By Jumu’ah Abiodun
The seemingly insatiable obsession of the Chairman of Ikeja Local Government Area of Lagos State, Honourable Wale Odunlami, to increase the council’s internally generated revenue (IGR) is currently inflicting pains and anguish on innocent residents and traders in some streets located around Simbiat Abiola Road (formerly Medical Road) in the council area.
As it is, it is becoming imperative for the state government to call Odunlami to order and allow innocent residents and traders who have been performing their civic duties not only to the state but also to the local government have peace of mind.
The pains are being inflicted on innocent residents and traders in the following streets: Olu Koleoso, Olaide Tomori, Bashiru Oweh and Aro Omoba; all off Simbiat Abiola Road, very close to the ever busy Computer Village in Ikeja.
The Odunlami administration sees the Computer Village as a cash cow, hence is doing everything to make money from the place even if residents and traders in the adjoining streets are inconvenienced.
The Ikeja Council Boss thus contracted generating revenue from the park in the Computer Village to a firm, Dolly Gee Enterprises. However, the ironic part of it was that the Computer Village does not possess any parking space and for Dolly Gee to make money into its pocket and marginally into the covers of the council, it resulted to creating its own parking spaces.
Thus, residents of the aforementioned streets have been on the receiving end of the craze for money by the council boss and his revenue contractor.
When thegazellenews.com visited the aforementioned streets, the sight was chaotic. All vehicles and motorists having anything to do at the Computer Village are directed to the aforementioned streets to park and pay parking fees which are remitted to the council after the contractor has removed his own commission. The entrance of buildings in the aforementioned streets are blocked on daily basis making business transaction in the area impossible as prospective customers have no where to park.
“The problem has so degenerated that some businesses have started packing out of the area. In the last one month, two people have moved out. The situation is so bad. For me, can I pack out of my own house? It’s impossible yet the inconvenience is choking me,” one of the owners of the buildings in the affected area told thegazellenews.com.
A visit to the area would reveal stern looking young men in yellow overall directing vehicles to the aforementioned streets. In fact, it is becoming increasingly difficult for two vehicles to pass side by side in the affected streets as parked vehicles have taken over one side of the roads of the affected streets.
“We have held several meetings with the council boss but he was just playing politics with us, directing us to meet with one Oloye who incidentally turned out to be Solomon Johnson, Manager of Dolly Gee Enterprises,” one of the traders told our correspondent.
Another trader told thegazellenews.com that he has stopped taking cars to his office because after taking them to the office, he has to visit the mechanic. “There is no day my car is not bashed and there is no day I don’t visit the mechanic or panel beater whenever I take any of my cars to the office. That is even minor compare to the business opportunities and transactions lost daily as a result of this inconvenience. Business is really dull because our customers don’t have anywhere to park,” yet another trader lamented.
Officials of the state Environmental Task Force on Environmental and Other Offences are needed to visit the aforementioned streets and see how a local government is infringing on the rights of its residents in the name of generating revenue.