Models. Paradigms. Constructs . Of development in Nigeria.

One of the reasons why Nigeria is still backward is not entirely blamable to corruption.
The lack of governance models. And a large swathe of the citizenry, even the supposedly educated ones do not help those in need of comprehension, in understanding that salient truth about modelling.
Maybe that’s due to not having a good industrial base where people can see firsthand, how a product or idea is first modeled before it is produced.
Well that is a discussion for another day.
Let’s discuss social modelling and job creation with a singular example. Waste Management.
In Nigeria, that bit of duty as to which arm of government should be responsible for COLLECTION of waste, which in itself is a prerequisite for the other modules of waste management is not really addressed.

And that grey area, not only costs the environment, it also a reason why there are no jobs as they should.
Let me explain it this way – The average spend by UK local councils on waste collection is £22 million a year. And those would be the councils outside of the major economic cities like London, Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham.
Councils in London spend considerably higher.

To help these councils fund the duty of waste collection, the council tax is exclusively charged by the councils on all houses and flats. On average, you pay £98 a month. The cost is dependent on how many rooms the house or flats are, among other considerations.
The councils then use the money to provide trained staff, wheelie bins for residents. And they use part of it to invest in heavy duty waste trucks.
What they achieve year in, year out is a marvel.

1. They keep the environment tidy and minimise the incidence of outbreaks of disease from a filthy environment. The end result of that is that the UK govt will not have to spend, through the NHS, unnecessarily on healthcare for such outbreaks. Cholera could be an example of that.

2. They preserve the value of the houses. If you were looking to move, you’d definitely not spend your cash in a filthy environment. So because the waste management practice is uniform, the real estate, estate agents and builders endeavours benefit from a sure base.

3. Investors in related businesses – recycling and landfill management – are able to bring private cash into a neat waste economy with a long term approach, thereby reducing the associated costs and premiums.

4. Connected businesses, those in the auto vehicles and parts, the wheelie bin manufacturers, plastic waste bags and even deodorants can have regular, long term and profitable businesses with more people kept in employment. That’s in addition to direct investment by the councils in recruitment and labour.
In the UK, public and private money work in tandem to keep that industry rolling with thousands of jobs to boot.

Contrast that to the Osun State govt’s recruitment of thousands of street workers on the payroll of the government. That translates into using a large chunk of that state’s income on recurrent expenditure like salaries.
Any shock to the allocation system means a lot of redundancies will happen, apart from having limited cash for the projects really needed.
The people of Osun see the employment provided as a good thing. Who would blame them? Any improvement in their personal circumstances is good in their dictionary.

But on the overall scale, it’s a very poor system. And it’s the norm in ALL of the 36 states and the Federal Capital.
A simple understanding of the model of governance leads to all of that.

It’s that simple.

The failure of a rich state like Lagos in organising waste collection is down to a lack of proper understanding about who should do what.
The local councils understand their locality. They also know how to communicate with their people in a way they can respond. They know when to apply the carrot and the stick in a way the majority will approve of.

If the state isn’t so greedy about ‘revenue generation’ and useless political posts, the council tax will be deferred to the councils and legal framework put in place to make sure the waste is statutorily, methodically and uniformly collected.
The state government can then build a commercial infrastructure by inviting investment in the area of recycling and landfill management.
And that model can be replicated all over Nigeria.

As things currently stand, we lose all the benefits organised scheme in waste management brings to the UK and how it stimulates other areas of economic activity.

Next time an Ambode or a Kolo asks for your vote in Lagos, put the right questions out to them.
Ask them about waste management. Believe me, all the carcasses of the cars imported at will all over the state will have to be disposed of one day and the manner in which they are disposed would be the difference between life and death.
Not done properly, those nasty and dangerous chemicals will find its way into the water sources and cancer related ailments spike. I am sure there would be other health hazards with the metals disintegrating into the ground.

Listen to them and try to understand how they offer lateral solutions which not only address waste management but link into job provision in the wider economy.
The much touted ‘tourism industry’ is beyond putting up Eyo Festival shows. It’s about the city, it’s dynamism, modernness, friendliness, cleanliness and safety.

They all translate into jobs which can be private sector linked for job provision.
Anyone trying to resolve the joblessness fiasco by bloating up the already Titanic scale public sector workforce is an antediluvian specimen.
he reason why we do not get the result we want is because we do not raise the level of debate so high those who want to contest will think twice.
I see that as a problem because i have consulted for an apsirant who refused to see sense in vying for the top job in Lagos by tackling the vision of what the city will represent in the near future compared to the major cities of the world.

It’s all about base line politics of moneyballs and rhetorics. It’s disappointing.

I got home at around 12.45 last night. Trains were working and the London Underground is even thinking of 24 hour train services to serve business districts in London, not only making the economy more vibrant but making the city a delight for more tourists.
The Nigerian politicians do not realise that there is a symbiotic relationship between the High Street and tourists. That that economic union is blended by excellent transport options and links, great and affordable hotels, landmark buildings and architecture all wrapped by safety.
It’s time for the electorate to set the agenda the politicians cannot just see. It’s time to consign those shameless apologists of every inanity thrown at us to the dustbin of ignorance and test the mettle of those who seek to better the lot of our country.
Raise your game.

Jesse Adeniji

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