Former Cross River State Governor, Donald Duke, has warned that the economic pressure on Lagos may make the state collapse. He gave the warning at the official launch of the National Competitiveness Report and Sub National Index held in Lagos.
“We are living in a fool’s paradise. We here in Lagos are cocooned from the realities of Nigeria. Take a trip to Borno State; go to parts of the north and the Niger-Delta”. Duke recalled that he was discussing with Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede and Aliko Dangote, when the latter told the story of a boy whom he found at an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camp and asked for his father.
“The chap looked at him (Dangote) but did not understand the concept of fatherhood. He is in the IDP Camp. There are thousands of them in those camps; there is no hope for them; all they do there is just breathing.”
He lambasted the Buhari government for showing more interest in politics than economics. “And if you don’t get the economics right, then governance cannot work. You cannot be competitive when you are not productive. The first thing is how do we get productive?”
Duke also criticised the way states in Nigeria have been set up. “And there is no master-plan to make each one of them an economic entity. So, we have a country, where a blessing (exponential population growth) is turning into a curse, because in the next three years, our population will be 200 million, yet all the productive indices are going down. “Lagos may be crowded out. Every year, 750,000 new people come to Lagos to reside, the economy cannot support that. So if you don’t get the rest of the country working, Lagos itself will collapse.”