Lagos’s wealth not benefitting majority of populace – Odumakin

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Late Afenifere spokesman, Yinka Odumakin

The National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin says the majority of the population of Lagos is not impacted by the humongous wealth accruing to the state government monthly.

He said that this was reflected in the deplorable state of the roads in the city that described itself as the nation’s commercial nerve centre.

According to a July report by the Economic Confidential, a financial intelligence magazine, Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of Lagos State pegged at N398 billion is higher than that of 20 other states put together.

In the same vein, Daily Independent quoted Sam Egube, the state’s Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, as stating that the state targets about N73.86 billion monthly IGR to finance its 2020 budget of N1.169 trillion.

The commissioner was further quoted to have said that the state government projected N886.041 billion as IGR in 2020.

Similarly, the Federal Allocation to the state in July 2020 was N10.16 billion, many times what some other states got.

Speaking on the state’s revenue profile, Odumakin called on Governor BabajideSanwo-Olu to check wastage of the state’s resources on projects that have no benefit to the masses.

He said it was wrong for state officials to be driving vehicles that many oil companies cannot buy for their officials.

Odumakin praised Sanwo-Olu for moving to stop pension payment to former governors and their deputies.

However, the Afenifere spokesman said, the governor must probe the acivities of Alpha Beta Consulting, a private firm which its former Managing Director, Oladapo Apara said got over N150 billion as 10 per cent commission for “computing, tracking and reconciling” Lagos State’s Internally Generated Revenue since the year 2000.

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“Ordinarily, we commend every effort to reduce the cost of governance by repealing that insensitive pension. It is a step in the right direction. The questions must be answered. Lagosians deserve to know and the media should help us find out who are the people that have been collecting these pensions. We know all the ex-governors who are alive, is it all of them that have been collecting this money?

“Let us have an idea of how much they have collected so far in order for us to know what that kind of money could have done in the lives of Lagosians because I know that a former governor of Lagos once said he has never collected the money and he is still alive today.

“Yes, the cancelation of the pension is okay but what of Alpha Beta? Will we continue to pay 15 percent of Lagos state revenue to a private company? That should have been a place for Governor Sanwo-Olu to start.

“I see the way they spend money in Lagos. Go to Alausa, the type of official cars you will not see in oil companies, you will see it in Alausa. With the kind of money Lagos is making, you cannot see the commensurate impacts in the lives of the people. Look at all the roads in Lagos state now,” Daily Independent quoted Odumakin to have said.

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John is a University of Lagos-trained journalist who has read almost every novel written by Chinua Achebe, Jeffrey Archer and Dan Brown. He's an expert Scrabble and draughts player who is also excellent at swimming.
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