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Lagos State: The Arithmetic of Development

by on December 4, 2014
 

 

By Charles Aborishade

One of the greatest paradoxes of our time is the illusion of development. The country is dotted across board with liters of isolated developments that praise singers are quick to trumpet to the high heavens. A prevalent challenge of political discuss has been out of context postulations of self acclaimed development analysts.

This same mentality is brought to business and personal life; hence, the mass failure in business and personal dealings. Before profit can be gained, a proper audit of in-flows and out-flows should be taken with the former outweighing the latter. This is a basic arithmetic of success. The failure in this regards has been the bane of our national prosperity. My fear is pronounced, therefore, when governments are run with a total remiss of its fiduciary responsibilities.

It is fashionable these days to give crass criticism, in fact it requires little imagination on the part of the critic but there’s a much more cerebral activity, the ability to spot rooms for improvement in the system.

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As we race towards 2015 general elections, it is high time we put into perspective the much abused theme of development. Growth on a personal level, which justifiably interchanges with development, is not the protrusion of a certain part of your body while the whole is stunted. In fact, there is another dimension called tumorous growth, which though with the noun “growth” nobody wants a manifestation in their lives. Growth in the positive sense of it is the wholesome development across members over a period of time.

In the light of the above, can we say there has been growth or development across board in A

PC’s shining example of leadership–Lagos state? Pray, what goes into development in this state? What comes out of it? The predatory nature of development across the state is alarming while Fashola has been busy tarring roads, building fanciful tolled bridges and planting grass and flowers; he has ignored the need of the people for basic things of life like food, shelter and gainful employment. Is there any physical structure that doesn’t have a self-perpetuating catch?

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There is no pipe-borne water in much of Lagos; and yet the state generates over 27 billion in internal revenue every month. When asked why he did not build low-cost housing in Lagos, Fashola replied contemptuously that he could not find any low-cost cement to buy.

The debt profile of the state soars on account of executive prodigality. The state is indentured for the next 69 years to debt repayments. If you ask me, that’s a prodigious legacy to be left for posterity. With every transaction clouded in statistical obscurantisms it is high time we did way with complicities and call for simplicity, bringing simple answers for major problems. Any development projections domicile on power point slides, any percentile increment in standard of living that doesn’t have a corresponding representation on the number of street beggars taken off the roads or the number of artisans and skilled labour to be engaged is tantamount to betrayal.

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Fashola speaks primarily for the rich. Under him, the poor in Lagos have been marginalized; oftentimes evicted from their homes without the benefit of rehabilitation. Their menial abodes in places like Mushin, Oluwole, Ojota, Makoko and Ijora-Badia East have been bulldozed. Their markets in Tejuoso, Yaba and Oshodi have been demolished. The new stalls that replaced them were priced beyond their pockets.

This is a simple call for leadership audit. What, really, is the cost of development in Lagos state? Is it a one-sided transaction where the mass of the people give so much with their survival chances running into deficit daily? I won’t even bother your sensibilities with the strides in Akwa-Ibom state and risks being tag a PDP goon; I trust your sense of approbation is not so prejudiced not to see the obvious.

Lagos beware!

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