On Power and Tax, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde Got It Wrong, By Lagun Fadairo

I am amused reading actress Omotola Jalade Ekeinde’s rant about the PHCN and LIRS on social media. I am sure it’s not the sort of a thing that would warrant a response from either the media handlers of the FG or those of Lagos State where the actress resides and works.

Half education is clearly at the heart of her recent misgivings about the inefficient power supply and tax burden.

But I feel her frustrations nevertheless.

Like every Nigerian, the sharp drop in power supply lately can be very disheartening. Omosexy must be feeling hot and sweaty with lack of power and fuel. She’s not alone though on that score. I’m sure if she had direct lines to Babatunde Fashola or Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, I bet the drama queen would have used her notorious sharp tongue on those two gentlemen who ironically used to be seen as the poster boys of the Buhari government.

But the actress must be alone in thinking that there is a direct correlation between the taxes that she pays in Lagos and the energy crisis in the land.

What is it about celebrities looking for attention at all cost and thereby almost always exposing their ignorance to the world?

Or could this be about the recent foray of Omotola into entrepreneurship as the owner of an event venue in Ikeja? With no fuel and patrons running thin at event venues as a result of the current austere times, and perhaps with the reality of not being able to hide from the efficient tax officers in Lagos, could the actress have suddenly realised that running a profitable business requires more than a fine face and a tempting voluptuousness?

She deserves empathy. But she needs education more!!!

Lagos State does not determine how Omotola gets electricity at home or at work. It is a federal responsibility, which has since been concessioned to private investors. Does Omotola know about the discos and the gencos? Google is her friend, I reckon. And the owners of Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company are no ghosts.

But at least she should be charitable to the state where she resides. Even the blind could see that Lagos is now wearing a new, brighter look courtesy of the streets that are being lit up by Ambode. Providing and maintaining such infrastructure doesn’t come cheap as she knows. Where else does the funding come from but from the taxes you and I pay?

And what is it about tax that she seems uncomfortable with? That having preformed her civic responsibility (and we hope this is true, because it is soooo easy to detect these days o) she should be transported to El Dorado where things work at the snap of a finger?

Does Omotola have the faintest idea of how much tax is collected and what it is being used for? What is the percentage of tax she pays compared to her income? Is she ready for her books to be examined?

She claims she provides her own roads, electricity and power. Really? Wow!!! And therefore she should be exempted from paying taxes? Only if she knew! In any case, it isn’t the personal income tax she pays in Lagos that will bring her fuel or power. Ensuring that she goes on film location or her event venue without fear or molestation and without private body guards; ensuring that her kids attend schools without fear of kidnapping; ensuring that her vehicles move on tarred roads and her hubby could tow an old, obsolete aircraft on a tarred road…to establish a ‘restaurant in the air’; ensuring that Omotola and her family and friends get justice at the law courts whenever the need arises or getting her neighbourhood’s emergency needs responded to in good time as well as ensuring that her roads are lit to and from work and that a measurable reduction in crime is recorded as a result of heavy injection of equipment and patrol gadgets to the police by Lagos state Government are some of the things that paying taxes where you reside does.

It may not be ideal as citizens always deserve more. But it’s called anarchy if citizens are left to cater to their own as this beautiful actress seems to have inadvertently suggested.

A lady who is exposed to life abroad ought to know better that even in God’s Own Country there are challenges which include not having more than 50 million people on health insurance.

Like they say in Omotola’s primary trade, the scripting is as important as the acting. Fixing a country of 170 million people already battered by the erstwhile clients of Omosexy’s cohorts will take a while as it will take an informed understanding of how governance works.

Fadairo is public commentator resident in Lagos


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