When the milk finishes the baby goes hungry is refrain that succinctly captures the current situation of Lagos big boy and head honcho at Visionscape, Niyi Makanjuola. Ever since his benefactor governor Akinwunmi Ambode lost favour with the Lagos political overlords, it has been one tale of woe after another. And now that Ambode has bid the state’s political arena an adieu that was anything but fond, Niyi has been left alone to face the music of his company’s many transgressions.
Visionscape, the company he brought into the Lagos refuse management arena, now lies in ruins. Once an alpha dog in refuse collection backed up by government patronage, the company is now like a battered and bruised dog missing half its teeth and cowering in fear while surrounded by a mob of vengeful hounds baying for its total annihilation. Little wonder Niyi has gone low profile. He has sought shelter to protect himself from the vengeful arrows of angered PSPs now that his defender-in-chief has bowed out from the scene.
Recall that in 2017 Visionscape signed a contract worth billions of Naira with the Lagos government to collect and manage residential waste. The development did not go down well with the PSPs who had been entrenched on the scene and felt sidelined by the arrangement. They could only watch on in indignation as Niyi raked in the big bucks on a regular basis. But trouble, always brewing on the horizon, finally rained down in torrents, ruining Niyi’s permutations of uninterrupted glory.
First, his company became the subject of ridicule for failing to do its part to get refuse off the streets. Then Ambode became the sacrificial cow on the altar of continuous political control. Then the state House of Assembly waded in, ordering the state government to revert to the previous format of using the PSPs to collect residential waste. More and more trouble kept piling in; by the time Niyi realized this was one mountain too tall to scale, the ship had already left the dockyard.
And Niyi, deciding that perhaps it is best to live to fight another day, has vanished from the scene as well. All the buses, staff, insignia and other paraphernalia of Visionscape have vanished from the metropolis as if they were never there. Niyi, meanwhile, has decided to mind his other businesses for now and wash his hands off the messy political terrain.