By Akoma Chinweoke
The Chairman, Coalition Against Corruption Leaders, CACOL, Debo Adeniran, has said if Nigerians and Lagosians in particular must enjoy good living standard they must be ready to effect positive change in governance in the state by coming together to speak with one voice as groups, networks and coalitions.
Adeniran who disclosed this at a Lagos Open Parliament designed to assess, from the end-user perspective, the position and situation of governance in Lagos State since 2007 noted that the Legislative arm of the state has compromised the principles of checks and balances in exercising its representation and oversight functions and appears weak in monitoring budgetary implementation and wanting in the control of financial activities of the executive.
The parliament however, opined that it is a total failure for a state championing the appellation Mega City with 15 million population and annual Internal Generated Revenue of N18billion to be lagging behind in terms of personnel motivation, provisioning of social amenities and participatory governance with responsibility to the people.
“Since 2007 to date, governance in Lagos State is based on conjectures rather than reality with empirical evidence on the ground. Governance has been full of charade with celebration of non-performing projects that didn’t improve the socio_economic well being in the state and the people in general.
It was accentuated that 90 perecent of Lagos roads are at various levels of disrepair as they cave_in, flood, ridden with bumps, craters and potholes; schools buildings are leaky, lacking in necessary facilities, equipment and materials; hospitals are without necessary equipments, drugs and well-motivated personnel etc
“Reckless spending devoid of probity and accountability by the executive arm of government is a calculated strategy of looting the state treasury and this is creating great set back to the development of the state which would have otherwise met the standard of its peers in developed countries of the world.
“The economic policy of multiple taxation, whereby people are forced to pay all manners of inexplicable taxes and rates in the state without complementary social security is agreed to be anti_masses and an addition to the crushing plights of the already poverty_ridden people”
He alleged that most citizens have been deceived to become complacent, docile or dogmatic by the massive propaganda, threats and even subtle blackmail of otherwise critical sectors of the society to accept governance by saying rather than by doing as normal.
“ Projects financed by private sectors, corporate and international donors are projected as state financed without adequate questions being asked or answered on how budgetary allocation on such projects are managed”
To check the worrisome trend he said the people in particular, should be educated, sensitised, and mobilized by any civilised means available about understanding their rights, how to defend it and how to assert it in their respective communities.
The parliament attracted participants from nineteen (19) out of the twenty Local Government Areas in the state. civil society, human rights and community_based organisations as well as other concerned Lagosians from different parts of the state