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Lagos; Its Opportunities And Challenges

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ElevateNews takes a look at how the unskilled labour survive in Lagos.

Lagos, the land of opportunity. The city that hardly sleeps, where trades thrive and commerce moves with the speed of light. Remove Lagos from Nigeria and the country goes to sleep.

Stand at Berger Bus Stop, you will marvel at the rate at which Nigerians migrate to the State of aquatic splendor; move to Ojota, you will notice the thousands that have just arrived; go to Oshodi, you will see heads of newcomers to Lagos.

I also know that newcomers stop at Maza Maza while hundreds have their destinations in Ijora, Oyingbo and Iddo. Luxury buses bring Nigerians from the east and south; the northerners come in their trucks and trailers.

Lagos population grows every minute and at present, over 25 million people live in the State. Many sleep under the bridges, motor parks and bus stop.

The destitute, the street beggars have found Lagos as their safe haven not because there are no laws against this nuisance but because there are still many hideouts in the metropolis for this set of people.

So, an average Nigerians want to be in Lagos mostly for business. But money does not grow in Lagos, people work to earn. If you lack the skills or the necessary education, Lagos may not be the best destination.

Of course, there are millions who do not have these two qualifications, yet they are able to get their daily bread because they are smart with the conduct of their unskilled labour.

You do not need to learn bus conductor in a school or vocational centre, it is a job that requires smartness. There are commuters who leave home without transport fare. Their plan is to get to their destination without paying the bus conductor.

Commercial bus operation is one of the informal businesses in which there are no official ways of collecting transport fare. On other hands, the bus conductor is also ready to cheat the commuters. The bus conductors pray that a passenger forgets his balance “change”.

Towards the end of the immediate past administration, commercial motorcycle operation resurfaced on some restricted roads. Most of them, northerners.

The problem of insurgency has pursued many of them out of their States. Their next destination is Lagos but it seems the present Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu will not tolerate this with his executive order that the proliferation of commercial motorbike should be stopped.

On Saturday, about 200 youths from Jigawa State were apprehended with their motorcycles while entering Lagos. The State Task Force on Environment made the arrest. These are just a few of the hundreds of unskilled youths mostly from the north that enter Lagos everyday.

I know that in a short time, some Nigerians will begin to politicize this laudable move by the Lagos State Government. Yes, of course, this country belongs to all of us, a true federal system, if allowed to thrive, encourages a State to take action by enforcing its laws to the letter.

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