Home » OPINION » What’s up with the Lagos mega city website?

By Abimbola Adelakun

Mr Lagos state Commissioner for Information, how come the mega state doesn’t have a mega website?

For a work of research on Lagos state, we (a senior lecturer I work with), decided to get a literature review on the state. Of course, we went straight to the internet to the website, lagosstate.gov.ng. In these days of the internet, does it make sense going to some office where facts and data will be buried under heaps of dust? So, the internet made perfect sense until we started trying.

We gave up after four hours when the site refused to load properly. I didn’t believe it was not the lecturer’s fault because, frankly, I am one of those who believe that Lagos state website should be one of the most vibrant in this country.

Since then, I have gone back to the site to really see and this is what I came up with.

  1. If you want to get the site to ‘load’, try on Sunday morning.
  2. Some pages will never ‘open’, no matter how hard you try.  Under ‘Lagos Mega City’, you see ‘Welcome to New Lagos’ and when you click ‘more’, all you see is the same ‘Welcome to New Lagos’ and nothing else. That sounds like ‘more’ of nothing, doesn’t it?
  3. Some pages are not meant to be explored. Up till this morning when I opened the blog page, all that was written there was this indecipherable Greek:

Why am I disappointed? Because, frankly, I expected Lagos state to do more than these. If a state like Zamfara (no offense meant) should have a non functioning website, I’ll probably put it to the fact that the state administrators know their people are not as internet savvy as the young Facebook generation that dominate Lagos. A whole Lagos state?

It is a big shame.

The site doesn’t even include stuff about Lagos culture, various essays and write ups about Lagos and book references. There is a collection of poems about Lagos and not one is featured on the site. It doesn’t seem those who put the site together are concerned about intellectual content – just have a site, that’s all.

I am aware of a picture book that was compiled by Think Tanks like Odia Ofeimun. That book tells the story of Lagos in pictures. How come we do not have such references on the site?

It is even more shame that the whole stuff on the website the gallery contains albums of pictures of state officials. I would have loved to see the sight and sounds of the city. Why should I look through pictures of ‘talking heads’ of politicians when I want to see the people and places that make up Lagos?

There are pictures on the site that shows some places in Lagos but it is not enough. The city is too diverse, too heterogeneous, too vibrant and dynamic for the kind of stuff that was posted on the website. Let the Ministry of Information begin to look beyond propaganda and see how they can actively promote the city of Lagos through the internet.

Eko o gbodo baje o!

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