Nigerian Slums: Blight On A Nation’s Conscience – Makoko In Focus [Photos]

Some few weeks ago Rick Ross released the video of his Nigerian version of ‘Hold Me Back’ to the consternation of many. While some Nigerians outrightly condemned the video in no uncertain terms and calling the American rapper all manner of names, others were coy about it and still a smaller population, believe Rick Ross did nothing wrong citing various reasons to buttress their claims.

Gradually, the hullabaloo generated is beginning to die down as is always the case with us – blow hot for a while and later, continue with life. What lessons has Rick Ross’ video taught us?

Here is a special report I saw in the Daily Mail (UK) showing another Nigerian slum – Makoko to be precise. The story tells it all in pictures better than words could….

Their canoes drift on the water as piles of rubbish float outside their shacks. Shabby shacks on stilts, floating waste and rickety boats fill the expanse of murky water. But for the thousands of poor people forced to live in Nigeria’s infamous Makoko slum in Lagos, this is their home.

Every day life for the many fishermen and their families revolves around paddling and rowing through the filthy, oily water in the slum – but this does not stop the young children from beaming when they see a camera.

Authorities threatened to knock down the dilapidated homes, which are classed as ‘illegal’ buildings and have been branded an ‘environmental nuisance’, the BBC reported.

The threat, which was issued in July and gave residents just 72 hours notice, saw some homes reportedly having their stilts hacked off and shacks being destroyed.

The move struck fear in many of the dwellers hearts and they feared they would be left without shelter as they had nowhere to go or anyone to turn to.

But, months after the reported demolition warning, a group is now planning on building a floating school, in a bid to improve the lives of the youngsters who live in Makoko.

The settlement, which is built on Lake Lagos, is regarded as an eyesore by authorities as it is built on a huge waterfront. Activists strongly criticised the clearance in July, saying the move would mean thousands would be displaced, the BBC reported.

The slum is visible from the bridge which connects the Nigerian mainland to the Lagos’ rich island districts, and the eradication of the slum is part of a plan to clean up Lagos and improve its image.

The infamous slum was said to be created in the 18th century as a fishing village, but has ballooned as others have sought to find a home.




  1. Shame unto whoever, whose preference is to clean up Lagos at no consideration for the continuous survival of affected citizens whom national and state’s wealth are held in trust for. Shame unto any government whose citizens are uncatered for esp. a wealthy country like Nigeria.