Lagos is doomed and there is nothing anyone can do about it.
That seems a pretty harsh thing to say but hey what can I do about it?
I recently took a road trip between Abuja and Kaduna and was mesmerized with kilometers after kilometers of good road. I wished I had a grand tourer like Merc or BMW 5 Series Touring to tame that piece of asphalt. Not that there wasn’t any pot hole, in fact quite a few broke the innocence of that road but comparing that road to anything in Lagos is like comparing a decent girl with less than 5 guys on the register and a working girl from De Wallen.
Considering that the road has also suffered neglect from government, I figured out that it survived because it was never pillaged as much as Lagos roads by monster container trucks.
It seems I’m rambling. Now straight to the point.
Lagos is like a working class man who gets new cousins to live with him every time he gets promoted; he’s never gonna be successful.
Early in our democracy, Jagaban demonstrated a type of leadership not easily found around here. Although OBJ sat on Lagos federal allocation for 7 years, he raised internally generated revenue and ran this state successfully. Then poster boy Fashola took over and spent trillions on Lagos but what do we have to show for it? Next to nothing. Did they work? Yes they absolutely did.
So what happened?
A recent stats from FRSC showed that 33% of all cars in Nigeria ply Lagos roads not considering that Lagos has the smallest landmass of all states in Nigeria. #Trouble.
As Lagos became more secure, people showed up to hide from Boko Haram and kidnappers. When the environment became conducive for commerce, all new graduates skip to Lagos as soon as they are done with NYSC. Every company has its head office or a liaison office in Lagos. Practically everything imported into Nigeria, including the offending 41 items banned by CBN, come through Apapa ports.
Meanwhile the nation has been so sadistic to Lagos it makes waterboarding a trivial torture. While the ports bring everything in, they were neither upgraded or the road fixed. Ok, JB did a part but too small it’s of no consequence. The road to the MMA is so terrible that flying in and out of Nigeria is an exercise in depression. But then everyone, or almost everyone, must come to Lagos to fly out.
Traffic is so bad and depressing some people are giving up their homes to rent accommodations nearer their offices. And it won’t get better.
While I’m happy that Ambode has finally come around to fixing the security problems, I’m very well sure that no matter how successful he is, no matter how much he does better than Fashola, as long as the other states in Nigeria are failed or semi-failed, Lagos will never be the place we want it to be.
Olówó ní àrín àwon òtòsì…