Traffic Congestion In Lagos: What It Really Looks Like [Pictures]

How long does it take you to get to your office during rush-hour? Four hours? To get to work by 8.00am resumption time, what time do you leave home?

Tosin Gbemile, rural reporter’s photojournalist, takes a walk around some major roads on the mainland in Lagos. Shooting from Airport road, Agidingbi (Wempco road), Awolowo road, Abeokuta express road, Ikeja, to Okota Isolo road; he presents to you, different perspective of the business hub of Nigeria during traffic congestion—also popularly called “go-slow” or “hold-up”.

Some will argue that for a city that has over 20 million people, traffic-jam/congestion is a normal feature. But can this be better managed?

For every traffic-jam you encounter, you will notice the following:

  • People are always selling things in traffic —soft-drinks, bottled-water, newspaper, picture frames etc. The more motorists slow down to make purchase, the more traffic builds up.
  • Drivers look stressed out – even passengers too! Emotions are high, people get violent at the slightest offense.
  • Except for occasional mysterious causes, the major agents of traffic jam are bad vehicles, bad roads, unskilled drivers plying unfamiliar routes, too many people heading towards the same direction—for example every morning, people on the mainland head towards the Island and other business districts at the same time.

The solution?

Lagosians need to embrace the culture of public transportation to reduce the number of cars. For those feeling too sophisticated to ride in public transport, they should at least share a ride (car-sharing) with their neighbours or colleagues instead of overpopulating the roads with cars heading towards the same direction. Traffic officials should reward the practice of car-sharing among neighbours or colleagues.

In addition, government leaders need to double their efforts to repair broken roads and also provide safe alternative means of transportation in order to decongest the road network. And all those street hawkers and traffic-jam vendors? They need to be directed to where they can rent cheap stores.

Health is wealth.

Lagosians should learn to live closer to their workplace. Not only will the proximity contribute to road decongestion, it will also help their productivity.

Organizations should begin to explore how to provide safe and comfortable accommodation for their staff members. Imagine how much more you will gain with staff members that are not emotionally stressed by long commute. And maybe, once in a while– encourage the culture of work-remotely (depending on the nature of your work).

Think on these things. Happy Monday!

Oops! Serious Go-Slow:



Tosin Gbemile is a photojournalist based in Lagos. He is passionate about covering human interest development issues. His photo reports have been published by different media organizations. Tosin graduated from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, with a degree in Mass Communication. He blogs at Follow him on Twitter: @Gbemilecaptures

Subscribe to our mailing list