Here’s why Lagos tops the list

A typical day on a Lagos road  (Techpoint)

Lagos has been getting plenty of bad international press all year.

One of the worst cities to live in. Check. One of the most stressful cities to live in. Check.

And now, international financial magazine, Forbes, says Lagos is one of the worst cities to drive a car in the world.

You can relate, right?

With 60 percent congestion and 10.70 mph of average speed, Lagos is only better than Karachi, Pakistan (59 percent, 11.20 mph average speed) and Kolkata, India (69 percent congestion, 11.20 mph speed), according to Forbes.

Forbes based its report on a study conducted by the German auto parts retailer kfzteile24.

Danfo buses in Lagos, Nigeria
A crowded Lagos bus stop (The Guardian)


According to the story, “the international cities that suffer the most enraged drivers on the planet are Bordeaux, France and Helsinki, Finland, while the calmest can be found (perhaps arguably) In St. Petersburg, Russia and Bogota, Colombia.

“Poor urban planning or a lack of civil education can make driving the most stressful experience of somebody’s day,” says Thomas Kloubert, CMO of kfzteile24.

“We hope that this study will act as a catalyst for those cities in the negative end of the ranking to invest in safer, cleaner and more efficient roads, and consider how methods adopted by higher scoring cities can be utilized in their own locations.”

Here’s a list of the worst cities for drivers, according to the research:

1. Kolkata, India: 69% congestion, 11.20 mph average speed

2. Karachi, Pakistan: 59% congestion, 11.20 mph average speed

3. Lagos, Nigeria: 60% congestion, 10.70 mph average speed

4. Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia: 65% congestion, 21.80 mph average speed

5. Mumbai, India: 67% congestion, 8.10 mph average speed

6. Bangalore, India: 64% congestion, 18.70 mph average speed

7. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: 64% congestion, 14.90 mph average speed

8. Bogota, Colombia: 48% congestion, 12.50 mph average speed

9. Mexico City, Mexico: 66% congestion, 17.50 mph average speed

10. Istanbul, Turkey: 49% congestion, 11.80 mph average speed.

Akinwumi Ambode - Lagos state Governor
Lagos Gov Ambode (Punch)


The study also adds that, “Dusseldorf in Germany tops the list of driver-friendly metro areas, among other factors, because its highways are congested a mere 20% of the time, while in Kolkata the roads are 69% traffic-jammed, which is the highest level among all 100 rated global cities.

“Those arriving in Dusseldorf average 21.20 mph driving from the airport to the central city, while visitors to Kolkata crawl along at an average 11.20 mph”.

“Crawl along”. Does that in any way sound like your regular commute around Lagos on pot-holed roads?

FRSC personnel do the rounds on the road (NAN)


The parameters used to arrive at the ratings include: “local congestion levels, average cost of parking and fuel, average roadway speeds, air pollution levels, number of traffic injuries, and road quality. Also considered ¬– and what should seem like a no-brainer to international travelers – is the frequency and perception of road rage”.

So, the best behaved drivers, according to the study can be found in:

1. Dusseldorf, Germany: 20% congestion, 21.20 mph average speed

2. Dubai, UAE: 26% congestion, 31.70 mph average speed

3. Zurich, Switzerland: 31% congestion, 25.50 mph average speed

4. Tokyo, Japan: 26% congestion, 30.50 mph average speed

5. Basel, Switzerland: 27% congestion, 17.50 mph average speed

6. Singapore, Singapore: 38% congestion, 32.40 mph average speed

7. Dortmund, Germany: 23% congestion, 19.90 mph average speed

8. Vienna, Austria: 31% congestion, 28.00 mph average speed

9. Munich, Germany: 30% congestion, 27.40 mph average speed

10. Calgary, Canada: 20% congestion, 26.80 mph average speed

Gov Ambode inspects a road project in Lagos (Punch)


If you reside in Lagos or visit the city occasionally, you’d have to agree that road rage, manic and hellish driving and traffic gridlock, a foul mouth, make life difficult for everyone who uses the roads around the city.

And there’s also the big matter of articulated trucks and gasoline tankers parked smack in the middle of roads and intersections for weeks on end.

So, if you ever ran a red light in Lagos, hurled an insult to the driver on the other lane, overtook another car without warning, disregarded use of signals, accelerated when the car in front of you is signaling to your side of the road or parked anywhere you chose, just to pick up or drop off commuters, congratulations!

You just put Lagos on the map for all the wrong reasons. Again.


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