The Nigerian Senate has called on the federal government to allocate one per cent of the Value Added Tax to states affected by violence and looting during and after the #EndSARS protest that held across the nation last month.
This allocation, they said, is to repair damaged properties in the states – some of which are Lagos, Ondo, Cross River and Akwa Ibom.
The request comes barely 24 hours after the UK parliament debated an e-petition signed against the Nigerian government demanding sanctions on officials guilty of human rights abuses.
This was a sequel to a debate on two motions on the #EndSARS protests: ‘Urgent need for the federal government to assist Lagos State Government in rebuilding its infrastructure’ and ‘Mayhem visited on the ancient city of Calabar the first capital of Nigeria on 23rd and 24th October 2020’.
The motions were sponsored by Biodun Olujimi and Gershom Bassey respectively.
The lawmakers noted that private and public assets destroyed by hoodlums in Lagos were estimated to be in the region of over one trillion naira by the Governor of Lagos State Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
They said TV stations, BRT buses and about 25 police stations were reportedly burnt in the state.
Mr Bassey also decried the looting of warehouses in Calabar, attack on the residence of some serving and past federal lawmakers, WAEC office, among others.
The violence of October 24, he said, was an invasion of the sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it was premeditated, selective and targeted at highly valued Federal and State Government infrastructure and Federal Law Makers.
“Cross River State being a predominantly Civil Service State may not overcome the effects of the invasion since the destroyed state infrastructure were built from lean state resources over years,” he added.
Besides demanding one per cent of VAT to the affected states for repair, the Senate urged the federal government to set up a visitation panel to assess the level of destruction of public and private assets in the states.
While they condemned the attacks, they mandated the Senate Committees on National Security and Intelligence, Defence, Police Affairs, Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to investigate the invasion of the locations in the states.
They also called on the federal government to assist in the reconstruction, rehabilitation and repair of properties and infrastructure that were destroyed in the affected states.
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