Politicians are known for making grandiose statements to score cheap points. As the 2019 elections draws nigh, more flowery claims are being thrown up without recourse to available data. On Tuesday, July 24, the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, claimed that Lagos State had become one of the safest cities in Africa.

While speaking at the Institute for Security Studies, Ambode had said: “The security of lives and property of citizens remains the topmost pursuit of my administration. Indeed, one of the biggest achievements of my administration in the last three years is the security of lives and the property of Lagos residents. And, of course, it is gratifying to note that Lagos State is now one of the safest cities in Africa.”

Saharareporters checked available data to verify the Governor’s claim.

Mercer Quality of Living Index Disagrees

In 2017, Mercer, a United States global consulting firm, ranked Lagos 212th out of the 231 cities surveyed for best quality of living, whereas, Port Louis, the capital city of Mauritius, ranked 83, making it the first African city on the long list. This is followed by three South African cities: Durban, Cap Town and Johannesburg at number 83, 87, and 94 respectively.

In coming up with the index, the consulting firm considered crime and law enforcement, health consideration, housing, standard of education and other vital indicators in ranking the cities.

World Economic Forum Ranks South Africa, Mauritius, Morocco… before Nigeria

The World Economic Forum 2017 report on Travel and Tourism Competitiveness of countries ranked South Africa, Mauritius, Morocco and 24 other African countries before Nigeria, which ranked 129th globally and 28th among the 34 African countries captured in the report.

Some of the metrics used by the World Economic Forum to analyse these countries include their safety and security measures, health and hygiene level.

View inforgraph

Lagos Isn’t Safest Even In Nigeria

The data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in May 2018 revealed that Lagos is not one of the safest places to live even in Nigeria. According to the data, collected during the first quarter of 2018, Lagos ranked 12th on list of states with the highest number of people involved in road accidents — despite having the highest number of certified drivers in the country. The state also ranked 17th highest in the number of people killed in road accident.

Figure 1: Road Traffic Crashes On State Basis (1st Quarter 2018) Source: NBS

Similarly, Lagos state has the highest percentage of reported crime rate in Nigeria. “Lagos State has the highest percentage share of total cases reported with 50,975 (37.9%) cases recorded,” according to NBS 2018 report on crime rate.

Figure 2 : Reported Crime Rates In States across Nigeria

Figure 2: Reported Crime Rates In States across Nigeria Source: NBS


In conclusion, if data collected in Nigeria showed that Lagos is not the safest place in Nigeria and the data collected by foreign organisations also do not rank Nigeria as one of the safest locations in Africa, Lagos then could not have been one of the safest cities in Africa in these past years.

Clearly, available data negate Governor Ambode’s claim. Lagos is not one of the safest cities in Africa!

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