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What Does Greater Lagos Mean?

I had planned to criticize this administration last year. I probably would have not started today. But this happened.

At such moments in the final words of the immortal Ken Saro-Wiwa, “Silence Would be Treason”.

Like him, I am from the Niger Delta. Unlike him, I am an Esan man from Edo State in Nigeria.

However, I was born in Lagos, Nigeria. My kinsmen literally built this place. It would pay homage to the Benin Kingdom until 1861 when it was annexed by the British.

The history of the Esan people in Lagos can be found here. Lagos would be the drop off point for the invasion of a place that would later be named after one of my kinsmen Isi Aghadahomen an Esan General who led Benin warriors to conquer present day republic of Benin.

I will judge this administration by it’s campaign speech. In the next 4 months, it would be a year after that speech was made.

I will use the Six Pillars of Development Agenda for this administration as the benchmark for my accessement.

Traffic Management and Transportation

This is an absolute fail.

We are packed like cattle at the bus parks. The picture above is the bus park at Obalende.

It is dirty and unhygienic with equally dirty and cramped buses.

If we had a safe, comfortable and reliable transportation system, there would be no need for Okadas.

The ban on Okadas and Tricycles along certain roads in the state will cause untold suffering to Lagosians.

A famous writer once said: “If you are silent about your pain, they will kill you and say you enjoyed it”.

No modern city relies on bikes for transportation. The absence of a modern railway line is a big fail on previous administrations.

I will judge this administration by how well it does in this regard.

Health and Environment

In the area of sanitation, I readily admit that this administration inherited this problem.

Sadly, it has not done enough to solve it.

Rather than tell Lagosians not to dump refuse in certain places, the administration should tell them where to drop it.

That is the essence of leadership.

Patronage of hospitals in Lagos is low. Most Lagosians self-medicate. There is a lot that can be done to improve healthcare in Lagos state starting with the welfare of the health practitioners.

The waste issue must be tackled. The best model for Lagos state is to look at Rwanda.

Education and Technology

The continuation of the CodeLagos program is heartwarming considering the precedence for discontinuation of previous administration projects in Nigeria.

The world of tomorrow will be powered by code. Getting children involved with technology at an early age will prepare them for a technology driven future.

Making Lagos a 21st Century Economy

Of what use is an Art of Technology conference when BRT bus schedules are not available on a mobile app?

Beyond talking about technology, the adoption of technology across the state will help strengthen its efforts in education.

The issue of electricity supply should also be tackled. No one can write code in the dark.

Entertainment and Tourism

Greater Lagos 2020 failed to fly.

It could have been the one thing the state got right last year but someone dropped the ball on this.

Security and Governance

I have no comment in this regard as I have witnessed no real changes.

Previous administrations have always had a reputation for opacity.

I cannot remember that last time we had a town hall meeting in Lagos state.

The transportation master plan has yet to be released for public viewing.

Empathy is missing across all areas of governance in Nigeria.

The ban on Okadas and Tricycles is the best example of this.

After all the stress that they were put through last year, to start a New Year with this news smacks of lack of empathy.

It is my hope that this is sorted out.

Morality cannot be imposed on hungry men. With unemployment of thousands looming, this administration would do well to lift the ban and stop toying with peoples lives.

Conclusion

I was born in Lagos and schooled exclusively in Lagos state.

This is the first of a series of monthly articles on the state of the current administration in Lagos state.

It is my hope to live in a world that works within my lifetime.

Bad governance will kill everyone.

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Turn by Turn Nigeria Ltd

“There are no privileges without duties, no authority without responsibilities, and no responsibilities without burdens”.

Quote by IM

This fact seems to be lost on the President of Nigeria as he would travel out of the country in the same week where the National Grid collapsed.

Joshua Meets Buhari in London

World Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua would betray the teeming youth population that were his supporters by seeing the President in London.

Being Yoruba, he went ahead to prostrate for the President betraying his fellow youths in Nigeria.

Next time he fights, don’t expect me to support him.

You can read more about the sorry event here.

Boko Haram Executes another batch of Christian Youths

I am tired of writing about Boko Haram.

Sadly after 10 years of this problem, we have reached a point of apathy.

Now we are no longer saddened by the deaths. If we still care, we simple ask: How many died?

You can read about this story here.

Tarkwa Bay Eviction

It would be the turn of the people of Tarkwa Bay to lose their land to the Government.

The logic behind this move leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.

With the allure of ocean front property, it was just a matter of time before the Government took this route.

Sadly, beyond land grabbing, there is no development plan for the ocean front in Lagos.

The water is polluted and smells of shit.

Berlin Conference 2020

Berlin Conference 1.0

Last week, Berlin Conference 2.0 held.

Like the last one, African nations were also missing from a discussion that would affect the security and economy of their respective nations.

Africans were not privy to the discussions of this one.

I believe that the Libyan cake was shared generously.

Berlin Conference 2.0

This conference proves that Africans are really good at championing causes that have no impact on their future.

Ansaru Militant Group is Back

After a brief hiatus, the Ansaru Militant made a comeback.

Seriously, in a nation where terrorists can be rehabilitated and integrated into the army, why miss out on the fun.

What Are the Top 4 Mobile Money Purchases by African Youth?

It is one thing for your government not to have a plan for you.

It is another for you not to have a plan for yourself.

This report shows the top spending by Africans on mobile money platforms.

It was no surprise that gambling was high on the list.

Top 4 Mobile Money Purchases by African Youth

With the focus on getting rich quick rather than value creation, it is safe to say that Africa doesn’t have a future.

Why do you need to plan when there is a foreign organisation to take care of you.

It’s not like we even own our continent.

Foreign Military Presence in Africa

Market Fire

Proving that we learn nothing from the past, we had another market fire last week.

When you live in a nation of the most prayerful people on earth, why do you need to plan for the future.

Your God will take care of you.

I have no more tears left because we will still be back year later in the year.

Peter Needs a Lifeline

If all I have said is too literal in this digest, please read something more technical.

How My Father Died

Uncle Victor Asemota talks about the death of this father in this post.

Let’s be honest with ourselves living in Nigeria is an extreme sports.

All the money in the world couldn’t make Kinect happen

The Microsoft Kinect was one of the product failures of the last decade.

This post reminds us of that moment in time and what it means to be on the cutting edge of technology.

Meet 13 Year Old Nigerian Teenager Who Makes Electronics From Plastic Scraps | Lucky Ekhator

Let’s we end on a Sad Note
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Mathemagic

Introduction

Welcome to a new week.

Last week was filled was fast paced. Story upon story. Thankfully, we made it to the end.

This post will look at some of the happenings of last week.

How 4th Became 1st

In an amazing turn of events, the 4th would be come first in Imo state.

You can read all the sordid details of the case here.

Election Results for Imo State

I am short of words at the happenings but not surprised. Nigeria has been synonymous with new lows in recent times.

Every time you think it cannot get any lower, it does.

As an engineer, I thought about how 1st could become 4th.

Haven’t you heard of modulus?

It is represented by the % symbol. It is the whole number remainder when you divide one number by another.

4 % 4 = 0
0 + 1 = 1

The proof above should suffice for the mathematically curious.

Forex Intervention

Last year, we spent close to 17 Billion Naira for the defence of the Naira.

No longer is our exchange rate an indicator of our productivity, it is now a measure of how well we can do Currency Warfare.

Such a regime is unsustainable but in this foolhardy administration, the continuation of foolish policies without recourse to common sense is notable.

The first forex intervention happened last week.

Who gives a damn if our banks cannot hold their water?

Group Economics

It wasn’t all doom and gloom.

I would read a story about a group of women who would combine forces to build a 5 storey building in Kenya.

It points to the fact that in unity, there is power.

Amotekun

Amotekun Logo

We all knew that the killings in the country could not go unanswered.

Although slow in coming, the Governors of the South Western states have decided to unite for the defense of their states.

This move marks the beginning of the end for the union called Nigeria.

It has been criticized by the North. Yet, they are unable to state on what basis makes the Hisbah legal and Amotekun illegal.

Amotekun in the South, Hisbah in the North

What will be left will be for other states to follow.

Amotekun means Cheetah in the Yoruba language.

Grid Collapse

Dark Room

It is only common sense that a nation that plans to go to space should have light on earth.

Last week on Thursday, 16th of January 2020, the national grid collapsed.

It would be the first collapse of the year. Nigeria has refused to apply any metric of wisdom in dealing with this problem.

VAT Increase

As if the suffering of Nigerians under bad government policies is not enough, the government has decided to increase the Value Added Tax (VAT).

You can see the announcement below:

VAT Increase Announcement

Not that it will do much good to the economy as the problem with the country is one of capacity.

What Does the Future Hold?

This article covers a possible future for Nigeria.

The writer brings no original thinking to the article and if you read any “Africa Rising” narratives last decade, it is in the same class.

How it Could All End?

Could Nigeria suffer the same fate as Venezuela?

The article gives a harrowing picture of people leaving a defunct nation.

Jetting Off

Despite all the problems in the country, the President is out of the country for another pointless trip.

This time he didn’t slither off. He met with some of his people.

Conclusion

History Repeats Itself

The above image covers all my feelings about Nigeria this week.

Thankfully, the world has been here before.

Have a great week.

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Negative People

This is a story I will keep telling forever.

When I was in University, most likely 1st or 2nd year, I wanted to participate in the First Bank annual undergraduate essay competition.

The theme for that year was privatization. It was the Atiku days of privatization.

I had read quite a lot on privatization even before the essay. I got more books and started writing. It was flowing and I was looking forward to a good submission.

Until one day, one of my dad’s friends showed up. He asked what I was busy with?

With great enthusiasm, I told him about the competition.

He laughed and said that such competitions from banks are targeted at Finance and Economics undergraduates.

I was studying for a BSc in Mathematics in Ife. He discouraged me totally. I immediately stopped writing.

Fast forward a few months later, the winners were announced.

The top prize winner was an Engineering undergraduate.

I almost became depressed.

But it taught me a great lesson about negative people. I stopped listening to people who say it is not possible.

It was later I realized that the same man was the reason my dad bought a black/white TV in those days and not a Colour TV.

Reason? He said Colour TVs spoil often.

He also discouraged him from buying land in the early 80s because of Omo Onile (Local Gangsters).

Such people exist everywhere around you.

Once you spot them, run!

There will always be good counsellors who will give you great advice.

You will know if you can calm down.

Again, run from negative people who never see good in anything. They will cost you.

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Ayobami Oladejo on Twitter

Featured Image
Photo by Francisco Moreno on Unsplash

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The Year Ahead 2020

Introduction

Welcome to a New Year!

With most of December fading away, a New Year can finally begin.

In this post, I intend to look at happenings in the country as they occurred this week.

One thing last year showed was that bad governance will kill everyone.

Without much ado, here is what went down in Nigeria in the past week.

JAMB Registration

I sincerely believe that in 2020 it is possible to design processes and systems without the need to “See Somebody”.

Sadly, the nature of government agencies in Nigeria make processes unusually harder than they need to be.

It’s like Nigerians want to win the “Sufferhead Olympics”.

For some reason, JAMB made the use of the National Identification Number compulsory for the examination.

The result of this policy is shown below:

JAMB Candidates at NIMC office. Image Courtesy of the Punch Newspapers

In the resulting chaos at the NIMC offices around the country, people started bribing the security agents to allow them in.

That is the effect of badly designed systems. When they break as they often will, you need human interference to keep them working.

Instead of the government asking the banks to handle this process, they insisted on creating bottlenecks for corruption to thrive.

A sad reminder that in Rwanda all processes are digital. They have a system called IremboGov which is a portal for all government processes.

When the clamor got too much, JAMB would rescind the decision making all the stress for nothing.

Increase in Electricity Tariffs

When I wrote my Top 10 Predictions for 2020, I frankly expected that taxation and inflation would increase.

However, I didn’t see why electricity tariffs would increase for electricity.

Word on the streets is that NERC has approved increase in electricity tariffs.

The comic below is from the Punch Newspaper:

A cartoon on the NERC increase in Electricity Tariffs

Regardless of the measures put in place, service delivery will not improve.

I have no confidence in the ability of the current administration to deliver on this.

Loan to Deposit Ratio at 65%

To stimulate growth in the economy, the CBN increased the Loan to Deposit Ratio to 65%.

Banks have been fined for failing to meet this ratio.

Personally, I won’t borrow money from a bank to invest in this economy.

Conclusion

As the year gets into full swing, I would advice everyone reading this blog to refrain from investing in the Nigerian economy.

You can send your funds offshore.

Policies are now implemented in Nigeria with no thought as to their consequences.

Such a system of governance makes political uncertainty a reality.

Do have a great week.

Bad governance will kill everyone.