THE EFFECT OF MAKING LAGOS A MEGA CITY ON LAGOSIANS

Governor Ambode’s obsession with making Lagos state a mega city is well known among Lagosians. It goes from making good roads, to constructing different pedestrian bridges, and ensuring that traffic laws are strictly adhered to. It also includes destroying quite a number of buildings, and stopping traders from hawking goods on the road. All these go in line with the ‘mega city project, but is this what the states needs currently? Does the mega city project have positive effects on the lives of Lagosians? Who exactly benefits from the project? Won’t the project end up inconvenienting a lot of people, thereby making them leave Lagos? I am not sure the Governor planned for an empty Lagos alongside his project.

The condition of a state depends largely on the residents of that state, because they live there. The point is not how beautiful the state is, but how its occupants are coping, for example, if the cost of living is high or the standard is low, etc. With all due respect, all Governor of Lagos state intentions are good, so are his works, but isn’t he going about it the wrong way?

Quite a number of roads in Lagos now have the ‘no hawking’ signs all over, meaning people are no longer allowed to hawk goods on the road, else the seller and buyer will be arrested. One can only imagine the number of people that depend on hawking their goods, who have just lost their source of income. Also, there were quite a number of people who lost their shops and buildings when the construction of the Abule Egba bridge started, and others are about to lose theirs, with the new bridge construction that is about start at Pen cinema in Agege, and whatever construction that would get started in Ogba shortly. There are areas where markets are destroyed and replaced with complex, how are petty traders supposed to be able to afford shops in complexes? This is not to say that the Governor plans to drive ‘danfo’ buses out, and replace them with BRT buses. Well if he excutes this plan, a lot of people will be losing their source of income, people like the bus drivers, bus conductors, NURTW officials, the owners of the buses who give buses out to the drivers for rent. Obviously, the Governor will be employing people to take over public transport systems, but the number of people he’s going to employ can in no way be compared to the number of people that will lose their jobs. Increase in the already high rate of unemployment will only lead to one thing; Increase in crime rate. It is a well known fact that the Nigerian Police force are no where close to being competent. They show up in crime scenes hours after the incident. Are those the people we trust to secure the state?
What should be done first is to create employment, you cannot keep chasing people from their sources of income and not find already made alternatives for them. After that, the Governor can proceed with his plan. Unless the plan is to frustrate people out of Lagos, I suggest the Governor rethinks his strategy, before Lagos state becomes an empty mega city.

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