Chiefs ask Senate to revisit Lagos’ special status.
The Association of Lagos Title Chiefs on Wednesday appealed to the Senate to reconsider the bill seeking a special status for Lagos State.
The chiefs said they were convinced that the passage of the bill would translate to economic prosperity and boost wellbeing of Nigerians.
In a statement by its President, Mrs. Iyabo Foresythe, the chiefs said their appeal was hinged on the fact that Lagos was the largest city in the country with a population of over 21 million people.
They said the huge urban population continued to put enormous pressure on amenities and services and posed peculiar security challenges for the state.
The chiefs said their request became imperative owing to the recent passing of the North-East Development Commission Bill, with the allocation of three per cent Value Added Tax income.
The statement read in part, “We submit humbly to the Senate to review the request to also make provisions for the allocation of three per cent VAT income to Lagos State in recognition of its strategic socioeconomic significance and to note that the cosmopolitan nature of Lagos puts her at an advantage for the request.
“Our appeal for the revisit of the bill should be viewed from the point of its importance to the country, and not just to Lagos, due to its (Lagos) socioeconomic significance and peculiar challenges. Lagos is thoroughly cosmopolitan; it is a mini-Nigeria, the wellbeing of Lagos residents is the total wellbeing of Nigerians and everybody has a stake here in Lagos. As key stakeholders, we have noted with delight the efforts of every administration to continually address the cosmopolitan nature.
“In the national interest and for justice and fairness to the multi-cultural society and mini-Nigeria that Lagos is, Lagos deserves and should be given a special status. There is no doubt that Lagos deserves a special status as a matter of urgent national importance. It would, therefore, be unfair to deny the state a special status as it hosts millions of Nigerians and continues to attract more Nigerians every day.
“Our distinguished senators, let it be reiterated that if Lagos is given a special status and more funds, the facilities that will be created will not be used by only Lagos indigenes or Yoruba indigenes, but by all residents, irrespective of their ethnicity or nationality.”
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