One of the rappers on the ‘chardonnay’ track on Falz’s album “stories that touch” said in a part of his 16 bars “my boss wants me in the office on Sunday e be like sey e Chop craze abi e chop fufu because this stinks, everyone is on the Island now till it sinks”These few punchlines summarises, in a nutshell, the pressure of occupancy being mounted on the almighty Island especially Lekki axis. The migration and residence in this part of town from other places as a sign of having made it in life is gradually eroding the value of the same establishment. I recall vividly way back when we had a spread out a habitation for people who wished to make a statement of opulence. Some level of big boys held it down in Ikeja. Festac town had a high degree of well-to-do’s. A certain cadre of executives held the Victoria Island/ Ikoyi axis. Some of us went from Maroko to discover new places in Bariga. King Sunny Ade had two wonderful homes there. That bariga end was opening up to rapid development, same as Alagbado was held down by Kollington. Palmgroove/ Obanikoro/ Ilupeju held it’s ground for the Dairo’s. Akoka/ Onike/ Iwaya was a distinguished setting for the new breed of money makers. Isolo had new entrants with their affluence. Surulere became a new settlement for the creme de la creme. Ikeja Ofcourse being the capital of Lagos had a high level of sophistication yet accommodated the little dwellings around it. Lately however soon as any young budding hustler or get lucky individual makes a little cake they relocate their sense and life to Lekki albeit it’s frustrating water, electricity, and high cost of living ordeal. Don’t get me wrong.I stay in Ikoyi. I don’t even owe anyone an apology for this truth. I believe every young man should do what our fathers did way back when they started making it in life. Our collective resources being exhausted in Lekki and environs is the death of other regions. If you go to Ibadan and most towns in Southwest Nigeria all you will see is the trademark brown old corrugated roofing sheets. A statement of how much was invested in those places back in the 60s, 70s and early 80s. The men who put down those resources are old now. Their offspring and next-generation have all planted their feet in the soil of Lagos without a plot of land back home or plans to invest there. Soon enough a lot of the unemployed youths in those remote areas have no choice but to migrate to the main city. I saw lekki blossom. Retiring executives and people who had invested years of hard work decided to settle closer to their businesses on the Island. Victoria Island used to be a sweet quiet place until Nepa frustrated the office dwellings in the skyscrapers on broad street and Marina and people decided to settle for smaller spaces in VI where they can manage and run their business with a generator. Except you are a landlord I don’t think any young man should be spending that much money on rent in these places. Some of our counterparts in other axis have built homes with less than the Island income albeit the fast lifestyle the Island encourages. I have noticed lately though that some people have started sneaking back to the mainland after a few years of reality. I hope to see the day when the government will take charge and full responsibility and open up new plains as Jakande did in the 80’s. Corporate Nigeria will conveniently loan money out to friends and alliances for businesses yet fear the risk of breaking new grounds in real estate for the common man. By now I expect to see new innovation in farm villages. There is abundant land in Lagos and Nigeria wasting. A lot of Area boys are jobless. Hence the rise in criminal activities. It doesn’t take that much to figure out a solution to the housing needs of the general populace. Yes, the almighty west and advanced countries have homeless people too but there’s a structure of being able to contain everyone in the suburbs. If the government can partner with some of the 5 billionaires stated are wealthy enough to lift Nigeria out of this mess to open new lands in farm towns, build little affordable dwellings and lease with the option to own after a few years whilst the farm residence comes with plots of land we will all be okay. Move this area boys off the streets. Give them land. Show them how to become lords. Make the unemployed graduates administrators. Security experts can train and employ all these boys carrying weight up and down doing bouncer work at clubs as land protectors. Decongest the city and prisons. Imagine each billionaire with locked-up funds having 30 to 50 farm towns the size of Magodo estate spread across the nation. Do the math. There will be food and raw materials to export. Farming will once again become prestigious. Government can then concentrate on fixing our rail systems to allow the convenience of moving products. Trust me a lot of lekki people will start building around these new villages. That is how new towns come up. Government can’t do it alone. This is not 1977, building another festac town is a herculean task right now. It hurts to see a lot of young people force fake Lekki life all in the name of belonging. Some as many as 10 individuals share a dingy apartment and can barely pay their bills. Several girls prostitute themselves off just to meet up when they could have done very well for themselves with half of the expended resources in a very remote place in ibafo. The same scene is about to play out in the next few years in the Ibeju Lekki axis and Epe due to the free trade zone. I hope someone takes the bull by the horn and directs affairs in the right course.
koffi’Tha Guru’ is Nigeria’s most versatile entertainer, comedian, actor, singer, and author of the book ‘Beauty of The Beast: The Scars that made me a Star. #ComicTruthbyKoffi is not a personal attack on anyone or institution, he only writes about those/things he loves and is passionate about. You can catch some more honest opinions at www.koffithaguru.com