evil that’s SARS. Till the government takes positive action, be mindful of SARS in Lagos and consider this when relocating to Lagos.
Some Areas Are More Secure Than Others
That’s a fact! Before you move into an area in Lagos, try to carry out some research: ask the locals about the level of security in that area. Areas in the mainland like Ikorodu, Fadeyi, and Oshodi can be volatile—when it’s not touts fighting, it will be an armed robbery incident. Recently though, there’s been an improvement in the level of security but it never hurts to be cautious. And one more thing, when walking in Lagos markets, remember to hold your bag firmly and in such a way that it’s visible to you—bag snatchers and pickpockets still exist.
Public Transport Can Be Inconvenient
Tight, stuffy, hot, rowdy and smelly are some few adjectives that best describe the interior of danfo buses. But forget their rickety appearance, they safely take you to your destination most of the time. BRT, a better public transport in Lagos that’s spacious and has air condition, is more convenient but doesn’t cover all routes in Lagos. And often times, you’d still struggle for breath in the air-conditioned BRT bus as it can be chock full with standing passengers.
When relocating to Lagos, you should know that Lagos is all the more fun and interesting because of its busy and aggressive side.
Fun Life Is On Point
Yes o, owambe (outdoor parties), live music shows, cultural fiestas, celebrity entertainment events and bars with slick-fingered DJs will keep you up all night if you want. Lagosians party hard, you won’t ever have a dull moment when you attend a Lagos party. Banky W even had to confess that there ‘ain’t no party like a Lagos party” in one of his popular songs titled ‘Lagos Party.’
Like Lagosians will often say, ‘jasi’ (be smart) and you won’t run into avoidable trouble in Lagos. Do you have other interesting things to consider when relocating to Lagos? Kindly drop them in the comment section.