On behalf of the teeming members of the Lagos Peoples’ Assembly, spread across the nooks and crannies of Lagos State, we commend the efforts of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to position Lagos State as a preferred destination point for investment and tourism through the astute adherence to the Centre of excellence master plan for development as well as his recent announcement of reductions in charges payable in the State as a result of the newly amended Land Use Charge Law 2018.
For the avoidance of doubt, we fully identify with the aspirations of the Governor for holistic development of the State. We note that an unwary observer of governance in the State would have jumped into the conclusion that the State is for the development of areas where the upper middle class reside like Victoria Gardens City, Victoria Island, Ikoyi, Lekki, Ikeja etc. in terms of provision of basic infrastructural facilities.
However, the strides of this administration in the near slum areas of the State is worthy of commendation. Vintage examples can be cited with the bridges in Abule Egba, Aboru/ Ipaja, and Agege as well as the ambitious infrastructural strides in Epe, Ikorodu and Badagry.
We totally share the underlying philosophy of the State as encapsulated in the recently amended Land Use Charge Law 2018. It is an equitable social justice practiced globally to tax in progressive ratio the more privileged, affluent and wealthy sections of society in order to provide basic social amenities for the poorer sections. This is not just a social re-engineering mechanism but a veritable tool for holistic socio economic growth, social stability and security. It is trite to emphasize that the rich can sleep better when the poor are not hungry and can live in habitat suitable for human beings and not in zoological environment.
Lagos with an estimated population of more than twenty million is projected to surpass thirty five million in a few years from now. Yet, it lost the campaign to be accorded a special city status and it is grappling with reductions in allocation and dwindling revenue.
The State administrators must put on its thinking caps and reason out of the box on how to meet up with the challenge of gaping infrastructural deficits in health, education, housing, pipe down water, road network sports, street lights, security and habitable environment.
We are most concerned about the negative activities of some elements to throw spanners to clog the wheel of growth and development of the State. In a democracy, there is no one man show, it is run by institutions and processes. We thus advise those who are against the developmental policies of the State to modern and civilised status to engage the parliament/State House of Assembly that passed the law instead of threatening fire and brimstone to create social chaos in the State. It is trite to reiterate that no group had the monopoly or copyright to mass actions. We challenge the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja Branch to seek judicial interventions or be prepared to meet us in street barricades.
It is rather worrisome that the organized private sector which ought to be a social partner on the infrastructural development of the State has seemingly become organized political sector for some hawks in corridors of power. We owe it a duty to alert the good people of Lagos on the injurious intentions of these anti developmental elements.
We have authentic information that the NBA, Ikeja Branch on its part has turned itself into a mercenary tool for some nefarious politicians and we shall unmask their sponsors.
The LPA wish to remind Lagosians that world-class cities like Tokyo, New York, London, Singapore etc. are built by statesmen with developmental vision like Ambode. We therefore, call on Lagosians to continually rally round him.