A Report On Poverty Rates In Lagos State

Lagos is home to a rising population of 14,862,111, the economic capital of Nigeria has a poverty rate estimated at 8.5 percent. Lagos is often referred to as the “Megacity of Slums, it has over 6,000 millionaires (and even multi-millionaires and a handful of billionaires) while a vast majority live below extreme poverty levels.

Research claims that two out of three residents of Lagos live in the city’s notorious slums—settlements built to accommodate the overcrowded communities. For instance, Makoko, the state’s most popular slum houses over 100,000 people who have limited access to education, good roads or clean water.

The Ajegunle district, located in the heart of Lagos, is home to some three million Nigerians who live in poorly built structures with little to no infrastructure and poor standards of living. Many of its residents lack access to clean water and proper sanitation; families often do not have sufficient resources to send children to school.

According to Nigerian Poverty Statistics, the poverty rate in Lagos is 8.5 percent, about 1,263,279 living in extreme poverty.

Lagos is faced with the issues of increasing population. World Population Review reports that the population growth in Lagos in 2021 is 3.44% (14,862,111) and would increase by 0.19% percent by 2023.

Government corruption and greed forms part of the poverty concerns in Lagos. In 2017, it was reported that police officers raided the town of Otodo-Gbame, leaving thousands of poor Nigerians homeless. In December 2020, the Lagos State Ministry of Environment, the Lagos State Task Force office and the Lagos State Ministry Of Physical Planning & Urban Development, on Sunday, January 3, 2021, accepted responsibility for the demolition exercise carried out on December 31, 2020, in Monkey Village – a settlement with a vast majority of homeless people originally belonging to Egba refugees.

Over 300,000 Nigerians are homeless in Lagos city, mostly due to state-ordered demolitions and lack of space.

According to Justice and Empowerment Initiatives Nigeria, 65 percent of the people living in Lagos are urban poor who live in slums and settlements.

A study conducted by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, or the OPHI, found that 22.1 percent of Nigeria’s urban population is vulnerable to poverty while only 14.4 percent of the rural population is vulnerable.

According to the OPHI, 20 percent of the Lagos population are vulnerable to poverty, and the intensity of economic deprivation in Lagos stands at 41.1 percent.

Patsy Nwogu

Reporting on data-driven featured stories and investigations.

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