How roads of Nigeria have changed over a century


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I bet not many of our readers were born in the 40s, or even circa 50. This is the chance to see how Nigerian roads you take for granted used to look like.

Nowadays, many of us Nigerians have the privilege to drive on those neatly constructed asphalt roads and let's be honest, we kind of take it for granted. I'm not saying that we should feel guilty or ashamed about that, it's just that we're born in the time where asphalt roads are a norm, and so there's no reason not to ride your cars on it. This topic came up simply to provide us with a chance to look back and see how the things we're already familiar with used to be, and maybe treasure what we're having now afterward.

Dating back more than 70 years ago, where Nigeria was still pretty isolated from the rest of the world, both in terms of finance and cultures. Even the capital city of Nigeria, Lagos, used to have large areas with nothing but dunes of dust and wild plants. I would dare say the phrase "off the beaten path" did not mean much to the Nigerians back then, since roads are rare and only present in the city center.

With that said, let's review with Naijauto for 3 minutes on the journey of Nigeria Roads, by looking at images from different parts of the country:

1. Ikorodu road

This picture is the rural areas around our capital city Lagos more than 60 years ago. You can see that there are no definable roadsides as well as asphalt on it, and cars were clearly not present. I'm not sure whether cars had been imported into the country at that point, but if it were, I would say only the very well-off individuals could afford it. On the sides, you can see there are wild plants and dirt everywhere.


You could hardly see the borders of the road in this picture

2. Carter Bridge

On this picture, the photographer is standing on the soil of Lagos island and at a seemingly busy part of the town. There are in total of 3 lanes, with buses and smaller vehicles freely travel with ease. The roads were either paved with concrete or asphalt, I'm not sure, but it appears solid and safe.



The roads in town are indeed better than the rural ones

3. Ikorodu highway

The last one is the IKORO ROAD highway in Lagos. The roadsides are well-defined but the median between 2 opposing lanes seems insufficient against any unwanted incidents should they occur. To be fair, the inventions of supercar had not yet reached Lagos, so that might not be a problem.



Nigeria had a highway road relatively early compared to other countries in the continent

What do you think about these pictures? Nostalgic yet? Here is our bonus - The Cable Office over a century ago!


The Cable Office (later named NITEL) in Marina in 1896

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