Recently, Lagos was at the centre of another tragedy – a building collapsed in the Ita-Faji area of the supposedly glorious Lagos Island. Currently, the death toll has risen to 18, and this includes innocent school children. Despite the number of organizations/agencies set up to tackle this nightmare, collapsed buildings are still rampant. Why is that?
At Flingsmobile, we decided to take a closer look at this issue, and here’s what we came up with.
Nigerians are all noise!
The average Nigerian is all for the bandwagon. Like the local riff-raff (agbero) on the road, they are ever ready to create a scene without making any effort to do what’s right.
Forget the social media noise; Nigerians are loud whenever tragedy strikes. They get on their keypads/ keyboards and vent their anger and sadness, chant their displeasure, but they still perpetuate the supposed ills they scream about.
For instance: Who sets up a school in a building marked for demolition?
Only a Nigerian would do such.
Yes, that building, like many others in Lagos, had been earmarked for demolition. But due to corruption and the money-crazed minds of many Nigerians, these buildings are still standing when they should have been reduced to rubbles. And when the building eventually collapses, we cry sanctimoniously. We shout, jump, hit the air with our fist and soak social media corridors with renditions of our hypocrisy.
A blinding bureaucracy haunts Nigeria
From the administrative officers in Universities who are always ready to shun, insult and control you before doing their job, to the civil servants occupying our institutions with their lackadaisical work rate, the bottleneck of this country’s bureaucracy is worse than the eye of a needle, but the rich would find this route much easier than that depicted in the scripture.
There’s the need to react as fast as the marketplace reacts to chants of thief!
If occasions of building collapse are to be brought down significantly, those in the civil service would need to take their work just like they do their personal business. We need to understand that we are the government.
A lot of people think the term democracy is a blanket for misbehaviour. If people are not doing their work, the sledgehammer of dismissal should fall on them swiftly. Often, we need scapegoats to blossom.
Our Amnesia is Baffling
One of the biggest issues battling Nigeria is just how forgetful its people are. For instance, they go on to vote a prominent politician who stole billions of dollars without doing anything for the people he was meant to lead. It’s nauseating.
Our collecting amnesia on previous collapsed buildings in Mokala, Ibadan, Barnawa Housing Estate, Kaduna, Allen Avenue in Lagos, and a host of others shows how bad things are.
The average Nigerian is always ready to make a killing even when this could be tragic(pun unintended). Once they are unaffected, they don’t care. Many of the collapsed buildings in the past occurred due to the use of substandard material, poor workmanship and structural defects.
Everything points to attempts to cut corners to save cost without worrying about the consequences. When will we change from our money-hungry attitude? The various government agencies need to be more proactive in handling these issues to forestall a repeat.
Do Nigerians just enjoy shouting every time there’s a building collapse? Perhaps not, but this is one too many incidents, and it should demand more action than some vocal reaction which is currently the norm.