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The New York Times: Nigeria is “the Worst Run of the World’s Most Populated Countries” | Can Lagos Save Her?



Lagos, Nigeria - January 2014 - BellaNaija

It’s official BellaNaijarians, The New York Times can’t get enough of Nigeria.

On Saturday, brought you an article by the American media publication on the Nigerian Internet scam. In case you missed it, click here 

If you thought that raised a lot of eyebrows, wait till you read this one published yesterday.

Seth D. Kaplan, a lecturer at Johns Hopkins University, writes on “What Makes Lagos a Model City“.

Although the lecturer and author profiles Lagos as the possible solution to the deteriorating state of the country, he begins by pointing out the flaws.

“Nigeria is arguably the worst run of the world’s seven most populated countries. Despite earning hundreds of billions of dollars in oil revenue over the past decade, it is expected by 2015, by some calculations, to have the second-most destitute people in the world after India.” he says.

He then goes on to state “But its largest city, Lagos, which until recently was known as one of the world’s most difficult cities to govern, seems to have turned a corner.”

With the improved social amenities, Kaplan says Lagos with a population of 21 million, has had steady improvement unlike any other city in the country. He also believes such strategy in reshaping  the state, can be used in creating a better federation.

He  praises the metropolitan city that “it may be pointing the way to a strategy by which fragile states might begin to succeed”. The fragile states in countries like Nigeria, Iraq and Yemen contain a rising number of the world’s poor which have become a focus of international aid efforts.

He also narrates how the turnaround has led to a more democratic state, whereby leaders are elected or turned out of offices.

Will Lagos’ strategy save Nigeria? he asks. To read the full article, click here


  1. thetruth

    January 8, 2014 at 11:34 pm

    Here we go again….

  2. slice

    January 8, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    Fashola for President! I’ll take Duke too!

    • Angel

      January 8, 2014 at 11:53 pm

      I totally agree, Fashola did a great job with Lagos, he should be president…

    • Shao

      January 9, 2014 at 6:09 am

      Oh you are so on point! FASHOLA FOR PRESIDENT

    • Iris

      January 9, 2014 at 6:37 am

      I sort of want Fashola too, but I’m afraid that he may get
      there and have to pay dues to “godfathers” and it will be the same
      old story. I wish we could keep him in Lagos until further

    • Bukky

      January 9, 2014 at 10:24 am


  3. Mo

    January 9, 2014 at 12:07 am

    Donald Duke and Fashola should run for president! Nigeria
    needs change and people that are willing to make the change happen

  4. natty

    January 9, 2014 at 12:12 am

    I agree Fashola for president, Duke for VP!!!

  5. Thatgidigirl

    January 9, 2014 at 12:15 am

    I’d vote fashola over my own brother

  6. futureniyi

    January 9, 2014 at 12:20 am

    Let Nigeria learn from Lagos. Each state, local government,
    street should develop itself with what is available or innovative

  7. oge

    January 9, 2014 at 12:20 am

    Y do They think they know our story more than we

    • Yaw

      January 9, 2014 at 7:58 am

      Tell me what you know about “our” country? Is high time peeps like you stopped asking senseless questions?!.

    • Let it Flow

      January 9, 2014 at 11:46 am

      Gbam! Thank you jare!

    • Guys Perspective

      January 9, 2014 at 3:46 pm

      FYI Seth Kaplan lived in Nigeria at some-point.

  8. Tee

    January 9, 2014 at 12:25 am

    Okorocha should be President,Ribadu the Vice,Oshiomole in
    charge of pet resources and Fashola in a key position in the
    Judiciary system or development. We need tough and intelligent
    people,who cannot afford to loose their integrity.Enough of these
    jokers/dummies that are remote controlled.

    • Omolola

      January 9, 2014 at 8:07 am

      Pls remove Oshiomole from the list

    • amaaa

      March 18, 2014 at 10:23 am

      Are you high on Alomo biters which Okorocha the one that can not run or govern a small and organized state like IMO please take several seats backwards

  9. Lolu

    January 9, 2014 at 12:48 am

    Seriously we need more people like Fashola and Duke in
    government, if we are serious about stepping up our game.

  10. Say the truth

    January 9, 2014 at 1:24 am

    Before I click any story about Lagos, I guess what picture
    is on the article. It’s always a photo of civic center or toll
    gate. Nothing is interesting about those two places.

  11. SaveNaija

    January 9, 2014 at 1:45 am

    I read the opinion piece. What I got from it is what
    Nigerians have been clamoring for, for a long time, “True
    Federalism!”, Gbam! Let the states have more control over their
    affairs without federal government influences. What continues to be
    a sore point for me though is the continuous categorization of
    Nigeria with terrorist ridden countries like Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq,
    etc etc. Definitely not countries we want to compared with, if we
    intend to develop rapidly. Unfortunately our brothers up North, BH
    have made this possible, but that’s for another day. In sane
    climes, people like Fashola, Akpabio, Imoke and Donald Duke, will
    be in the fore front running for president of the country while
    debating progressive ideologies and also because of they have
    proven their competency! But oh no, not in Naija, because of our
    devilish, visionless, wicked, self centered, intellectually lazy
    old leaders who would not allow this to happen. Reuben Abati and
    Labaran Maku, the president’s mouth piece will easily site World
    Bank stats that Nigeria’s GDP is growing at blah, blah percent, but
    will fail to site other reports that indicts our govt for cases
    gross corruption. Same goes with this opinion piece, they will
    continue to deny the obvious! Shame on Nigerian political class!!!,
    excluding the aforementioned governors.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      January 9, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      Which is why I always say a prayer for that cabal of decaying politicians to one by one start dropping dead, in much the same way as their mentor-in-evil, Abacha, did. As many as have purposed to kill this country, let this be their approaching destiny.

      Prov 29:2 says it best – “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice but when a wicked man rules, the people groan”

    • slice

      January 9, 2014 at 2:11 pm

      Right on all counts except akpabio. That man is a divisve creature. If u r on his side, he’ll steal and give u but no help goes to those who r nt of his direct blood or dare to say anythg against him. Even in akwa ibom he’s dividing pple with minor differences in dialects not to talk of if we give him the country to rule. Also remember his infamous video admitting to removing one man”s name from an election document and putting in another. No no to akpabio

  12. Yetty mama

    January 9, 2014 at 1:53 am


  13. Ken

    January 9, 2014 at 2:57 am

    Beautiful Propaganda. Read the complete article on and see how “Kano, Ibadan and Benin” were
    beautifully and carefully mentioned as other “good cities”. The
    writer, Seth Kaplan might never have been to Nigeria. When
    “Calabar” was not even mentioned, I’m sure you know who sponsored
    that article.

    • trufactoid

      January 9, 2014 at 8:12 am

      APC and the hoard of thieving men

  14. SOLO ACT

    January 9, 2014 at 3:24 am

    blah blah blah in fact satan was born in nigeria. leave us
    alone! the last time i checked the usa was not running

    • Banny

      January 9, 2014 at 10:53 am

      I wonder o. Haba!!!!!Nigeria this, Nigeria that, shuo???? If anyone has ever been to Central and Eastern Europe, you will know that those places are worse than some African countries, yet we don’t see people analysing and talking shit about them in the international media. Make dem leave Nigeria for us abeg. Negative media will not make things change instead it makes it worse. One day we will get there as a Nation. We are still trying to know ourselves better in Nigeria (plenty tribes and all that eish) people dey talk about development

    • Let it Flow

      January 9, 2014 at 11:54 am


    • whocares

      January 9, 2014 at 1:50 pm

      “We are still getting to know ourselves” after more than 40 years? When will we arrive at the stage where we know ourselves? Is it only then that we can start making moves for progression and asking ourselves pertinent questions like these? This article is not a lie, neither is it an exaggeration of what is happening in Nigeria. It is the truth. Your patriotism is misplaced. Not every article written by outsiders are wrong or condescending.

  15. NNENNE

    January 9, 2014 at 3:29 am

    We have so much destitute people because we do not stop
    immigrants from neighboring states from coming in. No visa required
    from them.

  16. CarliforniaBawlar

    January 9, 2014 at 3:35 am

    Like I said on the intenet scourge post: If to say na lie,
    I for vex…. Bouncing along jare….

  17. Banana

    January 9, 2014 at 7:49 am

    Duke ain’t shiz. Believe me , I’m from Calabar. It’s more hype than anything. He’s also a very unkind man

  18. Thelma

    January 9, 2014 at 8:59 am

    I’m ashamed that a foreigner is pointing out our flawed nation, yet relieved that at least someone is. If LEADERS would be allowed to lead/rule this nation as opposed to greedy politicians out to stock up enough money for the next ten generations of their families, Nigeria would begin to experience a positive change.

  19. Nico

    January 9, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Americans never see anything good about Nigeria, is it because of her intimidating potentials? There is no place in this World that doesn’t have problems. While America tell the whole World the beautiful and how organised America and rest of the Western World is, they seem to condemn others so they can proof they are super powers. Let them ask, the Russians, Romans, Great Britain etc, they were super powers at one time or the other. Nigeria shall come out of her mess some day just as rest of the developed nations today. We are proud of Nigeria but dislike the atrocities perpetuated by some unscrupulous and disgruntle personalities. We love Nigeria.

  20. X-Factor

    January 9, 2014 at 9:25 am


  21. anon

    January 9, 2014 at 10:02 am

    I am an ijaw person. fiercely so and i understand the struggle generations of my family fought for the self determination of ijaws even before Nigeria was created. W were tricked into signing our sovereignty away by the british. Plus, the discovery of oil destroyed our environment and took our livelihood away (fishing and farming). I never felt like a Nigerian. Most Nigerians dint even know what Ijaw was.. They will ahh she is omo Igbo. But i remember on Jonathan’s inauguration day seeing him in the Ijaw clothes made me feel like. Finally, we have been invited to the table. Now i truly belong. So am emotionally invested in Jonathan’s presidency.

    But, I am not an irrational person.
    We dont need leaders based on where they come from. The reason why most Nigerians are still concerned with ethnicity and religion. Is because of poor governance. If you have a good leader who does his job. Provide good roads, electricity, build institutions and create an enabling environment for small and medium enterprises to grow. Nigeria will flourish. Nigerians are not lazy. They are not asking for a welfare state. They are only asking that you push them just a little by giving them easy access to finance to start their own business, affordable power to run their businesses, strong institutions to make sure they dont have to pay bribes to officials of the state and they can seek redress from the courts over a breach of contract and so on.

    That is all they ask. Right now the best man to do the Job is Fashola.
    Every society puts their best foot forward.
    Fashola for president.
    Lamido sanus for vice president.
    Ngozi okonjo iweala for minister of finance and minister for the economy.
    Oshiomhole minister of works.

  22. Anon

    January 9, 2014 at 10:43 am

    That’s a beautiful picture.

  23. mama mia!!!

    January 9, 2014 at 10:55 am

    I’m from the north and approve of Fashola only. Not Interested in all the others, they are one and the same. Sometimes, I have to remind myself Lagos is actually part of Nigeria. Everything about that city is quite diff. ..

  24. Mabel

    January 9, 2014 at 11:26 am

    I have lived in Lagos all my life and can boldly say Fashola is the best governor in this country. I have said this and will say it yet again, if APC wants to win the presidential election in 2015, no need to look for OBJ, just field Fashola and he will win against GEJ. Buhari cannot win against GEJ o. Gbam.

    • SaveNaija!

      January 9, 2014 at 6:20 pm

      The question is, why isn’t APC fielding Fashola for the ticket? Or is it that he doesn’t want the position of president of Nigeria? Common APC, do the “needful”, as this has become the lexicon used in naija these days. Lol.

    • Anon

      January 9, 2014 at 8:37 pm

      Save Naija – Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Therein lies the problem.

  25. Guys Perspective

    January 9, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    To those people who are saying American don’t see anything good in Nigeria anytime someone pens an article /editorial/op-ed about Nigeria, I would take it that you guys don’t read the NYT, FT, The Daily Telegraph etc, because if you do you will know that their editorials, articles and Op-eds cover everything, and yes they do bash the United States, Britain, Germany and their leaders from time to time.

  26. moimeme

    January 9, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    This opinion shared by this guy is very much on point and I don’t understand why it’s such a strong pill for some of us to swallow.
    Fashola has unarguably shown that good things can happen in this country. The man has always impressed me with the brilliance with which he delivers speeches and evaluates/discusses the government’s works in the state. Most times I’m told that it’s because he’s a Lawyer, which is bulls… cos I need to know whether there heven’t been other lawyers like him who could not measure up. I will really like to read an auto- or even a biography about this guy cos in the present day Nigeria he is a role model to follow. Besides kudos to the Dame who has proven that there is class in being urself instead of parading in meaningless “fashion showmanship” that many of our first ladies have turned that position into.
    The “rulers” at the centre need to learn a lot from him cos APC or no APC, you know when something’s good. As the Yorubas will say, “t’egun eni ba joore, ori a ya atokun”

  27. NNENNE

    January 11, 2014 at 4:18 am

    Yes, Fashola is a very good leader but sometimes it seems as if we have all forgotten that Lagos is the poster child of Nigeria.
    It is unfair to compare it to certain cities like Owerri.
    Fashola is doing a wonderful job but Lagos is also endowed. The taxes he collects is more than enough to do the work . Sometimes I wonder what the late Sam Mbakwe could have done if he had a city like Lagos.

    • slice

      January 12, 2014 at 3:08 pm

      yeah but Calabar is not the poster child of Nigeria with the money Duke had, he was able to make a name for himself as arguably the best gov of the State and one of Nigeria’s best gov’s and people are calling his name in the same sentence as Fashola. it’s easy for the other govs to say Fashola had Lagos but many had Lagos before him and didn’t shine as much

  28. chigirl

    January 12, 2014 at 4:22 am

    Yes!, Fashola for president

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