Four senators have declared support for a special status for Lagos State.
The senators, Sani Yerima (Zamfara), Sam Anyanwu (Imo), Binta Mary Garba (Adamawa), and Adeola Olamilekan (Lagos) gave their support during a courtesy visit to Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode yesterday.
The Senate had on October 5 voted against a bill seeking a special status, whereby one per cent of federally generated revenue is paid as a special grant to Lagos State in view of the former Nigerian capital’s socio-economic significance.
The bill, sponsored by Senator Remi Tinubu representing Lagos Central, was rejected after failing a voice vote called by Ike Ekweremadu. Yerima, Anyanwu, Garba and Adeola maintained that approving a special fund for Lagos was important because the state is a mini-Nigeria.
To them, any efforts at making Lagos a better place are aimed at the total wellness of Nigeria.So, they agreed with Ambode that the bill should be revisited.
According to Yerima, Lagos is not just cosmopolitan; it is a small Nigeria, as every state and community in the country has representatives in it.
He urged the governor to count on the Senate on anything that has to do with Lagos.
“Lagos is not only for Lagosians. If you look at Lagos, it has been the nation’s capital city and up till this moment, you find people from all states of the federation earning a living here. So, anything we do for Lagos, we are not doing it for Lagos alone and I will call Lagos a mini Nigeria. So, by the grace of God, we are going to look at the bill again,” Yerima said.
Yerima, who led members of the Senate Committee on Marine Transport to visit the governor, said that they were on an oversight mission to Lagos to ensure agencies of government are doing their jobs.
He commended the governor for the good work he is doing in Lagos.Governor Ambode, while welcoming them, pleaded with the Senate to revisit the bill, highlighting some reasons why this should be done.
According to the governor, Lagos is thoroughly cosmopolitan, which means the well being of Lagos is the total wellbeing of Nigeria.He appealed to the senators to see the bill from a pan-Nigerian perspective rather than a Lagos thing, because at the end it is for the good of Nigeria since the state is the commercial nerve centre of the country.
Ambode also stated that approving the special status bill would be partly fulfilling the gentleman understanding that Lagos will not be left behind when the capital was moved out.