Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has said that the population of the state is galloping above 24 million. The governor, who spoke at a round-table on infrastructure financing organised by the Harvard Business School Association of Nigeria (HBSAN) in collaboration with the State Government held at Eko Hotels in Lagos, said the state and indeed the country was at a critical point in history where careful assessment must be made on infrastructure deficit and deliberate actions taken to address the challenges.
The governor said the population of the state is equal to that of 30 African countries put together, noting that by 2050, the state would be a city of 36 million people or the sixth largest city in the world after Mumbai, Delhi, Dhaka, Kinshasa, and Kolkata and ahead of Tokyo, Karachi, New York and Mexico City.
According to him, “we have a migration rate of 86 people moving into Lagos every hour, higher than New York, London or Mumbai; we have a population density of 6,939 persons per kilometre and an average of five persons per household.”
He said that all these come with challenges and pressures on the physical and social infrastructure, affing that, “as at 2010, our state was facing an infrastructure deficit of $50 billion, without the inclusion of Housing and Education. In 2017, we can all imagine what this deficit will be. “Lagos State requires one million housing units every year for five-10 years to fix the housing deficit.
As at 2015, our state had 16,000km network of roads but with a daily human traffic of over 7.5 million people and 2.8 million cars; the power needs of the state is over 10,000MW but we receive less than 2,000MW; we presently supply 210.5 million gallons of water per day (mgpd) as against a demand of 750 mgpd; our state generates 13,000 tonnes of solid waste per day more than New York, United States.”
The governor said while he was not bringing up the details to scare the people, such was needed to appreciate the challenges ahead in the sectors mentioned and others, adding that it was also for that reason that the state government decided to hold the infrastructure round-table to discuss way out of the challenges. “As a government, we are aware of these challenges. These are challenges that face most mega cities like ours because we represent hope to many people and we must provide for all who make Lagos their home. If Lagos works, we could have a chance as a nation to work on others,” the governor said.