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Sanwo-Olu reiterates calls for upgrade of Lagos to ‘special status’

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The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has restated the need for the state to be granted a special status by the Federal Government due to its unique role in the economy.

Sanwo-Olu made this call on Monday at the opening of a two-day Southwest Zonal public hearing on Review of Revenue Allocation Formula organised by The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) in Lagos.

According to the governor, this appeal is predicated on the need to ensure the requisite infrastructural development in response to its ever-increasing population.

He said the call, which had been re-echoed at different fora and at various levels and tiers of government, could not be overemphasised, especially against the backdrop of the current economic realities of the country.

“Lagos State was the epicentre for COVID-19, the same way it was for Ebola virus some years ago.

“The management of these unforeseen occurrences come with huge responsibilities and financial commitments on the part of the state government.

“Although we have put that experience behind us and forged ahead, the reality of these unfortunate incidents remains with us; resources that should be committed to other areas of need are now being used for the restoration of damaged public facilities.

READ ALSO: Sanwo-Olu vows to fish out suspected killers of police officer

“It will be totally unfair for Lagos State to be left alone to bear these huge expenses without assistance from the centre.

COVID-19 pandemic is another issue that has once again, supported the justification for Lagos State to be accorded the privilege of a special status.

“As much as this affects the entire country, it is a fact that the degree of havoc caused by this virus differs from state to state,’’ Sanwo-Olu said.

He added that the call for Lagos State to be accorded special status was not a selfish proposition.

Lagos State, according to the governor, accounts for about 20 per cent of the GDP while harbouring about 10 per cent of the nation’s population to continue to prosper which makes the proposition a necessity.

The governor stated that the level of funding required to service the state’s social and public infrastructure was so significant that it would be difficult for the state to bear the burden for much longer under the present revenue sharing arrangement.

“There are several statistics that show the number of people that come into Lagos every day; there are clear indications that most of these people migrate with the intention to make Lagos their new home and in pursuit of personal dreams the city-state seemingly possesses.

“This portends additional responsibilities on the government.

“Additionally, Lagos still harbours a huge number of federal establishments which could not be moved to Abuja.

“These include military cantonments and barracks, Police, Customs, Immigration, Civil Defence, Prisons, Road Safety and security/intelligence establishments,’’ he said.

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