, LAGOS, Dec 12 – Some 5,000 Nigerian volunteers turned out Saturday armed with paint brushes to give a facelift to Mushin, a notorious slum in the centre of the country\’s commercial capital Lagos.
Led by Abimbola Fashola, the wife of Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola, the volunteers administered paints to seven selected streets in the community, known for being overcrowded and chaotic and plagued with a high crime rate.
Fashola flagged off the ceremony on Saturday morning by painting the first house while more buildings and roadside curbs along the most noticeable and eye-catching parts of the community were painted by the volunteers.
"This is a commendable self-help project and I plead with the organisers to extend the same gestures to other local government areas in the state and the entire country," she said.
The volunteers in the one-day beautification exercise tagged "Mushin Makeover" came from all walks of life including entertainment, security agencies, students, traders, professionals and business and corporate leaders. Mushin residents were excited about the landmark beautification project.
"This is so cool, our old house is looking new with a fresh green paint," resident Rashidat Modupe told AFP after her house had been painted.
"I have lived in Mushin for more than 50 years and this has never happened before," another resident, a landlord, added.
The project was organised by Visible Impact to compliment the state government\’s ongoing megacity programme.
Nigeria\’s most populous city with between 15 and 17 million people has decided to overhaul its image.
Fashola said a trip he made to Singapore before becoming governor in 2007 gave him a model on which to base his transformed megacity.
He said focus has been put on revamping the transportation and road sector, improving waste management and water provision, property development and the environment.