Monday, 14 November 2016

State-ordered Demolitions Leave 30,000 People Homeless In Lagos

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Some 30,000 residents of the Nigerian megacity Lagos have become homeless because of state-ordered demolitions and fighting between rival communities, residents and a rights group said on Thursday.

The violence highlights the challenges of a rapidly rising population unable to provide enough jobs and housing for its 180 million people. Many end up trying to migrate to Europe by boat from lawless Libya.

Africa’s largest economy is in recession as oil revenues have fallen and hard currency reserves dwindled, forcing the closure of plants unable to import raw materials. Every day, thousands head to Lagos, the commercial capital, seeking work in a city of 23 million.

A spokeswoman for Lagos police said officers had arrested several people for setting fire to makeshift houses in the affluent Lekki island district. She denied claims by a Lagos-based rights group, the Justice and Empowerment Initiatives (JEI), that the police had destroyed buildings.

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