Emerging Nigerian Megacities and Sustainable Development: Case Study of Lagos and Abuja

  •  Ajah Obia    


It is estimated that by 2020 half of Nigerians shall live in urban centres. Nigeria has scores of such centres, with many showing the tendency of becoming megacities in a no distant future. One of these cities, Lagos (already a megacity), shall by projection, have a population of 24 million persons by 2020. The other, Abuja, is one of the fastest growing cities on earth. Generally, the world is now known to parade far larger cities than history has ever recorded. Some of these cities are quite magnificent and glorious - London, Paris, Tokyo and New York. On the other hand, Lagos and Mumbai are classic examples of urban failures. What separate the two classes of cities are the approaches to the design of their urban fabrics and management of their ecology. Whereas the former cities have adopted robust sustainability principles in their architecture and urban design/regeneration as well as efficient urban management programmes, the latter appear to be partially or totally non-committal. This paper examines the evolving Nigerian mega cities and their potentials for sustainable survival, with particular reference to Lagos and Abuja, using indices of economic productivity, social equity and environmental concerns. The result shows that the two cities failed these sustainability tests. The cause is traceable to unsustainable architecture being practiced. About half of the total global energy consumption comes from buildings. Eco-design prescriptions of the architect would guarantee urban sustainability. Thus, this paper recommends a national green building code for Nigeria.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.