New visitors to Lagos State are usually fascinated by the large crowds of people endlessly coming and going. They first notice the people before the volume of noise and then the heaps of garbage. I think that’s the order it hits you when you cross that border at Sagamu.
After this first three, they soon realise the lack of space. If you live in some areas of Lagos Mainland, this is nothing to you. One lady that used to live in Kaduna told me that living in Lagos is like living in the same room as her neighbours in the next compound. She said their walls and windows are so close to each other that they could share a meal; or even gist without shouting. Her description was sad and funny because I could relate but I didn’t like that I could.
There is no more space in Lagos for the land to breathe.
And anywhere you turn to, somebody is trying to mount a skyscraper that will take in all the tenants in this world for money. That’s why fresh fruits and vegetables have now become gold. But nutritionists say we should eat a balanced diet. Story!
How will the diet be balanced when the cost of simple fruits like pineapple and pawpaw wants to fling somebody’s child back to Warri? Even plantain that is supposed to be rich in iron and potassium has turned to garnish. When I buy plantain now, I just slice it as thinly as possible; then spread it over my meal with care because it is a precious item. You can’t be eating it anyhow. Yet, on most days, plantain trees are cut down so that a new building can take over.
Even garri is like gold o! Tell me, how can garri be almost Two Thousand Naira for one paint bucket? I thought Cassava is a staple crop in the South-West. So, why can’t we have tasty garri as one of the cheapest items in Lagos market?
Here I am crying about garri while we import pineapples from Cotonou and Benin Republic. I have a headache already. Why are we importing what we might have the capacity to grow?
Finally, it would be nice to see whatever lands we have left in Lagos used for farms. We can’t be having only shopping malls and apartments all the time; we need farms too.
Don’t you agree?