Opinion: The Lagos gov’t under Fashola has failed

by Simon Utsu
jonathan-fasholaNow Lagos state generates roughly 200million dollars in tax revenues monthly. The question is do they put it to use judiciously and intelligently?
I listened to Fashola going on about President Jonathan early last month and I was quite disappointed in the direction Nigerian politics is heading.

Hear him: “I watched the president of my country speak in my state for about one hour and I saw an angry man. He was recriminating about people criticizing his government. He was blaming all who ruled before him, forgetting that he has been on this job for six years.

“For 29 minutes, he did not reveal his plans on power, security and corruption. Now after six and a half years without being able to articulate what he’s doing and what he will do, he keeps blaming everybody, forgetting that he is the Commander-in-Chief. If the kitchen is too hot, as it is becoming obvious, he must get out of it.”

I was quite saddened that opposition politics in Nigeria is all about personality attacks. How dare Fashola demean the office of the President in this manner! Because of the high level campaign of calumny the APC has embarked upon over the years, the office of the Nigerian President is a now a laughing stock globally. The other day, a young south African miscreant who goes by the name Julius Malema and is popular with the south African masses was making fun of Jonathan during a press conference. Fashola should desist from such petty utterances made in the name of politics. He shouldn’t be quick to forget that he might never attain the level of greatness which Jonathan has achieved. In 20 years, Nigerians will remember Jonathan much more than Fashola. 30 years ago, Lateef Jakande was the governor of Lagos and he did much more than Fashola is even doing now. The masses in Lagos felt his impact as his housing schemes were dotted all over the landscape of Lagos. Then, the President was Shehu Shagari who wasn’t the best of administrators. Today, the average Nigerian doesn’t know who Jakande is but will very well tell you Shagari was the president before Buhari.

As for Tinubu who thinks he is so powerful, why was he crying wolf last week when some military vehicles drove past his house in Ikoyi? He ran around shouting and screaming, “Ejoor, Egbami ooo, ahhhh, them wan kill me o” all over the media! Isn’t he the one who goes around parading himself as the Lion of Bourdillion?  It’s only the wicked who run when nothing or no one is chasing them.

Whenever one moves around Lagos and experiences persistent traffic gridlocks here and there, you can be quick to conclude that the Lagos state government under the APC has failed. These holdups keep increasing by the year even with the number of roads being fixed (albeit at snail speed). One can easily conclude that Fashola’s government has been bereft of ideas. The only thing Fashola revolutionized was taxation; taxation of the rich and poor alike. Now Lagos state generates roughly 200million dollars in tax revenues monthly. The question is do they put it to use judiciously and intelligently? My answer is a big NO. Its wisdom to work with what you have, at least the parable of the talents in the bible tells us that. Lagos state has water bodies accounting for 30 percent of its total area. These water bodies are interconnected. Ikorodu connects to Victoria Island.

Maza-Maza, Apapa and Festac areas also are connected to the Island. We also have Yaba and the Unilag axis connected to the Island via water. So can Fashola in all his acclaimed wisdom not think outside the box and revamp Lagos’s water transport system? What would it cost Lagos to buy 300 brand new ferries that would interconnect all these parts? The traffic situation in Apapa has been so bad over the years that real estate in Apapa has suffered drastically. Apapa used to be primer than Ikoyi in the 1960’s but now, it’s no longer habitable. Fashola acting under the spirit of the emperor in no clothes has instead been busy sand-filling these water bodies and reclaiming land through white elephant projects such as the Eko Atlantic project. Posterity might judge him as a failure when these projects turn out to be liabilities and only end up increasing the debt burden of future Lagos state governments.

It pains me so much when you bump into some of these Governors in europe or see pictures they take during holidays to Europe and America. They go out there and see how things are working and cant import any of the good ideas they encounter. Imagine this same man banned motorcycles in Lagos and replaced them with the Kekes! Keke’s that spoil the aesthetics of a wannabe megacity and also worsen the traffic situation based on their semblance to cars (in size) is what a modern day governor replaces motorbikes with? Even in developing countries like India, you can’t find rickshaws (keke napeps) on the streets of Mumbai or Delhi or in Bangkok, Thailand. Why then should Fashola be busying himself building castles in the air when he could have easily crested his name in gold by revamping water transportation in Lagos?

Anyone who keeps touting Fashola as the best thing that happened to his generation of politicians should go and hide his/her head in shame after reading this. Governor Fashola has left Lagos in disarray; Eko has Baje’ed under Fashola.


Simon Utsu tweets from @simonchairman


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

Comments (3)

  1. Forward, on point! If you go places like Egbe in Ikotun or Badore in Ajah, you ask yourself if people staying there did any wrong to come into this world as paupers! Its sad.

  2. Fashola has failed indeed
    If.one puts aside the billions internally generated revenue along with the federal allocation
    The only major project the state has done is under public +private partnership
    Then what is left ?
    Even my street was last constructed by Lateef jakande administration
    What we are seeing is the corruption of APC
    They will do a little like a decoration and steal the entire pot away
    APC will be worst than PDP I have no doubt
    Same old PDP men, Amechi,Kwankwaso,Tambulawal,Atiku,Audu ogbe,Rochas etc
    Abeg say something else

    1. Forward, on point! If you go places like Egbe in Ikotun or Badore in Ajah, you ask yourself if people staying there did any wrong to come into this world as paupers! Its sad.

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