by Omoleye Omoruyi
The reality of the Nigerian situation is a peculiar one. We have a government in theory but not in practice. Citizens have now overlooked or perhaps the government has jettisoned its obligations which, in turn, has resulted in Citizens taking on government by themselves – making government private ‘the real privatisation’ not the one you read in your textbooks.
I want to share a story, a story many Nigerians will be able to relate to, a story of how we live and exist in a country where the government does nothing for the citizens – tax paying citizens. The government in this story is not the usual President Muhammadu Buhari or Governor Akinwunmi Ambode or any other top ranking government official. This time I am taking it home, to the representative of a particular Local Government in Lagos State, and now to the story.
Harmony Estate in Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government Area in Lagos State is a budding residential area with a very strong union driven towards the development of the estate. The Harmony estate Union embarked on a project to tar all the roads in the estate and thanks to sheer will, determination and privately raised financial resources, it has been achieved to about 85% completion. The 15% exception is the Austin Coker Drive street in the estate – the longest street in the estate that has an extension called Kolapo Crescent.
A total of ₦9.5M was earmarked for the project. The estate union committee donated ₦2.9M (approximately ₦3M) which left a total of ₦6.6M for the project. The residents of Austin Coker Drive were able to add ₦3.6M from contributions of N100,000 (each plot of land) for the road construction and felt it was well within their right to seek the support of the state lawmaker who represents the LGA and has about two houses in that street to settle the ₦3M balance.
However, Honourable Dayo Saka Fafunmi felt the sum of ₦500,000 was sufficient for the project. How flagrantly incompetent can he be? Therefore, the outstanding sum for the project is a total of about ₦2.5M. We needed him – as a representative – to help with the balance or influence the local government but what happened?
We provide our own light, our own security, our own water and even construct our own road. Yet the government representative in our constituency cannot even support us despite our own outstanding efforts. Sad!