Remi Tinubu And Demand For Special Status For Lagos | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Remi Tinubu And Demand For Special Status For Lagos

Oluremi Tinubu, Melaye, Lagos State
Posted: Oct 11, 2016 at 8:45 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Ikechi Nzeako

 The Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly voted down a bill seeking special status for Lagos State, describing the proposal as ill-timed. Senator Oluremi Tinubu, APC Lagos Central Senatorial District, had sponsored a bill for an act to make provisions for federal grants to the state but her motion was thrown out. This was the second time in three years that the Senate had rejected proposals to grant Lagos a special status.

The Lagos senator argued that the state has remained the commercial nerve centre of the country, contributing over 70 per cent of the revenue through VAT and deserved a special status.

However, Senator Gershom  Bassey, PDP, Cross Rivers, said that Calabar would also demand special status if the Senate gave Lagos a special status. He stated that  Calabar was also a former federal capital and had not requested for special status and would not agree to Lagos getting a special status. Senator Philip Tanimu Aduda stated that he would only support the bill for Lagos if the Senate would also give a special status to Abuja. Senator Aliyu  Wamakko,  APC, Sokoto North, said that demanding special status for Lagos was ill-timed, adding that most states in the country were finding it difficult to generate funds, while Lagos was still enjoying high Internally Generated Revenue base. He argued that this is not the best time for Lagos to be sponsoring a bill for special status, with the current economic recession in the country.

But Senator Sola  Adeyeye from Osun State, supported special status for Lagos, describing it as one of the states that lay the golden egg for the country. His contribution led to uproar on the floor of the Senate. When the motion was put to vote, it was rejected by a majority of the senators.

However, prominent persons in the state have decried the Senate’s rejection of special status for Lagos. Governor Akinwunmi Ambode said a positive vote would have ensured a fair treatment for the state, given its special position.

 Other prominent persons in the state have weighed in on the issue. Second Republic House of Representatives member, Prince Oluyole Olusi, Senator Anthony Adefuye, former House of Representatives Whip, Wale Oshun, Senator Olorunnimbe  Mamora and  Mr. Adeniyi  Akintola (SAN), all argued that Lagos deserved  a special federal attention because it is a mini-Nigeria.

 They argued that the state has continued to play an important role in the economic, social and political life of the federation since the capital was relocated to Abuja. The debate about the propriety of a special status for Lagos will continue as the proponents of the demand have said that they are going back to strategise on the matter. Will they succeed? We will see.