Fantasy Video Of Lagos: A City Most Lagosians Have Never Seen
A pricey video recently released by the Lagos State government touting the state capital, Lagos, as a megacity has been described by various critics as “a myth,” “sheer fantasy,” and “a series of false representations.”
The video, which is available on youtube, offers a spruced up, non-existent image of Lagos as a safe city that – in the words of Governor Babatunde Fashola – anybody “would like to call home.” The video ostensibly made by the Lagos Internal Revenue Service also feautured the former governor of Lagos, Bola Tinubu, whose Alpha Beta tax collection company reportedly makes billions of unearned income from the state coffers on a monthly basis.
The video presents a glitzy and glamorous portrait of the city of Lagos that is at odds with the experience of the vast majority of the millions of residents. A Lagos-based businessman told SaharaReporters that “most Lagosians can’t recognize the Lagos in this video.” He added that, while Mr. Fashola has done a commendable job in cleaning up parts of the city and building some roads, “It is farfetched to claim that Lagos works as a modern city should work.”
A Lagos-based lawyer pointed out that the video gives a rosy picture of the sharp rise in internally generated revenues in Lagos State, “but ignores the fact that there’s no transparency and little accountability in the process.” He added that it was common knowledge that former Governor Bola Tinubu “is fattening his pocket daily by keeping a big chunk of these revenues.”
Another critic wondered why the video failed to focus on the neglected slums of the city as well as the plight of millions of Lagosians who reside in shanty sections that lack the most basic sanitary facilities. “Where are the real residents of Lagos who live next to open and overflowing gutters, whose children go to schools that are not fit for cockroaches, and who have to travel in overcrowded molue buses?” she asked. “Let us hear the voices of the teeming millions of Lagosians stating that their city is Eldorado on earth. Then I will take the video seriously,” she added.
“I am not saying that Governor Fashola is not trying, but this video of a clean Lagos filled with music, smooth traffic, and recreational amenities is pure fiction,” a Lagos-based writer told SaharaReporters.
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