9Socio-economic adaptation strategies of the urban poor in the Lagos metropolis, Nigeria
This article investigates the survival strategies of the urban poor in Lagos metropolis. The study considers the socio-economic characteristics as well as the livelihood patterns and strategies employed in the absence of formal social security systems. The research adopts a purposive sampling of 396 household heads in 31 low-income residential neighbourhoods in the Lagos metropolis. Data were obtained by the administration of structured questionnaires, and analysis was done by both parametric and non-parametric methods. The research revealed that most of the respondents were involved in informal trade enterprises and were living below the national poverty line, as mode household monthly income was between $50 and $125. The importance of informal social networks – especially rotating credit and ethnic alliances as social security and insurance mechanisms of the respondents – was highlighted. The study concludes by recommending measures for building on the identifi ed strengths of the urban poor, which includes civic engagement and partnering with informal social networks to provide opportunities for poverty alleviation in the communities.
Keywords: Ethnic alliance; informal economy; Lagos; poverty; rotating credit