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TOPIC : THE IMPLICATION OF URBANISATION ON THE STANDARD OF LIVING ON THE URBAN
POPULATION (A Case Study of Ajegunle in Lagos)
By birth or through rural-urban migration,
the poor of the world are increasingly concentrating
in cities, both large and small. It is expected that
very soon the majority of mankind will live in cities.
By definition, cities are spatial concentrations of
people and their economic and social activities, other
than primarily agricultural. They are therefore both
a concentration of poverty and wealth, and problems
as well as solutions. Urbanisation takes place in the
whole world, in poor and affluent regions alike. But
in the poorer ones, urban growth is the strongest, nearly
half of it caused by migration of poor peasants to the
In human history and all over the world, urbanisation
is a natural phenomenon, wherever agriculture produces
a surplus to feed non-agricultural workers. Important
pull factors are economic growth in cities and the possibilities
this provides for employment, even when for many migrants
these possibilities do not materialise, or only after
a few generations. Both prosperity and crisis can generate
urban growth. Spurred by the oil boom prosperity of
the 1970s and the massive improvements in roads and
the availability of vehicles, Nigeria since independence
has become an increasingly urbanised and urban-oriented
largest city, which also contains 85% of the country’s
industrial activity, is one of the fastest growing cities
in the world - its annual growth rate was estimated
at almost 14% during the 1970s, when the massive extent
of new construction was exceeded only by the influx
of migrants attracted by the booming prosperity. Its
current population is estimated at around 10 million.
By 2020, it will be the third biggest city in the world.
Five other cities have populations of more than one
million. Aside from Lagos, the most rapid recent rates
of urbanisation have been around Port Harcourt in the
Niger Delta region, which was at the heart of the oil
boom, and generally throughout the Igbo and other areas
of the southeast.
recent dramatic pace of urbanisation, the incidence
of poverty remains higher in rural than urban areas.
Wage differentials alone do not fully explain the reasons
for migration to urban areas. Another major factor leading
to rural-urban migration has been the neglect of infrastructure
in rural areas. Many people have moved to urban areas
for better economic or educational opportunities due
to a lack of markets, good transportation facilities,
schools, and health facilities. Difficulties in agricultural
areas, including scarcity of land, declining crop yields,
poor harvests and soil erosion, also partly explain
Projections suggest that the number of people living
in Nigeria's towns and cities will reach 100 million
by 2020. Although the urban population growth rate is
now declining (it has fallen steadily from 5.7% in 1985
to current rates of 4.0%), it is still far higher than
Nigeria’s overall population growth rate.
As well as rural-urban migration, other forms of population
movement observed in Nigeria have included the following:
• Rural to rural migration is an important feature
linking different areas of the country. Some activities,
such as palm or rubber tapping, lumbering, trading in
farm produce, or working as hired labour, require regular
movement between rural areas. Improvement of country’s
road networks has been important in stimulating the
scale of seasonal labour migration. For example, it
has become feasible for Hausa and other northern workers
to come south to work as hired labourers in the cocoa
belt and elsewhere at the onset of the rains and later
return to their home villages in time to plant their
• Surveys have found that even though rural-urban
migration may be on the increase, the simultaneous growth
of urban-type income generating activities in the rural
areas has succeeded in reducing the volume of migration
to the cities.
• As well as trends of rural-urban migration,
there is also growing evidence of increasing urban-rural
migration - including not only returned people, but
also younger people. A number of factors, many of which
were exacerbated by the Structural Adjustment Programme
(SAP), initiated in 1986, account for return migration,
including disillusionment with urban conditions, declining
business fortunes, loss of work, serious ill-health,
congestion, as well as increasing returns to agricultural
production brought about by the liberalisation of agricultural
The problem of this research is:
to identify the extent to which high rate of urbanization
has affected the standard of living of people living
in urban areas particularly in Ajegunle area of Lagos.
Available data reveal that Nigeria’s urban population
has been growing at an alarming rate. Nigerian towns
and cities are exploding - growing in leaps and bounds.
A little more than 50 years ago, fewer than 7% of Nigerians
lived in urban centres (that is, settlements with populations
of 20 000 or more). This proportion rose to 10% in 1952
and 19.2% in 1963. It is now estimated at about 55%.
In fact, Nigerian cities are among the fastest growing
in the world.
Mainly political and economic factors have been responsible
for this rapid growth in urban population in Nigeria.
The colonial era influenced the growth and pattern of
urbanistion in many ways, including the creation of
new towns, principally along the transportation routes
and at the ports and mining camps; modernisation of
the physical structures of existing towns; introduction
of modern utilities; and changes in the economic base
that led to the emergence of modern commercial–industrial
centres outside the traditional town centres. The created
state level of government has had perhaps the most significant
impact by introducing new poles of political and economic
growth. Consequent on all these pull factors in towns
and cities, the city centres became attractive and rural–urban
migration began to occur on a vast scale.
The problems and challenges posed by this rapid urban
growth are immense. Very frightening and perhaps more
easily observable are the human and environmental poverty,
the declining quality of life, and the untapped wealth
of human resources that they represent. Housing and
associated facilities (water, electricity, etc.) are
similarly inadequate, such that millions now live in
substandard and subhuman environments, plagued by slums,
squalor, and similarly inadequate social amenities,
such as schools and health and recreational facilities.
The gradual decline of social values and the breakdown
of family cohesiveness and community spirit have resulted
in increased levels of juvenile delinquency and crime.
This research work has been structured to answer
the following research questions:
1. What has been the trend of urbanisation in Nigeria
over the years?
2. What are the factors that are responsible for urbanisation
3. What are the major consequences of urbanization in
4. How has urbanization impacted on the living standard
of the people in the urban centres
5. How could the problem associated with urbanization
Based on the research problem discussed and the research
questions raised above, the following research prepositions
are hereby put forwards and would be tested in the course
of the study:
That urbanization has affected the living standard of
the people in Nigeria because significant changes have
been witnessed at the urban centres.
That urbanization is responsible for the social vices
in the cities of Nigeria.
That there has been significant changes in urbanization
trend and pattern in Nigeria.
That some factors are responsible for urbanization in
That urbanization is responsible for the significant
changes that have been witnessed in both rural and urban
centres of Nigeria.
OF THE STUDY
The main aim of this study is to examine the impact
of urbanization on the standard of living of people
in the urban centers in Nigeria. In achieving this task,
the objectives of the study could be stated specifically
(i) assessing the trend of urbanisation in Nigeria;
(ii) examining the push and pull factors that are responsible
for urbanization in Nigeria;
(iii) identifying the consequences of urbanisation in
both the rural and urban areas;
(iv) examining the impact of urbanisation on the standard
of living of the people in urban centres with special
reference to the residents in Ajegunle in Lagos State;
Information and data for this study were sourced from
both secondary and primary sourced. The secondary data
were collected from textbooks, articles, journals, bulletin,
reports and other publications. The primary data were
sourced through the survey research method, interviews
and participant observation, which involved the gathering
of information from respondents concerning their opinions
on the causes and consequences of urbanization in Nigeria.
The questionnaire focused more on respondents’
living standard in the slum. The questionnaire was well-structured
such that it would be divided into two sections; the
first section shall source for the personal information
of the respondents, while the second section shall focus
on questions that relate to the subject matter. The
questionnaire used was carefully administered and a
total of three hundred (300) respondents were selected
for the purpose of this analysis. The sampling was done
randomly such that the respondents cut across different
spheres of life in Ajegunle, Lagos State.
The questionnaires were administered by the respondents
at their respective homes. In the case where the respondent
is not learned, the researcher administered the questionnaire
at the instance of the respondent. The filled questionnaires
were collected immediately from the respondents to avoid
misplacement. The data, which were collected from the
questionnaire, were analysed using tables, simple percentage
method and chi-square, goodness of fit.
The study population includes the residents in Ajegunle
area of Araromi Ifelodun Local Government area in Lagos
State, who have migrated to the state from different
parts of the country preferably their villages. There
are no recent statistics for the number of residents
A Multi-staged sampling technique was used to select
the respondents. The first stage is the selection of
Ajegunle area of Araromi Ifelodun Local Government area.
The method used was purposive because of my knowledge
of the place.
The second stage is the division of area into streets.
Ten streets were selected randomly in the area and they
include: Olowu street, Aina street, Odulanru street,
Oladipo Olabinjo street, Suenu street, Adebola street,
Yusuf Sanusi street, Ajisegiri Street, Alimi oke street
and Arowojobe street.
The fourth stage is the selection of houses and on each
street, every other house is selected. In each house,
five individuals were selected based on availability
and if they qualified for inclusion in the study (i.e
if they have migrated to the city from their villages).
OF THE STUDY
The research work begins by examining the trend of urbanization
in Nigeria since the discovery of
oil in the 70s. Urbanisation trend was examined in decades
starting from 1971-1980, 1981-1990 etc. the major causes
of urbanization were identified in each of the decades.
The factors that are responsible for urbanization shall
be examined under the push factors and the pull factors.
The push factors are those factors that are making people
to leave the rural areas while the pull factors are
the factors that are attracting people to the urban
As a follow up to this, the consequences of urbanization
were discussed both in the urban centres and the rural
areas. Its impact on the county at large shall also
be discussed. The impact of urbanization on the standard
of living in the urban centers was given priority attention
with special focus on Ajegunle in Lagos. The standard
of living of the people in the area was viewed in terms
of the housing condition, portable water supply, access
to health services, recreational facilities, income
per family size, livelihood sources, environmental condition
The study shall also examine the government’s
present and past efforts at controlling urbanization
and improving the lots of the people both in the urban
centres and rural areas. This would serve as the yardstick
for making recommendations on the basis of the research
OF THE STUDY
Developing countries are experiencing a rapid rate of
urbanisation. This is manifested more in Africa where
the average annual growth rates were estimated by the
United Nations as 4.7% and 4.6% between the period 1960
and 1980, and 1980 and 2000 respectively. The growth
rate of urban population is more pronounced in Nigeria
than most other countries in the African continent.
The number of urban centres in Nigeria has risen drastically
in the last one hundred years. The resultant effect
has been the formation of more urban centres, which
are densely populated. Studies have shown that the rapid
rate of urbanisation in Nigeria and the consequential
explosion of urban population have not been matched
by a corresponding commensurate change in social, economic
and technological development (Mabogunje, 1968).
The economy of the country in which urbanisation is
taking place has been described as stagnant and the
growth of industrialization is negligible (Salau, 1992).
The provision of public infrastructure and social services
has suffered neglect, and the process of urban planning
and zoning has been slow or stagnant in many cases.
Population growth has outpaced the rate of housing provision.
Consequently there is the preponderance of the large
proportion of urban dwellers living in housing and environmental
conditions that are clearly an affront to human dignity.
These are often in low wage employment and a sizeable
proportion of the population are unemployed. They engage
in untoward activities, which are encouraged by the
poor economic and physical conditions they are exposed
to, their housing conditions being the major contributory
In the light of the foregoing, this research work shall
contribute to existing literature on the subject matter
by examining the trend of urbanisation in Nigeria and
make a critical analysis on its impact of the standard
of living of the people. It is hoped that the study
would assist the government to know the critical conditions
of the people in the slums and make adequate provision
to improve their living standard since it is their right.
OF THE STUDY
One of the major limitations of this study is that the
period of time given by the institution’s authority
for the study would not allow for an in-depth coverage
of all the issues connected with the topic under study,
and collection of related information.
Also, certain data required in order to highlight and
analyze some observation may not be accessible. Besides,
the responses of the respondents may not be completely
reliable and as such may affect the policy implications
that would be presented in the concluding comment.
This research work commences by providing a background
of the subject matter justifying the need for the study
as contained in chapter one. Chapter two relate to literature
and theoretical framework concerning urbanization and
its consequences. The research method is outlined in
chapter three while the responses of the respondents
were presented and discussed in chapter four. Concluding
comments in chapter five reflects on limitations of
the study and identify the implications of the findings.
Sample of Questionnaire are included
urban population, rural-urban migration, standard of