If you were an over-thinker, you would now have imagined what would become of Nigeria’s new stations in, say, five years.
Would ACs still work? Would the paint still shine? Would the interiors be inundated with hawkers and beggars? Would the glass doors open once you gave them a slight push? Would LED signs still flash with numbers and letters to announce routes and fares? Would you be able to do something about this impending rot that you so viscerally fear? Oh, do you have any ideas on how to prevent the collapse from happening? Of course you do – don’t you who are? A real Nigerian with fantastic ideas.
So what do you do with your brain sparks? You tweet them or report them on Facebook with your whole chest up, hoping someone sees your brain waves. For affect, you can even say a little prayer: God, please help Nigeria.
In the meantime, however, while God does a long, drawn-out job on your hopes and aspirations for the maintenance of public infrastructure, the Lagos-Ibadan trains are on schedule.
Nowadays, at least since July 2021, it has become one thing to do an Ibadan-Lagos-Ibadan round trip without completely avoiding the foreseeable traffic jam on the Lagos-Ibadan highway.
Departure from Ibadan at 8 a.m. Arrival in Lagos at 10:25 am. Departure for Ibadan at 4 p.m. It’s like magic; who would have thought that Nigerians would see such a miracle in this decade – the sort of thing that had been the exclusive lot of humans in New York, Shanghai, London, Singapore, Cape Town, Hong Kong, Seoul, Madrid, Moscow, Berlin – waitâ¦ is this still an exclusive list? Uh. Let’s move on.
Right now, businessmen who have traveled on the Lagos-Ibadan rail line are thinking of amazing possibilities. âIt’s going to be huge,â said Tunde Muraina, restaurateur and media entrepreneur in Ibadan. Ibadan is Tunde’s hometown and in recent times he has had more reason to travel to Lagos on business. He thinks that soon it wouldn’t be an impossible proposition to commute between Ibadan and Lagos for a 9-5 job. âOnce the speed of the trains improves. And the number of races is increasing.
And you know what? That would be good for Lagos, which is overflowing with a population of 17 million. The state, the most populous in Africa, seeks to decongest itself while remaining the nerve center of Nigeria’s trade.
As this goal becomes more intentional, its closest neighbors – Ogun, Oyo and possibly Osun, Ondo, and Ekiti – should also benefit.
Take Ogun, next door, for example. Last May, Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun and Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos formally agreed, through no less legislation, to work together to build the cities along the borders they share. Their vehicle for doing this is called the Lagos-Ogun Joint Development Commission (LOJDC).
Sanwo-Olu said that Lagos had nothing to lose “but much to gain by synergizing efforts with Ogun State in the areas of infrastructure development (the development of the border town roads, the works of aqueduct, public transport); as well as income and taxation (including PAYE remittances, and the management and collection of income from border towns).
And why not? When those places – Sango-Otta, Akute, Alagboole, Ojodu, Agbado, Mowe, Isheri – that surround Nigeria’s commercial center are finally prepared for better habitation, life will spring outward and Lagos and Ogun will be able to share with each other. the juicy fruits of their investment.
People like me are dizzy because, finally, this obvious idea that has been around forever comes to life. All it took was roughly 45 years and two like-minded governors stood up to take serious action.
Fortunately, I am not governor of any of the other states in southwestern Nigeria, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo, and Oyo, otherwise I would be very jealous of these people in Ogun State. Isn’t it enough that their state crouched one hundred percent above Lagos on the map, greedily denying others direct access to the richest lady in the land? Now they want to marry her too? Goodness. Boldness.
Unless, I remember Odu’a Investment. Do you remember Odu’a Investment? Previously, he was such an intimidating mammoth of a company that kept flaunting its tentacles in an endless stream of TV commercials. Odu’a Investment has a magnificent history.
When it was founded in 1959, it was called the Western Nigeria Development Corporation. Four years later, it changed its name to Western States Industrial Investment and Credit Corporation. From those names you can tell he was supposed to do what Lagos and Ogun are doing together now.
Even though Odu’a Investment is now a private company “headed by an independent board of directors made up of seasoned professionals with extensive experience in business and human resource management”, it is still owned by all of the southwestern states. , with the exception of Lagos.
Currently, Odu’a Investment subsidiaries are Lagos Airport Hotel, Wemabod Estates, Western Hotels, Cocoa Industries Ltd, Glanvill Enthoven Insurance, E&O Power and Equipment Leasing Limited and WestLink Integrated Agriculture. He also still reports partial ownership of several companies such as roofing manufacturer Nigerite, cement maker Lafarge, SKG Pharma, Tower Aluminum, Great Nigeria Insurance and Wema Bank, all of which are headquartered in Lagos.
Who knows what the private company’s plans are (or what its legal framework currently allows); but this good ol ‘business may still be the shortcut to the heart of Lagos for the southwestern Nigerian states not named Ogun.
What is LOJDC – can I propose LOJIC, please? – offers is a mega ecosystem within which others can exploit the opportunities that is Lagos State. It’s like designing an open operating system to spark innovation and attract a stupendous amount of funding. It is more than having unique applications, which Odu’a Investment seems to have committed to for the moment.
Eventually, with LOJDC promises, Nigeria’s tech boom (tied to Lagos), and charter city concepts like Future Africa’s Talent City, inspiration could strike a company like Odu’a Investment.
Talent City, said Iyin Aboyeji, founder of Future Africa, “focuses on attracting talent that drives technology, innovation and the digital economy.” It sounds like killing three birds with one stone. Help Lagos solve urban overcrowding, invest in technology, and spread the economic benefits of these businesses to states outside of Lagos.
At present, Odu’a Investment does not play a significant role in Nigeria’s tech game, despite the continued “frenzy” of activity (according to Forbes) and the flood of venture capital funding in which the country is operating. ‘is found. If he chooses to participate in the high-stakes action, he could bring his owners and the people who live in these states closer to the Lagos jackpot.