Two faces of Lagos | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Two faces of Lagos

Posted: Apr 2, 2015 at 12:53 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Chukwudi Nweje / Acting Features Editor 


Lagos the city that they say never sleeps is a macrocosm Nigeria. It has people from virtually every part of the country residing in it, from the north to the south and the east to the west. Just as the diverse cultures are represented in Lagos State, so also are different economic classes from the rich to the very rich, the not so rich, the poor and the very poor. All these people and different economic classes contribute the money that oil the machinery of the Lagos State Government through the taxes, levies and other rates they pay.

Lagos roads

Lagos roads

However, despite the payment of these taxes across boar by all residents of Lagos State, the beautification efforts of the state government appear to be concentrated only in selected sections of the state most of the suburbs, towns and villages that make up the state are in a state of total disrepair.

The dividends of democracy which the Lagos state Government has brought to the people in terms of massive infrastructure development especially roads, electricity and potable water cannot be said to have been replicated at the suburb.

The governorship candidate of the National Conscience Party (NCP) in the state, Comrade Ayodele Akele accused the All Progressives Congress (ACP) –led government of Governor Babatunde Fashola of creating two parallel Lagos through his policies that favour the rich and neglect the poor.  He said all the policies of the State government are tilted towards favouring the rich while neglecting the generality of people who do not have the economic affluence.

Comparatively, he said while the state government busied itself decorating the highbrow areas, the suburbs are neglected. For instance a recent tour of the NCP to Shomolu- Palmgrove to Oke Afa, Isolo, Ikotun, Ejigbo, Idimu and Iyana Ipaja areas of the state showed neglect. For instance, Onajimi Stree off Abule Okuta road in Shomolu showed a people who live in unfriendly environment without light, portable water or access roads. They lamented that the only time they see government presence is when agents of the state government come to collect tenement rate and other state government levies.

Aro Ahmed Kayode the chairman of the Landlords Association in the area lamented that the Lagos State Government has abandoned the area. He said that the APC lawmaker representing the area in the House of Assembly also relocated from the area on getting into government. Another resident, Augustine Ndubuisi said that the entire Onajimi Street is always overtaken by water during the raining seasons and that residents have to resort to moving around by boat.

Similarly, Ayobo- ipaja, a suburb in Alimosho local government Area of Lagos state, reveal a picture of a neglected community in desperate need of government intervention. Finding shows that Alimosho local government where Ayobo-ipaja is located has the highest population with about 2,147,326 residents and of course has the highest number of electorate in the state. Incidentally, the road links other state like Ogun State outskirts of the state like Idiroko and even Cotonu, the economic hub of the Republic of Benin.

Akele accused the Lagos state government of pursuing utopian projects while abandoning those that would benefit the populace. He said that if elected the NCP government will dedicate itself to addressing the plight of the citizenry. He described the Atlantic Mega City of the state government as an Atlantic Mega Fraud, promising to reverse some controversial government polices including the Lagos State Governor and Deputy Governor Pension Law 2007. He said the Pension Law which among other things, grants the former Governors and former Deputy Governors in the state 100% of their annual basic salary as pension and 300% of their annual basic salary as furniture allowance; six new cars every three years and one house each in their area of choice in Lagos and Abuja respectively is criminal and insensitive considering that retired civil servants in the state are still on N2000 monthly pension after 35 years service. The party also vowed to organise a 10

million man match in protest against the state government’s anti-people policies of and its profligacy as a dubious whose sole purpose is to ensure that the governor and the deputy governor continue living in excessive luxury on the bills of Lagos state taxpayers even after their tenure expire.

He argued that unless it is repealed, the Lagos State Governor and Deputy Governor Pension Law 2007 would cripple the economy of the state. “In another 50 years going forward, calculating on the assumption of subsequent governors spending two terms in office, Lagos would be burdened with  the task of providing for eight former governors and about 16 former deputy governors, when as obtained now, a deputy Governor gets to serve only one term in office.

“The cost to the state purse won’t be less than 30% total value of state expenditure just on a few citizens of the state with questionable performance in office. Generations unborn will not forgive us for this.”

He called on the people of Lagos to vote for the NCP in the governorship election, arguing that all the other political parties have been tried and that they have failed Nigerians either at the state or national level. He said it was the time to try a new approach to solving the national problems in an NCP-led government.