While it is true that it served as the seat of government even before the amalgamation of both the northern and southern protectorate that became the geographical contraption of Nigeria by the British colonial maters in 1914, Lagos has been the most viable business hub in the now and then entire West African sub-region. What makes it more advantageous as a very busy trade post even during the ignoble era of slave trade when human beings were being sold in the common market places like essential commodities was its closeness to the sea and the reason for which it is called a place of aquatic splendor.
Taking into account its unparalleled economic oriented advantages that beckon on people not only in Nigeria but the entire West African sub-region, it can never be an overstatement that every over one thousand ethnic tribes of the Nigerian nation is willy-nilly represented in the city which harbors over 10 million out of the Lagos State 14 million people as erroneously reported in the Nigeria’s official population census of 2006. The population density is far below average of what one can get elsewhere in the continent Africa west, east north or south. Put aside the adverse report on security, the city is very accommodating to all and sundry no matter who you are and wherever you may come from.
With the emergence of Abuja as the new seat of government in 1976 during the brief reign of the country by late General Murtala Muhammed, Lagos still remained the country’s inter pares in the country’s economic and socio-political mainstay until another military administration headed by the self-styled General Ibrahim Babangida decided to move further hinterland and relocated finally to Abuja in 1991. Despite that hurried decision following the bloody coup of the majors that almost unseated him in 1990, Lagos still holds on to its position of pre-eminence in the Nigerian socio-economic psyche up till today.
Lucky enough Lagos has been chosen for this year’s edition of FIFA’s under-17 World Cup and the present state leadership in the state is leaving no stone unturned to position it to the outside world a not only as very inevitable game center but also a premium destination for business, entertainment and leisure. Apart from releasing a theme song “Welcome to Lagos” now aired by nearly all the radio and television stations in the state, the government has gone to the extent of engaging communications outfit to handle the marketing communications services for the FIFA under-17 world cup.
The company hired for the purpose is a branch of Wisdom Keys – based in South Africa and it is to ensure that Lagos is projected as a premium destination for business in Africa as well as to distinguish it as a beautiful host city for the all-important global round leather game.
In order to give the opportunity to football fans in the city to enjoy the games, the Local Organizing Committee has diligently prepared two parks for them to watch the games live. At the parks located in Ikeja in the city outskirt and Marina in the centre of the city, tent structures have been erected to enable residents in the neighborhoods to watch all matches free of charge. The Ikeja centre is situated at the Tarmac in Ogba for the mainland while that of the island is sited at the Marina Fan Park near the newly created Marina Park. Both of them are known for attracting huge gatherings of people – fun seekers and sellers of local Nigerian delicacies.
From all indications, Lagos stands a very good chance of reaping a great deal from this inevitable social propensity. From the ancient slave port in Badagry to its numerous beaches, Lagos, certainly, is one of the cities in the world with rich natural assets and history that can become money spinners if they are well harnessed. The slave port in Badagry was the busiest in the whole of West Africa and the entire continent of Africa in the ignoble past. The city’s natural asset, a beautiful coastline surrounded by waters is also a plus that other countries explore for the economic benefit of their people. So if you happen to be in this part of the world during the under-17 FIFA game, Lagos is a must visit for you.