The Tale of Two Cities: Developing effective urban infrastructure and transport connections between Lagos and Ogun State

Lagos and Ogun State - the two largest commercial hubs of Southern Nigeria, have had close socio-economic and cultural ties due to their geographical proximity and the flow of commerce and people between the two states. Ogun State, the smaller of the two states, continues to experience ever-increasing population growth and rapid urbanisation due to the overspill from the megacity of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial centre and Nigeria’s largest and busiest site ports.

Future Cities Nigeria (FCN) in Lagos and Ogun State has been collaborating with the respective government agencies since 2019, providing advice to improve urban infrastructure and transportation. In February 2020, following a formal request by Ogun State Governor His Excellency Dapo Abiodun, FCN’s work expanded to examine the Development Pressure Area (DPA), an area identified as being under the most significant development pressure from Lagos. These pressures stem from infrastructure demands and the negative environmental impact from workers looking for cheaper housing options in Ogun State, with housing costs estimated at between 30-40% cheaper than Lagos. Increased demand for transportation and the flow of goods, services and movement of commuters who use the thoroughfare of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway to access other parts of Nigeria have exposed the inadequacy of the current infrastructure. Another factor contributing to congestion in the area is demands from factories and industries leveraging the low cost of operation, such as land, tax, and labour costs in Ogun State and its proximity to other markets.

With its focus on this core area, FCN’s work contributes significantly to the broader objectives of Lagos and Ogun State governments, who in May 2021 signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a new Lagos-Ogun Joint Development Commission. The Commission is tasked to increase bilateral relations between the two states in security, commerce, urbanisation, and infrastructure and solve boundary disputes.

The DPA is the geographical core between the two states, and FCN’s in-depth analysis of the area and its recommendations will positively impact many sectors in the state. In helping to identify potential routes for a new Bus Mass Transit service, there will be improved access to safe and comfortable public transportation for the areas 500,000+ residents who commute to and from Ogun State. An estimated 12,000mt in CO2 emission savings would incur as a direct result of an improved transport system in the corridor, further reducing environmental damage.

Identifying land suitable for low-cost housing projects will also help provide over 8,800 decent and affordable housing for residents once built. The FCN report will include concept design and costs of the proposed Mile 12 Ferry Terminal, which will enable commuters to have greater choice with the ability to access both bus and ferry services between the two states, with the latter providing a significant reduction in journey time. Considering the increased demand from the commercial sector, the FCN report will also identify land suitable for industrial and agricultural use and off-grid power projects – all of which will provide opportunities for private sector investment.

Kayode Khalidson – Team Lead, FCN: “FCN’s intervention in the DPA presents the programme with the unique opportunity to integrate our transportation activities by expanding our existing support to Lagos state in the improvement of water transportation with the development of a bus mass transit system in Ogun that will terminate at a LASWA terminal, thereby giving commuters in the opportunity to reduce their journey times into Lagos”

Abdulazeez Nurudeen: “One of the critical pillars of development is cooperation and collaboration. The Joint Development Commission between Lagos and Ogun will be pivotal to managing the rapid urbanisation in the region while also creating economic opportunities for inhabitants of both states. FCN’s intervention will ensure the newly created Commission is rooted in its findings. “


Adam Smith International (ASI)


Federal Republic of Nigeria





Spatial Planning