By Meshack Katuka (email@example.com)
Apologies to the owners of English Language for the coinage; ‘Lagoslization’ as it has become necessary to adopt such a coinage to describe what has and is happening to the governance of our country at different levels.
The past 5 years remains a story amongst Nigerians regards the change in the pattern to which Governance is being administered. Whether this change had been of good or of bad remains an answer given based on one’s connection to the government at the centre.
One who is a very good observer of the space must have realized that their had been a direct import of the Lagos state model of Governance to first; the Federal Government of Nigeria and Second; the Kaduna State Government of Nigeria (where I come from).
The Lagos State approach to governance in my View and from what I have learnt interacting with others who have paid keen interest to Lagos State is that; Governance there is centred around Revenue generation without a commensurate justifiable expenditure meant to solve the problems of their society; it is a “tax them to death” approach where everything must be taxed, every item must be viewed in the prism of Just revenue generation while the people are free to wallow in anguish then use media organisations to bloat mediocrity an overexhaggerate performance.
The Overpopulation of Lagos State had made Road Traffic, Waste Management and Security the problems to which Lagos State had been known for and these problems had remained like that for years despite media overhype regards the way past Lagos State Governors had performed wonderfully and this is with reference to ; Bola A. Tinubu, Babatunde R. Fashola and Akinwunmi Ambode who had been in the helm of affairs since the return of Democracy in 1999 which to my opinion, they have all performed below average seeing the resources at their disposal.
If any government is to be taken serious in Lagos State, then under it’s watch the precarious traffic situation should be a thing of the past but has that ever been the case? No, their has never been a solution. Recently, I read from a friend who complained of spending 5 hours between Ajao Estate and Ojudu Berger; a journey that shouldn’t last for up to an hour but all thanks to traffic. We still hear of how Lagos state Government is overperforming.
If any government is to be taken seriously in Lagos State, then under it’s watch, the Wastes that had and is still posing serious environmental threats should have since been a thing of the past but the situation on ground says the opposite as it is near impossible to tour most of the places in Lagos without being hit by very offensive odours, unpleasant sight of gabbages, freedom of movement of rodents which are clear pointers to a failed waste management model in many locations ; this includes the very expensive island areas of Lekki and other places as well in the state.
How had the security situations in that state been handled where residents of various estates and streets resort to monetary contributions in order to make private security arrangements to curtail excesses of cult activities and Local robbers? Most streets secure themselves more than what the authorities contribute.
Lagos State is lucky as majority of the population is employed by private organisations which is no special wizzardry of her state government but as a result of the situation of ports and the state being a former Federal Capital Territory which means that the burden of Salaries payment had been taken away from the State Government by private organisations leaving excess money to better the Life of it’s citizens.
With the position to which the Lagos economy maintains, Lagos ought to have been a place of envy world over and choice destination to settle if governance had been as serious as it had always been portrayed on the media but reverse had been the case as the priorities of Lagos State is always:
- Collecting Tolls at the Various Toll gates in the State.
- Empowering the NURTW to extort more and more drivers at various bus stops to raise revenue.
- Taxing and taxing more with less utilisation of such Revenues to solve problems.
The Lagoslization of our Federal Government began in 2015 when the Lagos politicians gained access to the Federal Government of Nigeria as a result of coming into power of the APC Government. Since 1999, the Lagos politicians have always been localized to Lagos state and some States of the southwest but being major Stakeholders of the APC, the change of Government became a redefining moment for them.
The Lagos based politicians brought in VP Yemi Osinbajo as Vice President, Babatunde Fashola as Minister of works and housing , Babatunde Fowler as the Executive Chairman of the FIRS and a host of others in the fore front of Governance and at the background. The coming in of these people is seen in the way the federal government like never before places emphasis on overburdening it’s populace with unnecessary taxes which recently had been sparking discussions all over.
The recent includes:
- VAT increased from 5% to 7.5%.
- Withdrawal Tax of 3% for individual and 5% for corporate bodies.
- Deposit Tax of 2% for individual and 3% for corporate bodies.
- N50 Stamp Duty on PoS transactions above N1,000.
- Toll Gates to be introduced to collect Tax from motorists across the country.
- Fresh 9% Tax on GSM, Cable TV subscribers. That is; if you buy say MTN airtime of N1,000, you will pay N90 as Tax or if you do DSTV subscription of N4,000, you will pay N360 as Tax.
In Kaduna State, The Lagos state Model had been clearly in play as their were times taxes on boreholes, Levies to be paid before burials are to be made on public mortuaries, renaming state agencies to the semblance of that in Lagos State had been employed.
Various governments are increasingly embracing Lagoslization( Media Performance) as Governance is only seen in the media( pages of newspapers, Televisions on Twitter and other Channels) with nothing to Show on ground which at best can be described as “Audio Government”.
With Tinibu’s interest for Presidency in 2019 despite his old age, Nigerians should watch out against bringing Lagoslization to themselves.
Governance should not be just about Revenue generation and less attention to solving problems. Let us always see what the Revenues are used for.
A word they say is enough.
Meshack Wrote From Kaduna State.
OPINION EXPRESSED BY THE WRITER ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR NOT NECESSARILY THOSE OF PROCYON NEWS AND ITS PUBLISHERS