Lagos: a country in Nigeria

What does the Chairman of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola, want for Lagosians? These days, his actions make me think that he doesn’t want many people in his domain.

Lagos as it is known, is that heart of commercialisation; every damn business that you can think of can be found here. It is a hustle state.

Many migrate from the thickest of all villages down here for greener pastures, which is ironic though, because the grass ain’t that greener here but either ways, they just prefer Lagos.

As a kid that didn’t grow up in Lagos, I heard stories of this populous city and imagined all sort of things. But on getting here, it’s been over 12 years now and honestly, life here is on the fast lane (high BP levels).

I’ve been to states like Owerri, Osun and I’d say that living there is worth every penny, as there are many unexploited opportunities. But no one cares mehn, Lagos is the way forward.

Having said so much, it seems the state government has seen the desperate heart of Lagos loving Nigerians and have decided to give people that second thought on why they migrate to the hustle state.

I may not know the “real” motive behind the registration and issuing of identity cards to Lagos inhabitants, which is to commence in 2013, but according to a report, it is aimed at “providing better governance and to control the influx of ILLEGAL CITIZENS”.

Illegal citizens? When did citizens of a country become illegal citizens of another state within the same country? Or is the state government trying to pass a coded message (go back to your villages)?

I accept that keeping track of the inhabitants of a state is a wonderful idea, as every advanced country does that. But is that what my dear state government should be worried about at this point in time? Have they finished providing for my basic needs (employment, light, security of life and property, shelter etc.)

Last year, the state government restricted the operation of commercial bikers from 8pm and that was backed up with the excuse that robbery cases have been facilitated by them. To me, it was a reasonable decision.
Just weeks ago, another law to totally ban these riders from major roads was implemented with no justification except for the clichéd robbery cases.

To what should I owe this law? Since its implementation, life in the state which has not been so easy, got worse. I mean, going out on a normal day without your own car, has gotten to the level of “fatigue” (the military meaning). Some okada riders who can’t afford to secure any other jobs, have been rendered jobless.

I would like to remind the state government that Section 41 of the 1999 Constitution states that, “Every citizen of Nigeria is entitled to move freely throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof…”.

From the aforementioned section of the constitution, it is clear that okada riders and citizens are at freedom to move throughout a state/country. So it can be said that the ban is an infringement of rights.

Besides the ban on bikers and the soon to be introduced registration of citizens, Lagos has got more uniform men than Tolu Complex at Ajegunle. It’s like almost every offence you can think of has its own uniform men. LASTMA, VIO, Road Safety, KAI, LAWMA (yeah, they’ve got their own fair share of uniform power), the Men In Black (Police) etc. Are some of the uniform men operating in the hustle state. I even heard there are now anti one-way agents. O_o

Well, there’s nothing wrong with having too many security agents in a state, but the question is, how effective are they?

I know my dear governor wants the best for us but I would like him to calm down. He should look on the bright side of having lots of people in his state. Below are few of the numerous benefits;

— a hotspot for any business activity
— an investment haven for companies
— more people to pay tax, therefore generating more income, and many more…

Also, when the federal government is allocating money every month, he’ll get a bigger share, which we all know that not all the cash will be spent on the state ;). So why complain of immigrants? Just saying 😀

By the way, if the state government really needs to ban anything…why not touts/agberos. Thank you!


4 thoughts on “Lagos: a country in Nigeria

  1. I am sorry I have to disagree with you my good sir.
    First, there is this popular saying which goes: “Eko gba ole, ogba ole” meaning “Lagos accommodates all, including robbers and the indolent”. My point? Yes, Lagos is both the smallest and the most populated state in Nigeria and all the benefits that should accrue to her interms of budgetary allocations etc, falls short, why? The fraud we called national population census in 2006(?).

    Second, Lagos is egregiously over-populated! And a bazillion nationalities still move in on a daily basis, causing further pull on the already over stretched social amenities. A dangerous trend if when not curbed could lead to a systems failure. What we should be clamouring for is wake up call on the FG and the other states and not reprimanding LASG for protesting and protecting itself!

    Third, Nigeria as gigantic as she is, has no biometric data of her citizens. Empexy, you are the computer scientist, even my mediocre self knows the use of citizen’s register :p =D crime investigation, planning etc.

    To the issue of okada ban, I beg to differ again, I trip to Igbobi will convince you! Have you witnessed an Okada accident before? I have. Gory gory sight! Now picture that on an expressway :-/

    Those that oppose this ban for whatever reason are quick to point out that “okada riders have become jobless” which is a blatant lie. There is big difference between “Okada, stop working” and “Okada, don’t ply this route”. The word is RESTRICTION. Furthermore, Nigeria is the only country where motorcycles ply EXPRESSWAYS??? :O :-/ abeg no make people dey laugh us now. Make them dey follow small streets biko.

    He don do biko, hand dey pepper me. LASG dey pay me? B-)

    1. oh…yo in support if the ban and yo also comparing us to the outside world.
      That’s where you shot yourself in the foot. Does the state government
      provide 1/6th of what state governments in those countries yo comparing
      us with provide? Biometrics ryt? Yeah…but you and i know that this will all boil down to one
      thing…money. The system is corrupt. Here’s what will happen and quote
      If the state government decides to initialise the registration of citizens Next year,
      they’ll prolly give a deadline for registration. Those who dont register
      before that time will may be asked to pay money before they register ( if it will be free…but if its not free, they’ll have to pay extra cash).
      Those who dont register will become prey to security officials, who will
      collect money from them each time they are asked to tender their card. At
      the end of the whole thing, some sect who brought up the idea of
      registration would be smiling to the bank because they woulda made so
      much money and then after some months, a new idea would be brought up and we will all follow again.

      As for the bike men, remember it was first helmet, and i guess so much
      Money was made by the state government from those who didnt purchase their helmet. Later it became 8pm ban and now ”restriction” according to you. All i see is money money money. Or you think they really care? If they did, they woulda
      provided alternate job opportunities for these riders if they dont want okadas on the roads of lagos. Simple.

      Oh, and have you seen the recent stats…about 6 000 000 employable
      youths in nigeria are add the bikemen because its as
      good as not operatin at all…how much do you think they’ll make from
      operating from streets to streets??? Wat’s the cost of living in lagos??? Do
      the math.

      I couldnt freaking get s bike from ikeja to allen round about..the heck???
      Had to wait for some methuselahic queue.

      And LASG must really have paid you handsomely :p

      1. My brother, government has no business providing employment in this age and time. This is one of the things drawing us back as we spend over 75% of our annual budget paying salaries and servicing questionable debts –recurrent expenditure. This implies only 1/4 of our budget goes to building new schools, hospitals, roads etc. Little wonder we are where we are.

        This is counterproductive, rather what we should have are SMEs. Almost all of the most vibrant economies in the world were built by small and medium scale enterprises; Japan, China, America etc. Thus, the duty of the government is to create an environment for business owners and entrepreneurs to thrive– infrastructure, economic policies like tax-cuts, soft loans etc.

        For the most, the bulk lies with the FG and it’s agencies; CBN etc. But the state governments have a role to play too.

        On citizens’ registration, the Lagos state commissioner for Information should be able to answer the multitude of your questions :p One thing I know is, to be able to plan properly and fight crime including corruption, a citizens’ register is important. Imagine how easy it’ll be to arrest traffic offenders, trace the fingerprints of robbery suspects and collect tax from citizens if the scheme is already in place.

        My brother, lets stop grasping at straws. I don’t THINK anyone would need to pay for the scheme. And for getting in trouble with government officials, it is expected that anyone who doesnot comply with rules of a land should face the consequences. Whether or not there will be fines for such disobedience is left to be seen. Moreso, I suppose the registration would be an ongoing one. When new people come in, they get registered.

        Again it is the duty of the government to make laws as supported by the constitution. There is no sin in banning Okada outrightly as has been done in several states since it is an established fact that Okada is a menace. But not to further impoverish the people and to save them from dangerously endangering their lives, the government restricted Okada riders to sidestreets. Don’t you think it’s insane to ride an Okada on a expressway with(out) protective gear? Is Okada the only business? If it is, must it be on the highway? Is lagos the only state in Nigeria? Common?! How do you think those that have lost loved ones or body parts to Okada accidents feel? Why do people want to make money by force? Against reason?

        My brother, let’s think progressively, the Okada restriction is for good. We are all victims of it. I was at Ikeja under bridge the other day for 1hour waiting for Keke and I still made my appointment. How? I left home early, I didn’t do it African time.

        I admit the preceding paragraph is an aberration. Thus we should channel our energy to asking the government to provide alternative source of transport. The BRTs and commercial buses are grossly insufficient and they do not ply all routes. Not doing so is akin to throwing away the baby and the bath water.

        I shared a little of my thoughts on the issue and how people have trivialised it here.

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