There’s no doubting the economic prowess of Lagos.
It’s where a large chunk of Nigeria’s heavy-duty business happens. Home to numerous corporate headquarters, the metropolis also embraces more than two dozen industrial estates and four major business districts. Add the myriad commercial concerns that carpet the city, and you’ll begin to see why this hub is so important.
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The numbers bear witness to Lagos’s prime position in the Nigerian setup. As of 2017, its GDP stood at about $136 billion. This meant that it accounted for more than 30% of the country’s economic output that year. Bear in mind that it’s just one of the federation’s 36 states.
We appreciate this, even more, when we compare Lagos’s economy with that of whole countries in Africa. When ranked alongside national economies on the continent, Lagos places seventh. It has a bigger GDP than countries like Kenya, Ghana, Ethiopia, and Tanzania.
This city has several things going for it. First, there’s the large population that inhabits it—about 21 million people. This number consists of some of the brightest, most skilled individuals in Nigeria. Due to the concentration of quality labour and expertise in this area, many companies prefer to start up here.
Also, Lagos has an economy that’s far more diversified than the broader Nigerian economy. The trade and transportation sectors are large and thriving, as are real estate and hospitality. The city is the focal centre for media in West Africa and is vital to the flourishing of Nigeria’s entertainment industry.
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About 70% of Nigeria’s industrial activity happens in Lagos. It also accounts for 65% of national commerce.
The city is leading Nigeria into the future, with a vibrant startup ecosystem that constantly tops the African tech charts. Some of the biggest and most successful startups on the continent have emerged from its tech hubs and tiny offices. Think Andela, Paystack, Jumia, Konga, and Flutterwave, for example.
None of this diminishes the many challenges that Lagos faces. The city’s population is growing faster than its infrastructure is currently able to cope with. Institutions don’t always perform optimally. And city-wide management is proving to be a difficult nut to crack for the state government.
Despite these issues, Lagos continues to push forward. That’s because its people continually choose to surmount the odds. Their energy and relentless pursuit of a better life are the engines that power the city they call home.
Featured Image Source: BuzzNigeria
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