Ideas That Might Tackle Lagos State Traffic

How To Tackle Lagos State Heavy Traffic

Lagos is located on the GPS Coordinate UTM 31N Easting of 544942 and Northing of 714671, it is sometimes referred to as Lagos State to distinguish it from Lagos Metropolitan Area, it is a state in the southwestern geopolitical zone of Nigeria. The smallest in area of Nigeria’s 36 states. Lagos State is arguably the most economically important state of the country, the nation’s largest urban area and one of the overpopulated states in Nigeria. It is a major financial centre and would be the fifth-largest economy in Africa if it were a country.

Lagos State is bounded on the north and east by Ogun State. In the west, it shares boundaries with the Republic of Benin. Behind its southern borders lies the Atlantic Ocean. 22% of its 3,577 km2 are lagoons and creeks.


The Red portion is showing Lagos State on the Map of Nigeria


The above picture is showing all the Local Governments in Lagos State


The image above shows the overview of Lagos State on Google Earth


According to the report I got from Eko innovation Center website, in 2015, the then Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola revealed that the state loses over N250 billion to traffic every year. If Lagos is losing that huge amount to traffic annually, how much do we really need to fix Lagos traffic permanently?

In independent research carried out recently, 55% of Lagosians waste about 5-6 hours daily in traffic, 23% waste 1-2 hours daily, 20% waste 30 – 40 minutes daily and only 2% claimed they don’t experience any serious traffic due to close proximity to workplaces.

Another survey reveals that if traffic time is reduced by 20 per cent, it would save Lagos State at least $1 billion (about N150 billion) yearly.

Billions of Naira are lost to businesses and families daily due to the excruciating traffic lock, yet the Lagos population is projected to grow to 36 million by 2020, which means dead-end traffic is ahead except something is done. The grave effect also extends to the cost to human health, wear and tear of motor parts and other emotional effects.

Below are just a few pictures of heavy traffic in Lagos State:

lagos_traffic lagos_traffic



The Root Causes of Heavy Traffic in Lagos

Bad Roads

This is one of the major causes of heavy traffic in Lagos State recently, even though there has been heavy traffics in Lagos before but bad roads have also constituted to the problems of traffic.


Lagos is a port city and the most populous city in Nigeria. The metropolitan area originated on islands, including Lagos Island, that was protected from the Atlantic Ocean by sand spits. The city has expanded onto the mainland west of the lagoon, however, with Ikeja, the capital of Lagos, and Agege over 25 miles northwest of Lagos Island. Lagos has a population estimated at 21 million in 2016, which makes it the largest city in Africa.

The city of Lagos covers an immense area, coming in with a total of 1,171.28 square kilometres (452.23 square miles). With the population continuing to grow, and currently exceeding at least 17 million residents, the population density is around 6,871 residents per square kilometre (17,800 per square mile).

Lagos’s 2019 population is now estimated at 13,903,620. In 1950, the population of Lagos was 325,218. Lagos has grown by 1,664,414 since 2015, which represents a 3.24% annual change. These population estimates and projections come from the latest revision of the UN World Urbanization Prospects. These estimates represent the Urban agglomeration of Lagos, which typically includes Lagos’s population in addition to adjacent suburban areas.

This has constituted a lot to the traffic in Lagos State.

Unlawful Packing of Vehicles

This means packing of vehicles in an unauthorized location which can cause traffic too on the highway. Imagine having a double packing of vehicles in a single lane road, this will automatically cause go-slow of vehicles passing through that route.

Illegal parking of vehicles on the highway also constitute a lot too on traffic.

Vendors (Traders) on highway

Vendors or people selling goods on highway is another cause of traffic on highway. Buying and selling of goods cause overcrowding of people on highway which in turns causes traffic on highway too.

Violation of Traffic Law

This is another cause of traffic congestion in Lagos, people do not obey traffic law which in turns causes heavy traffic. Traffic violations occur when drivers violate laws that regulate vehicle operation on streets and highways. A moving violation occurs whenever a traffic law is violated by a vehicle in motion. Some examples of violations are speeding, running a stop sign or red light, and drunk driving.

The Ideas and Solutions to tackle Lagos State Traffic Permanently

Creating More Alternative Routes/Roads

An alternative route is a route in Lagos State that provides an alternate alignment for a highway. They are loop roads and found in many road systems in Lagos. Alternative routes should be created as a means of connecting different routes for easy access. An “Alternative Route” shall be considered a route which starts at a point where it branches off from the main route, may pass through certain neighbourhood and then connect back with the regular route some miles distant.

If many alternative routes are created, there will be a reduction in traffic in most of the location. This can be achieved by observing those places where there is always heavy traffic, then site/look for alternative routes where some vehicles can branch and link other routes that lead to where they are heading to. Then those routes should be widened and made comfortable (graded and tarred) for easy access to vehicles.

Official and General Buses as a means of transportation for public and private sectors

This can be achieved by enforcing it on public and private sectors to get official and general buses for their staffs as a means of transportation to and fro to their place of work daily. There will be a designated location where the buses will pick up the staffs and take them to work, then bring them back after closing time.

This will reduce heavy traffic on highway, imagine in a sector where three hundred staffs work there and a hundred staffs have personal cars, if the sector provides a very conducive buses for the staffs and a bus can accommodate like 50 staffs, that has already reduced the vehicles on the road from hundred to two, (100cars with 100 staffs = 2buses with 100satffs, 50staffs each). This is also applicable to those that do not have cars too, the bus will accommodate many people than ordinary cab which can only accommodate 5 people at once. In essence, bus services should be improved (buying more BRT can also help too).

Another means of Transportation (Water Transportation)

Another means of transportation should be created, for instance, imagine a lot of people who work on the Island and reside on the Mainland,  if there is another means of transportation like water transportation (maybe commercial fast boats, commercial fast ships, etc.). This will also reduce people from using road transportation which will, in turn, reduce the heavy traffic of people going from the Mainland to the Island.


A save Water Transportation in Lagos, if more of this can be created, it will definitely reduce Lagos Traffic.

Improving Highway Traffic with Technology (Traffic CCTV Camera)

Red light cameras are designed to photograph vehicles that enter a specific intersection after the traffic light has turned red. If you’ve been sitting in the intersection waiting to turn left since the light was green or yellow and it goes red as you’re turning, you’re probably safe. If you’re turning right at a red light, you could trigger the camera if you don’t stop and take the time to look both ways before moving into the intersection.

Generally speaking, red-light cameras are either mounted on a free-standing pole near the intersection or attached directly to the traffic light stand. When the light is red, sensors that are embedded under each lane of traffic trigger the camera when a vehicle drives over the stop line. Then, the camera snaps a photo of the vehicle’s rear license plate.

By installing the Red Light Camera, this will keep people away from disobeying the traffic, because anyone that disobey the traffic will be prosecuted after the Red camera must have captured the license plate number of the vehicle.


A Traffic Light with the Camera, the camera immediately captures anyone that disobey the traffic.

Creating Packing Zones for vehicles and Motor Packs

Creation of Packing Zones will also reduce the traffic in Lagos, there should be large and conducive areas in many locations mainly built for packing zones whereby hundreds of people pack their vehicles. This will reduce unlawful and illegal packing of vehicles on the highways which also allow easy movements of vehicles.

Also, the creation of more motor packs too will reduce traffic, in Lagos, it has become the habit of most bus and cab drivers to operate on the main road which in turns causes traffic too, but if there is a lot of motor packs with serious law enforcement from the government. This will also help a lot.


Well-arranged vehicles in a Packing zone



Thanks for reading…

Osho Taiwo Horshman


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