10 Best Places to Live in Lagos if you work on the island

  | 7 min read
10 Best Places to Live in Lagos if you work on the island

Anticipating a rise in the unemployment rate to 41% by the close of 2023, it comes as no shock that numerous individuals in Nigeria are putting in every effort to hold onto their jobs, even if it entails enduring lengthy daily commutes.

In Lagos, while getting employment, the main factor to consider is distance, and transportation to the workplace from your home. 

While a considerable portion of the Nigerian population is embracing options such as remote work and entrepreneurship for sustenance, a substantial number of people are still engaged in traditional 9-to-5 employment. The vibrant epicenter of commercial activities, Lagos Island, draws many of its workforce from the outskirts, as a significant population of Lagos residents outside the island perimeter commute there for work.

Within this guide, we will thoroughly explore optimal residential areas in Lagos for those employed on the Island, taking into account factors such as proximity, safety, and living costs.

1. Gbagada

Situated between the regions of Kosofe and Shomolu, Gbagada stands out as a prominent locale. Primarily residential, it encompasses renowned zones like Ifako, New Garage, and Diya Street.

Gbagada’s greatest advantage is its location. Convenient access to the Third Mainland Bridge ensures a swift connection to the Island, while the Oworonshoki-Oshodi Expressway links Gbagada to the mainland via Ikorodu Road and Agege Motor Road. For individuals employed on the Island, Gbagada holds a prime position. Although rents have surged for both existing and new tenants, there are still reasonably priced areas available. Accommodation options range from 3-bedroom flats to mini-flats, self-contained units, and duplexes. Smooth roads, manageable traffic, and dependable power supply contribute to the area’s allure, along with its serene and tidy environment.

2. Yaba

Undoubtedly, Yaba ranks as a top choice for Island commuters. Residing in Yaba keeps you proximate to Victoria Island, Ikoyi, and Lekki, cutting down on transportation expenses and the burden of heavy traffic. This region is burgeoning as a technology hub, hosting noteworthy financial institutions, educational establishments, and technology startup enterprises. A visit from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in 2019 solidified Yaba’s status as Nigeria’s tech nucleus. Crime rates in most parts of Yaba remain low, potentially due to heightened security presence or the constant bustling nature of the area that may deter criminals. The primary downside of Yaba lies in its elevated property costs and general property-related challenges.

SEE: Houses for rent in Yaba

3. Ajah

Ajah though on the island is known to be one of Lagos’ fastest-growing zones. Despite Lekki’s allure, Ajah is rapidly emerging as a significant focal point in its own right. Geographically located within the same local government area (Eti-Osa) as other Island locales, Ajah enjoys closer proximity to these regions. Accommodation options can be secured in areas like Langbasa, Sangotedo, Badore, Okeira, and other zones with stable power supply. Ajah boasts decent road infrastructure, a tranquil atmosphere, and security. However, living in Ajah has its downsides. Certain portions are prone to flooding during wet seasons, rental costs are on the higher side, and additional service fees are common after paying rent. Notably, traffic congestion poses a substantial challenge, particularly around Lekki Phase 1 and Jakande. Commutes that should take 30 minutes can extend to over an hour, especially for those around Agungi and NICON town. The silver lining is a relatively smooth 30-minute commute from Ajah to Victoria Island on Sunday evenings.

4. Surulere

Surulere, a highly recognized mainland area, is renowned for its vibrant atmosphere and is considered one of Lagos’ busiest spots. It serves as a bridge connecting the mainland to Lagos Island, offering convenient access to both regions. Surulere’s diversity accommodates people from various ethnic backgrounds and religious beliefs. Its eclectic mix includes the young and old, politicians, aspiring artists, young families, students, and people from different Nigerian tribes. Integrating into these diverse neighborhoods is effortless, as there is little fear of segregation or culture shock. However, due to its pivotal location between the Island and mainland, acquiring accommodation in Surulere can be costly, and traffic congestion is a notable concern.

SEE ALSO: Houses for rent in Surulere

5. Ebute Metta

Ebute Metta presents another appealing option for Island workers. Derived from the Yoruba language, its name translates to “the three harbours,” historically referring to Iddo, Otto, and Oyingbo. During the colonial era, Ebute Metta emerged as a developed area, evidenced by the concentration of historical structures.

Serving as a pivotal corridor, Ebute Metta links Lagos mainland to prominent sections of Lagos Island. The Iddo peninsula features an extensive network of flyovers and access roads, facilitating seamless travel between these distinct parts of the city. Housing options vary, from mini-flats to self-contained units, catering to diverse preferences.

6. Oworonshoki

Oworonshoki, a densely populated residential area, boasts decent accessibility with an average layout. The central route into Oworonshoki is Diya Street from Ifako Gbagada. This is a great place because it has affordable rental costs.

Oworo, colloquially known, can almost be likened to an island due to its encompassment by the Lagos Lagoon. Positioned strategically, it serves as a crossroads, enabling easy access to both the Mainland and Island sections of Lagos via the Third Mainland Bridge.

7. Oshodi

Oshodi stands as a bustling urban center with its own unique character. Situated at the crossroads of Lagos, it serves as a critical junction connecting various parts of the city. Oshodi has undergone significant transformation over the years, evolving from a chaotic transportation hub into a more organized and vibrant locality.

What used to be a chaotic and congested transport hub has undergone notable transformation, becoming a more organized and lively locale. The Oshodi Transport Interchange, a modern transportation facility, has contributed to the area’s revitalization. This interchange integrates various modes of transport, making commuting more efficient and comfortable for residents and visitors alike.

Oshodi’s central location makes it relatively accessible to both the Island and the mainland. This strategic positioning can be advantageous for individuals who need to traverse different parts of Lagos frequently. Additionally, the ongoing development and infrastructure improvements are gradually turning Oshodi into a more appealing residential option.

8. Ketu

 Ketu is a diverse and dynamic neighborhood that offers a mix of residential and commercial spaces. It borders Ojota to the north, Mile 12 to the east, and Maryland to the west, making it strategically positioned in relation to various parts of the city and Island as well.

Ketu is characterized by its bustling markets, vibrant streets, and a wide array of shops and businesses. It’s a melting pot of cultures and communities, contributing to its energetic atmosphere. The neighborhood is known for its accessibility, as major roads like Ikorodu Road and Lagos-Ibadan Expressway pass through or near Ketu, facilitating convenient travel.

For those commuting to the Island or other parts of Lagos, Ketu’s central location can be advantageous. While it might not offer the glitz and glamour of certain upscale areas, it provides a down-to-earth, authentic Lagos experience. Housing options in Ketu vary, from traditional apartments to more modern developments, catering to a range of budgets.

However, like many urban areas, traffic congestion can be a challenge during peak hours, particularly on major roads. While Ketu’s vibrancy is appealing to many, it’s important to consider factors such as noise levels and the urban lifestyle when contemplating living or working in the area.


In conclusion, Lagos, as one of Africa’s most bustling metropolises, offers a multitude of neighborhoods, each with its own unique charm and attributes. As individuals navigate their way through the dynamic landscape of the city, various factors come into play when choosing where to live and work.

It’s important to carefully consider factors such as proximity to work, transportation infrastructure, housing costs, safety, and the overall lifestyle each neighborhood offers. The decision ultimately depends on personal preferences and priorities, whether that’s a shorter commute, affordability, a vibrant cultural scene, or a mix of these elements.

Lagos’ neighborhoods reflect the city’s dynamism and diversity, and while each has its pros and cons, the variety ensures that there’s a place for everyone to call home and find their niche within this bustling urban tapestry.

Christian Nduaguba