Bloomberg’s View Columnist, Tyler Cowen has attested that Lagos may be safer than the media projects it to be.
He calls the Nigerian state dynamic, welcoming, entrepreneurial, lucrative; and the country’s largest and most important window to the outside world.
On his visit to Lagos, he made a handful of discoveries encouraging tourism enthusiasts that the Centre of Excellence is indeed a place to be.
Comparing his visits to Lagos, Nigeria and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Cowen has a first-hand proof that Rio did not receive him as good as Lagos did.
In his article titled, Nigeria Could Teach the West a Few Things, he recalled the series of attacks he experienced in Rio. On the first visit, he was attacked by children with pointed sticks. On the second trip, he was “caught in a gunfight between drug lords.”
Did you know that safety in Lagos was improved with the installation of closed-circuit television cameras?
“So if you’re an experienced traveler, and tempted to visit Africa’s largest and arguably most dynamic city, don’t let safety concerns be a deal killer.”
Unlike his awkward experiences in Rio, Cowen enjoyed a free and friendly atmosphere in Lagos.
“The reality is that I walked around freely and in many parts of town. I didn’t try to go everywhere or at all hours, and I may have been lucky. Yet not once did I feel threatened, and I strongly suspect that a trip to Lagos is safer than a trip to Rio de Janeiro.”
The Bloomberg writer particularly made emphasis on the religious tolerance that he perceived in the commercially vibrant state.
“For instance, the city of Lagos is in many regards a marvel of religious tolerance.”
“Nigeria is about 50 percent Muslim and 40 percent Christian, and the area surrounding Lagos is also highly mixed in terms of religion. That may sound like a recipe for trouble, but in matters of religion Lagos is almost entirely peaceful.”
“Religious intermarriage is common and usually not problematic, as is the case in many (not all) other parts of Nigeria as well. Many top Nigerian politicians have married outside their religion, kept two separate religions in the family and enjoyed continued political success.”
He noted that the incumbent Nigerian president assumed office not just with the mandate of Muslims but a large number of Christians as well. Cowen also noted that the president’s running mate is a Christian Pastor.
Regardless of the political ups and downs, he rates Nigerian nationalism higher than those of western countries of the world.
“Many Westerners used to consider much of Africa backward …Perhaps the political spectrum in many Western countries can realign itself in a direction analogous to some features of Nigeria, to ally liberalism and nationalism once again.”