Lagos chiefs insist on special status for state

Lagos chiefs insist on special status for state

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T he Association of Lagos Titled Chiefs has appealed to the Senate to revisit the bill seeking a special status and one percent allocation to Lagos from the revenue accruable to the Federal Government.
The President of the association, Chief (Dr.) Mrs. Iyabo Foresythe, in a chat with The Point on the recent decision by the Senate to reject a bill brought by Senator Oluremi Tinubu, maintained that with its present standing in the country, Lagos deserved a special status and extra funding.
Foresythe noted that being the source of 68 per cent of the Value Added Tax income accruing to the country, Lagos was long overdue for a special status that would enhance its economic development and enable it to fund its infrastructural deficit.
She said, “The request of the Association of Lagos Titled Chiefs even becomes very incumbent, following the recent passing of the North East Development Commission Bill, with the allocation of 3 per cent VAT Income. It is now obvious to us that equity and justice will always give rise to peace, stability and progress in any society, while injustice breeds acrimony, instability and retrogression. We are indeed not happy that with the contribution of 68 per cent of the VAT Income coming from Lagos, Lagos still does not deserve a special status to enhance economic development and fund the infrastructure deficit in the city-state.
“As key stakeholders with varied interests in the cosmopolitan city of Lagos and the economic capital of Nigeria, we have continually stressed that Lagos remains the commercial and industrial capital of Nigeria, with a contribution of about 60 per cent to the nation’s GDP.
“Lagos State is also the largest employer of labour in Nigeria, a situation which only a special status can sustain as we are convinced that the passage of the bill would translate to economic prosperity and well-being of Nigerians. A city-state that mirrors Nigeria, it is where virtually every community in the country has considerable representation and accommodation.
“Our request for this special status is hinged on the fact that Lagos is the largest city in the country with a population of over 21 million people occupying a strategic place in the individual and collective lives of Nigerians, one of the fastest growing cities in Africa with very rapid inner-cities growth and among top ten of the world’s fastest growing cities and urban areas. The resultant huge urban population continues to put enormous pressure on amenities and services and pose peculiar security challenges to the state.”

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