Lagos: The Island City

By By David Esler
Source: Business & Commercial Aviation

Security: Airport is patrolled 24/7 and local security is considered generally good. Supplemental security (armed guards) is available for aircraft and passengers.

Ground Transportation: Recommend vetted transportation arranged by handlers, as crime levels in Lagos and greater Nigeria are very high and carjackings, kidnappings and road piracy are common.

Distance and driving time to downtown: 16 sm/25.7 km, minimum 1 hr. Surface traffic is extremely congested.

Remarks: Surveillance radar coverage under expansion in greater Lagos area. Crime levels high in Nigeria; exercise reasonable caution when on the street.

BCA appreciates the assistance of Universal Weather & Aviation and Landover Aviation in the preparation of this report.

Settled on an archipelago on the Atlantic coast of West Africa, Lagos serves as Nigeria's largest city, financial center and gateway to the country's interior.

While oil and other mineral recovery drives the Nigerian economy, Lagos is the repository of much of its wealth and the seat of numerous corporate headquarters, both domestic and foreign. It is also Nigeria's principal seaport — among the busiest in Africa — and, with a current population of 10.2 million people, one of the fastest growing cities on the continent.

What is today's Lagos originated on a collection of islands and sandbars at the mouth of a large lagoon emptying into the Atlantic Ocean. The islands and bars protect the lagoon from ocean storms, traditionally providing a safe harbor for the port. The city's central business district — marked by a forest of high-rise buildings — is located on Lagos Island at the opening of the lagoon. Over the centuries since the area was settled by warring tribes, the city spread to the mainland where today it accounts for the majority of Lagos's area and population.

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