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Fashola warns against manipulation of 2016 census figures



Babatunde Fashola

AHEAD of the 2016 national census, the former governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, has urged Lagosians to make themselves available to be counted and to ensure accurate figures, as it aids government’s planning and policies.

Fashola spoke yesterday in Lagos at the launch of three books in his honour – The Great Leap, In Bold Print and The Lagos Blow Down, edited by his former chief press secretary, Hakeem Bello, and Dapo Adeniyi.

Against the backdrop of the demolition of the Bank of Industry (BoI) building in 2009, Fashola stressed that accurate data enhance the efficiency of governance. He recalled that the building partially collapsed during the 2006 national census and hung precariously on the skyline of the busy Lagos Business District, threating lives and property.

According to him, “the efficiency of government is to be determined by how many people there are for accurate planning. In 2009, we worked closely with the officials and when nine million was declared as the population of Lagos, we knew, like Fela sang, it was government by magic.

“What it meant was that the families enumerated in Lagos had only a husband and wife and no children. It means we have to play our roles. Census is not about where you come from but where you reside.”

Meanwhile, Fashola described Bello as a dedicated and consummate professional, who made friends for him behind his back as his job of governing Nigeria’s megapolis made enemies for him.

He noted that it was what he wrote that partly informs the three books, “about the people, events and Lagos, about the men and women who served with me, about the 21 million people who live in this city, the oloris, the white-cap chiefs – all these are really about the generation to come; it is why we have gathered to celebrate with Bello.”

Earlier, banking expert, Fola Adeola, said the turnout of dignitaries at the event was a measure of the essence of the man, Fashola, who still commands such huge following after leaving office as governor.

The books were reviewed by Dr. Wunmi Raji (The Great Leap), Prof. Olatunji Dare, represented by Angela Adetumobi (In Bold Print), and Moses Ogunleye (The Lagos Blow Down).

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