Why Fashola’s Website Costs 78 Million Naira

Many Nigerians are upset at the news that Lagos State spent N78 Million to maintain a website for their governor.

I can see why many are confused and outraged, considering that blogs are hosted for free on WordPress.com, great dedicated servers cost roughly N2000 a month and a fraction of that budget would retain talented Nigerian staff members to keep the site up to date for his tenure as governor.

As a professional web developer and a Lagosian, it is my duty to help people understand why N78 million is not just a reasonable cost, but actually a bargain. At the end of this, I hope I’d have convinced you, not confused you, that Lagos state was financially prudent in this project.

1. DOMAIN NAME – N1M

We all know Nigerians are born entrepreneurs. Hustlers without borders. No doubt some enterprising fellow bought the domain name tundefashola.com and squatted on it. This isn’t unreasonable, considering people have to pay off omo nile to build on their own land they bought with (sometimes) hard earned money. This is post Y2K. Digital omo nile are real.

2. TEMPLATE DESIGN – N25M

The web design agency didn’t buy and modify a theme they found online. This is a one of a kind layout. They didn’t want this to drag out for months and years, keeping Lagosians in the dark about what our governor was working on. Instead of small agile teams our western counterparts are so fond of, they probably hired 125 designers at N200,000 each and they produced this masterpiece in a single month.

You’re probably wondering why the site isn’t responsive. Look around Lagos and tell me if people aren’t buying devices with bigger screens. Even Tecno has devices that can render this webpage in its full glory without need a mobile design. Smaller screens and mobile-first internet is just a western fad.

3. Flash Banner – 15M

In 2012, Adobe removed Flash from the Android app store. Imagine how hard it must have been for Lagos state to find quality Flash developers when everyone was busy moving on to JavaScript.  No doubt those Flash developers knew they were a rare commodity and their surcharges dutifully reflected that fact.

It was probably cheaper than sending their developers to Andela to learn Javascript, since they’d need to deploy the official motorcade to carry them from Alausa to Yaba every day. Factor in the cost of fuel during scarcities and it’s really worth it to keep paying the Flash developers their premium rate.

4. Hosting – 40M

The assets of Lagos state must be adequately secured. The server probably backs up every minute, randomly changes location between a network of 50 servers to throw off hackers, while keeping the load time at a respectable 24 seconds.

fashola-load-time

I could go on to point out the search feature which must have cost a fair bit to be engineered, embedded auto-playing (and looping) video which is a rarity on sites these days, content producers that keep the content regularly updated as well as other noteworthy features, but I’ve already exceeded the N78M budget.

I’m proud of Lagos state’s investment and look forward to further spendings of this caliber in the field. I humbly submit myself as a potential candidate in future projects.

My love for Lagos will help me strive to deliver such technical prowess consistently on such a tight budget. I live to serve and I’ll do my very best with the limited pay to make Lagos state proud of its digital assets.

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