Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has commended Oluremi Tinubu, the senator representing Lagos Central, for her decision to push a bill seeking special status and federal grant for Lagos.
In a statement in Lagos, Thursday, Mr. Ambode said the senator’s position would remain an important contribution as well as a reference point in the national economic discourse.
“At a time that our country needs courageous voices that seek solutions that can benefit millions of Nigerians irrespective of where they are from, what the distinguished Senator Oluremi Tinubu has done is to draw attention to how Lagos State can provide more succour to Nigerians being the home to the largest assemblage of Nigerians,” Mr. Ambode said in the statement issued by Steve Ayorinde, Commissioner for Information and Strategy.
“She has drawn attention to how Lagos deserves to be assisted so that the state can further provide assistance to millions of Nigerians. It is a pity that this import was not seen from that perspective by the majority of her colleagues.”
Mrs. Tinubu, an All Progressives Congress senator, sponsored a bill seeking one percent of federally generated revenue as special grant for Lagos State as well as a recognition of the state by the federal government as Nigeria’s commercial capital.
But the bill, which elicited an uproar on the floor of the senate, was blocked by other senators.
Mr. Ambode said despite the bill suffering a setback, the fact was that Lagos State had always played a special role to Nigerians as individuals and to the country as a whole.
“The truth of the matter is that as the most populous Nigerian state and the commercial heart-beat of the entire West Africa; a state that would have been the fifth largest economy in Africa if it were an independent country, Nigeria needs Lagos in order for other parts of the country to continue to benefit from Lagos,” said Mr. Ambode.
“A special status and a special grant are fair requests that would have encouraged and rewarded Lagos State for what it contributes to the federal purse.
“A yes for the bill would have provided an opportunity to truly reflate the economy and empower Lagos State in serving as home to more than 21 million Nigerians and as hub to the largest volume of businesses and foreign direct investments in Nigeria. But clearly, a spectacular opportunity has been missed by ignoring this important bill.”