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Why Living in Lagos is Not an Option For Me


I grew up in Oyo seeing Lagos, Nigeria’s bustling economic hub, often heralded as a land of opportunities and excitement.

With its vibrant nightlife, diverse culture, and thriving business environment, the city attracts millions of people seeking a better life.

However, having years in Lagos, I have realised that living in Lagos is not an option for me. It is a temporary thing.

For some, the fast-paced life in Lagos comes with a host of challenges that outweigh its benefits.

The relentless traffic, chaotic environment, and the high cost of living make Lagos a less appealing option for those who value a more serene and balanced lifestyle.

One of the most notorious aspects of Lagos is its traffic congestion. As a person who grew up in a rustic, sane village, Lagos traffic drives some crazy.

The city’s roads are perpetually clogged, with bumper-to-bumper traffic becoming a daily ordeal for commuters.

What should be a 30-minute drive can easily turn into a multi-hour journey, draining both time and energy.

The frustration and stress of navigating through traffic jams every day can take a significant toll on one’s mental health and overall well-being.

The unpredictability of Lagos traffic means that punctuality is often a matter of luck rather than planning.

For someone who values time management and efficiency, the incessant delays and the need to factor in additional travel time for even the simplest errands can be highly discouraging.

Lagos is also synonymous with chaos. It has an overburdened infrastructure, where public utilities and services struggle to keep up with the increasing population.

Power outages, water shortages, and inconsistent internet connectivity are common issues that residents face regularly.

This lack of reliable basic services adds to the overall stress of living in such a densely populated city.

Noise pollution is another significant drawback. The constant blaring of car horns, loud street vendors, and the general hustle and bustle can be overwhelming.

For individuals who prefer a quieter and more peaceful living environment, the incessant noise of Lagos can be a major deterrent.

The cost of living in Lagos is substantially higher compared to other parts of Nigeria. Housing, in particular, is expensive, with decent accommodations in safe neighbourhoods often costing a premium.

Additionally, everyday expenses such as food, transportation, and healthcare are markedly higher. For those not earning a substantial income, maintaining a comfortable lifestyle in Lagos can be financially draining.

Moreover, the high cost of living does not always equate to a high quality of life.

Despite spending more, residents often contend with subpar services and infrastructure, leading to a frustrating disparity between cost and value.

The relentless pace of life in Lagos can have adverse effects on mental health.

The constant rush, the pressures of keeping up with the city’s demands, and the lack of personal space can lead to chronic stress and burnout.

Studies have shown that urban environments, particularly those as intense as Lagos, can contribute to higher levels of anxiety and depression.

For someone who prioritizes mental well-being, the high-stress environment of Lagos is a significant drawback.

The fast-paced lifestyle leaves little room for relaxation and self-care, essential components of a healthy life.

In Lagos, the concept of work-life balance is often a luxury rather than a standard.

The demanding work culture, combined with the time lost in traffic, means that people spend a significant portion of their day commuting and working, leaving little time for personal interests, family, and leisure.

This imbalance can lead to a diminished quality of life, where professional obligations overshadow personal happiness and fulfilment.

For individuals like me, who prioritize mental well-being, personal time, and a serene living environment, exploring other cities or regions that offer a slower pace of life and a better quality of living becomes a more attractive option.

Finding a place where one can enjoy a fulfilling life without the constant stress and chaos is essential for long-term happiness and health.

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