In 2004, the government of former President Olusegun Obasanjo withheld monthly Federal Allocation to Lagos State which caused the state to design what has been described even by Obasanjo as the most efficient revenue generation system in the country till date.
Lagos State, we are told generates more internal revenue than all the 31 states combined. “With almost 40% loss of income from FAAC Lagos begun an aggressive reform of its tax system. The results is what we see today, that the State can survive without any recourse to Federal allocation.” said Prof Yemi Osinbajo recently.
Come to think of it; the income(and economy) of the state was threatened in 2004 and an aggressive response mechanism was put in place and 12 years after we can all see the result. And I ask ; the educational sector had been under threat since 2004 or beyond. Is there no strategic, aggressive plan to rescue our schools? With kids dropping out of school and going to the streets, and then going on to terrorise the lives of law abiding citizens and eventually ending up overflowing the prisons can’t we muster a well thought out, aggressive plan to address these problems? Can we attack these social issues as if our lives depend on it? Just recently we got news about a British missionary who died while in kidnappers custody. And as usual, we are all sad. But have we bothered about the kidnappers of tomorrow? Have we thought about the kids that would kidnap your child, my child and indeed our children tomorrow? Before you reject it in Jesus name please note that just as you are trying to groom your children into a responsible citizen tomorrow, the kidnappers of tomorrow are also being groomed side by side
and they are all going to emerge together one day. Are we bothered about preventing this disaster waiting to happen?
From 2004 to 2017 (when Lagos got angry and came up with an aggressive plan to increase IGR as an economic survival strategy) we’ve had 13 years of steady IGR increase. Don’t forget; some of the kidnappers and criminals tormenting our lives today were just 10 years then. Today, we have increased IGR, and a corresponding increase in the number kidnappers and many kids still in jail and on the streets.
What’s the point in gaining more IGR and not be able to sleep at night or even walk the streets in day?
I think we can come up with an aggressive master plan to address this problem. I think we can do something to track and prevent that 10 years old child currently cleaning windscreens in traffic from becoming the kidnapper of tomorrow.
By: Kingsley Obom-Egbulem