Political Stability, Metropolitan Governance, and Transformation in Lagos


City Profile:

The city, with its adjoining conurbation, is the largest in Nigeria, as well as on the African continent. It is one of the most populous urban agglomerations in the world. Lagos is a major financial centre in Africa; the mega city has the highest GDP ($8,125 Per Capita), and also houses one of the largest and busiest ports on the continent. The population figure of Lagos State given by the Lagos State Government is 17,553,924.




Femi Olokesusi is a fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planning and Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the College of Social and Management Sciences, Afe Babalola University. Previously, he was Director of Physical Development Department and also held the position of the Director-General/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER). Olokesusi conducted or participated in several national and international studies while a 1994/95 Fulbright African Senior Scholar. He also participated in preparing the Nigeria Vision 20:2020, the National Infrastructure Master Plan, the Abeokuta Master Plan (1987), and the City Structure Plans for Lokoja and Dekina in Nigeria. Olokesusi is currently a member of the Independent Advisory Group of the World Bank-assisted Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project and a. He holds a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Ibadan, with a specialization in environmental planning and management.

Samuel Danjuma Wapwera. Danjuma has worked as an environmental consultant for the University of Jos since 2014. He was involved in the data collection and preparation of the report on the National Urban Water Sector Reform Project for Plateau State, Nigeria (2014/2015), commissioned by the Federal Government of Nigeria and the World Bank. Danjuma was an ETF-TetFUND scholar from 2011 to 2013 and a Ph.D. Visiting Scholar at the Northeastern University in Boston, and San Diego State University (SDSU) in California. He holds a Ph.D. in built environment from the University of Salford in Greater Manchester, United Kingdom, a specialty in spatial planning framework for urban development and management, is a registered town planner, and is also a member of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners.


Metropolitan Lagos is the largest and most important economic region in Nigeria. Occupying less than 0.15 per cent of the Nigerian landmass, it holds about 6 per cent of the country's population. As a coastal metropolis, Lagos faces the daunting challenge of climate change in addition to inadequate access to infrastructure, slum settlements, non-inclusive development, and poverty, as well as rapid and unplanned urbanisation necessitating good governance. Relying on secondary data, this chapter analyses the provision of public goods especially in the areas of infrastructure, urban regeneration, metropolitan planning, and mobilisation of financial resources since the return to democracy in 1999. Emphasis is also placed on finance and the roles of key state and non-state actors. Findings indicate that seamless political transition and stability as well as rising internally generated revenue experienced over time, have contributed significantly to metropolitan governance and service delivery but at the expense of local government autonomy. As a policy imperative to strengthen metropolitan governance, the state government should ensure full access by local governments to their funds and establish functional local planning agencies under a state-wide Metropolitan Planning Authority.