Home Opinion Tinubu: Lagos’ special gift to Nigeria, by Bakare Fuhad

Tinubu: Lagos’ special gift to Nigeria, by Bakare Fuhad

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By  Bakare Fuhad

We often hear supporters of Peter Obi say ” he is the man for the job”. In his favour, they say “he is young (relatively),  he has only one pair of shoes , he is a billionaire that is a friend to the poor,  he is an economist, he is the only one that can save us.”

How about his opponents in next year’s election? Oh, they say, “Atiku Abubakar  and Bola Ahmed Tinubu are old, Nigeria needs a new government, Tinubu is culpable in EndSars, etc.”

That’s all we hear from a segmebt of the Nigerian  youths and the media.  But then , are they making  the right points?

Taking  us back to a few years,  have we forgotten the Lagos that  was dirty , the  Lagos that was filled with area boys causing  chaos everyday,  the Lagos that wasn’t making  any tangible  money from taxes , the Lagos that was referred  to as an urban jungle,  the Lagos with decayed educational system,  the Lagos that was without orderly  transportation system , or the Lagos that was deemed ungovernable?

Okay , it’s fine. I forgot they were still young  then . But isn’t it necessary  for us to dig up some history?

Asiwaju Tinubu’s   governance capability was first doubted by some right after his election as Governor but he soon proved that the electorate did not make mistake electing him to the exalted office.

A quote from BBC was ; “The city is collapsing as fast as it grows under a mountain  of rubbish”. Then, the waste management agency, LAWMA had fallen into  disarray under military  rule.

On getting into office, Tinubu  started “Operation  Clean Lagos”,  he replaced inefficient Lagos State Waste Management Agency (LAWMA) officials to  ensure contractors got paid only when they brought the wastes to approved  dump centers.  Not only that,  he increased the state capital  spending  on LAWMA. This saw  the transformation of then dump site into the cleaner Lagos of today with over 72% of Lagos using a government  regulated waste disposal  system and the emoloyment and introduction of street sweepers.

Away from that , what do you say about a government  that increased annual tax revenue  from $190 million to over $ 1 billion? This is a good development, right? What then do you say about a government  that increased Lagos state internal generation revenue  from N600 million to N30 billion monthly, within a space of 4 years? That’s  definitely  the handwork  of an economical guru.   Let’s not talk much about how he was able to minimise corruption  amongst tax collectors  by introducing electronic mode of payment.

Over to the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), the union that  was more of a mafia than  a union.  NURTW was filled with corrupt people  that leased out parks to drivers for a fee. What do we say of the transformation of that to the organised one we have today?

The  Bus Rapid Transport (BRT ) System was  a project initiated by the  Asiwaju administration. The BRT was the solution to the then decaying state transportational system of then. Lagos used to be the only mega African city  without a functional  transportation  system. The  state used to be filled with ‘molue’ , the large unwieldy buses plying most of the transport routes.  But we have the BRTs of today and have forgotten  about the Molue . Checking  some history  about the Lagos traffic and molues era will give us a sense of how well BRTs has improved  the Lagos transportational system.

Which governor do you think they call the king of area boys? The city boy, right? Yeah , Bola Ahmed Tinubu is referred  to as the king  of area boys. Unemployment  of the youth is the root  of truancy,  touts, “area boys” , and so on.  What then did he do? He made them  “area boys  in uniform “. As a result  of their inability  to read and write  clearly, he schooled  and provided  them with jobs that were in line with their ways of life such as taxation and other related jobs. This made Lagos less of a crime state amongst others.

For an economy like Nigeria, it takes only a leader that is more experienced to change things  for the better. My favorite is more qualified as regards  the tasks he has performed.  To run through  some: he governed the most  populous  city in Africa for eight  years; he is the national  leader of the number one ruling  party; he is the Asiwaju of Lagos; he is the leader  of successful  businesses. What else makes up an experienced  leader? For someone  that runs/ran those positions  successfully , what makes him incompetent  of running  our dear country?.

This writing was inspired  by Alhaji Tanimola’s tweet  when he said: ” We need a template  for development “. That made me go through some documentaries to know which  candidate  would provide the best template  for development.  All my researches pointed to the fact  that Tinubu  is the most qualified  amongst all those contesting for the presidency come 2023. 

Nigerians, let’s forget sentiments and judge by technicalities and track record.  Just like in the currency  market,  technical analysis  is better than sentimental  analysis.

*Bakare Fuhad lives in Lagos *