The information asymmetry that has characterized the citizen-government domain at both national and sub-national levels in Nigeria has been amply demonstrated by the roll-out of and subsequent reaction to the new land use charge (LUC) in Lagos State.
What is evident in this digital era is the vibrancy and dynamism of public discourse as Nigerians collect, generate, disseminate, evaluate and manage information without the need to depend on government-controlled platforms.
In contrast, the government domain continues to grapple with inconsistent and outdated practices relating to the management and use of publicly-held records and information.
Critically, key accountability measures such as freedom of information legislation have not been fully implemented.
However, as we prepare for general elections in 2019, we ought to question to what extent those seeking elected office have articulated concrete plans and ambitions in the manifestos that will form the basis of their social contract with citizens if they succeed.
The truth is that political manifestos have yet to be accorded the importance that they truly deserve and are merely viewed as as a convenient avenue for sloganeering without the specificity that ought to be their hallmark.
The Lagos State Government has since introduced a number of mitigation measures intended to reduce the burden of the new LUC computation. Arguably, the public sensitization and consultations that ought to have preceded the introduction of the new LUC rates were not prioritized or were highly inadequate.
Here is timely advice for 2019!"We must tell them they’re paid to represent our views, not take decisions on our behalf: Ask what they are doing on issues you care about and tell them you won’t vote for them unless they take action." (Katherine Hamnett, fashion designer on bringing about real change)