Lagos re-launches special status bill

Eniola Ajayi, Lagos

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (right), presenting a State plaque to Chairman, Senate Committee on Marine Transport, Senator Sani Yerima during a courtesy visit to the Governor by the Committee, at the Lagos House, Ikeja, on Tuesday, November 1, 2016.

A fresh bid has been made to the Nigerian Senate to revisit the bill seeking one percent allocation to Lagos from the revenue accruable to the Nigerian government.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode told members of the Senate Committee on Marine Transport, who paid him a courtesy visit in Ikeja, that a passage of the bill would translate to economic prosperity and well-being of Nigeria.

He explained that Lagos being a cosmopolitan city and the economic capital of Nigeria must be assisted by the Nigerian government to address infrastructure challenges confronting the nation.

According to the Governor, considering the fact that Lagos used to be the capital of Nigeria and home to every tribe in the country, the passage of the bill by Senators should be viewed from the point of its importance to the country and not just to Lagos.

“Come December 12, 2016, it will be 25 years that  the capital of Nigeria was moved from Lagos to Abuja, 25 years after, this is where we are if we have about 12 Senators here and we are looking for two-third, we are saying here that it would not be out of place to revisit our appeal and our bill, think more of Nigeria in the bill rather than Lagos, what that one percent assistance will address and the image of the kind of commercial capital we want Lagos to be” he said.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (5th right), in a group photograph with the Senate Committee on Marine Transport.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (5th right), in a
group photograph with the Senate Committee on Marine Transport.

Deep Sea Port deal
The Governor, who described the visit by the members of the Senate Committee as apt and timely, said it came just after he had fruitful discussion in Denmark on the development of $2.6billion Badagry Deep Sea Port, aside the ongoing Lekki Port.

He stated that it was a pointer to the fact that there was convergence of vision and mission to grow the Nigerian economy.

Oversight functions
The Chairman of the Senate Committee, Sani Yerima said that members of the committee were in Lagos to perform oversight functions on federal institutions in Lagos State to ensure that they are up and doing in their functions.

Senator Yerima commended Governor Ambode for the massive development going on in the State, as well as the Lekki Deep Sea Port.

According to him, the Senate will support anything that has to do with Lagos being a small Nigeria.

Assurance
Senator Yerima specifically assured that the Senate would revisit the issue of the special status for Lagos, noting that as former capital of the country, everything must be done to support the State.

“Lagos is not only for Lagosians; if you look at Lagos, it has been
the national capital and up till this moment, you find people from all States of the federation earning living here and so anything we do for Lagos, we are not doing it for Lagos alone and I will call Lagos a mini Nigeria, so, by the grace of God, we are going to look at the bill again,”
Yerima added.

Sammie