The Nigerian Senate has voted against a bill seeking special status and federal grant for Lagos State.
The bill sponsored by Oluremi Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress Senator representing Lagos Central, was rejected on Wednesday after failing a voice vote called by Ike Ekweremadu.
Consequently, the bill, SB 112, failed to scale second reading for committee stage.
It sought one per cent of federally generated revenue as special grant for Lagos State in view of the former Nigeria capital’s socio-economic significance.
The bill also seeks to compel the Federal Government to recognise Lagos as the country’s commercial capital.
But the development did not go without uproar following comments by supporters and opponents of the bill.
While making case for the bill, Senate Whip, Olusola Adeyeye (APC-Osun), raised concerns over the country’s revenue pattern.
“We have a governor that banned alcohol, and if my own people consume alcohol, that governor should not enjoy a kobo of value-added-tax (VAT) from my area,” he said.
“If it is 13 percent for Bayelsa and Delta, it should be so for Lagos State from VAT.”
Because the Federal Capital Territory does not pay tax to the federal government, Mr. Adeyeye described the Nigeria capital as a “rotten, spoilt child”.
Mr. Adeyeye’s comment apparently drew the irk of his colleagues, some of whom were heading for the door before Mr. Ekweremadu asked that the comment be withdrawn.
The Osun senator withdrew his comment on the FCT.
The Senator representing FCT, Philip Aduda, said should Lagos be given special status, Abuja should also be given similar consideration.
He noted that the FCT still has many areas that need development.
Mr. Ekweremadu called the voice vote three times. But each time majority of the members yelled “nay”, thereby blocking the bill from passing to the committee stage.