Professor Tyler Cowen narrates his Lagos experience

By Lordson Okpetu

An American professor of economics at George Mason University, Prof. Tyler Cowen, has described Lagos, Nigeria, as being a lot more safer than tourists major destination, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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Prof Cowen, who defied friends and associates’ advice not to travel to Lagos for security reasons, said that he was described as ‘crazy’ to have considered visiting Nigeria.

“Some Nigerian expats warned me I might not get out of the airport alive,” wrote Prof Cowen in his Bloomberg column on Tuesday.

“The reality is that I walked around freely and in many parts of Lagos. 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, a major tourist destination.

“In my first trip to Rio I was attacked by children with pointed sticks. In my second I found myself caught in a gunfight between drug lords,” disclosed Prof Cowen.

The American economist advised travelers with intentions to visit Africa not to be deterred from visiting Lagos, describing it as Africa’s largest and most dynamic city.

Religious tolerance

Prof. Cowen stated that Lagos, despite all the unfounded negative publicity, should serve as as a model for religious tolerance.

He said Lagos, which is estimated to be welcoming 85 new residents per minute, is home to religious intermarriage, explaining that this did not create any problem as is the case in many other parts of  the world as well as in other parts of Nigeria.

Prof. Cowen did not end his Lagos narrative without mentioning how Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, (a muslim) was supported by many Christian leaders (because of his anti-corruption stance), and is deputised by a Pentecostal pastor.