LandLagos CEO Shares Insights About the Struggle of Living and Working In Lagos
How long does it take you to travel to work and back home in Lagos? If you’re one of the many Lagosians who live on the mainland and work on the island then the answer should be: ‘at least 3 hours’. And that depends on where your final destination on the mainland is.
If your last bus stop is Costain, then good for you. However, if you’re a soldier in the hapless army heading to Ikorodu, Ikeja, Iyana Ipaja and other distant destinations then we can imagine just how long you spend in traffic in both directions. We salute you and pray that your daily quest to win daily bread would get less herculean as the years go by.
This is what traffic looks like everyday in Lagos. You are not likely to find the Neighbourhood Class here. Source: Google Images
There is a very fortunate class of blue- and white-collar workers who work where they live. That is, they live only a few kilometres, one or two bus stops, or even a few houses from their offices. I once met a man who boasted that he never spends more than 50 naira on his daily commute to work and the same amount back home. Lati [not real name] is super fortunate.
The 4 Classes
To explain the living choices workers are faced within Lagos, we have done a classification. Lati is an example of those in his category which would be explained further.
The Neighbourhood Class: Those who live where they work. This includes the likes of Lati who live very close to their places of employment or business. Some just stroll to work or a 50-, 100-, 200-naira bus will get them to the office. These set of people often don’t experience the snarling rush-hour traffic. In the scheme of things, they are the elite. They live where they work, and perhaps they like where they live. For them, life is a bed of roses.
Hapless Lagosians both Blue- and White-collars workers waiting for buses to their destination. Source: Google Images
The Comfortable Class: In this second category are those who live where they like. You see, we could call them the elite as well because they can’t be bothered by constraints of time and distance. Most of these individuals drive to work, can sit in a 2-hour traffic without turning off the engine or the air conditioner. Some are their own bosses, some are employees of multinationals with well-feathered nests. These ones live where they like – close to work, far from work, anywhere.
The Hybrid Class: If you don’t recognise yourself yet, pay attention to this. They work on the island where the rent is too expensive for them to rent apartments. So they get studio apartments or other convenient classes of accommodation from where they commute to and from work. On Friday, they head to Ikorodu, Ibadan, Abeokuta, Akute, Ifo, etc where they have really cushy abodes to their names. In other words, they are tenants during the week, and landlords on weekends, public holidays and the yuletide. This cycle is on permanent repeat until resignation or retirement.
The Commuting Class: The fourth group has no choice. They have to go where the office is. These are the real commuters. They live in Ikorodu (where they can afford the rent) and work in Apapa, or Lekki or travel from Agege to Victoria Island, etc. These are the number one soldiers in the economy army.
I have always liked the hybrid system where you take the best of both worlds or as many worlds as there are and roll them into one. That is what the third category represents. These realities might remain until later in the future when the city is finally able to connect all the modes of transportation for a more efficient and comfortable daily commute.
Muyiwa Folorunso, the CEO of Landlagos says government, policymakers, and entrepreneurs must find ways to solve the housing problems of the most disadvantaged classes of society. In the class of the employed, Muyiwa says the Commuting Class is the least fortunate because they have no choice, especially when they have to live in very inconducive environs just so they can get to work early. Muyiwa also highlights the situation where some members of the commuting class have to ‘squat’ with some of their comfortable colleagues or friends who live nearby. ‘It’s an unfortunate situation’, he concludes.
Whether you live where you like, live where you work or you live where you work and where you like, one thing is for sure, you desire, and you need your own home. Ask existing homeowners, it is quite blissful when you do not have to pay rent.
Owning your own home should not be a painful, long-winding, nor expensive process. Landlagos has done all the hard work so you don’t have to. We make property ownership a cinch. Go over to our website and set about the journey of living where you like.