Bill seeking special grant to Lagos rejected by Senate

Ebun Francis

The senate on Wednesday after rejected a bill seeking to make special provisions for federal grants to Lagos state.

The bill which attracted heated debate and lead to a rowdy session  was sponsored by Oluremi Tinubu, a senator from Lagos central. Senators were unable to rise beyond sectional rhetoric as the debate raged in the senate.

Arguing for the bill, Olusola Adeyeye, senate chief whip and one of the suppoerters of the bill argued that Lagos state deserved a special status because of its strategic economic importance to the country.

“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.”

He described the FCT as a “rotten, spoilt child” because “the city does not pay tax to the federal government”.‎

‎”The FCT is a rotten, pampered child”. Even though he later withdraw the statement following the protest that greeted the statement.

“The FCT is being subsidised by the federal government. That must end‎‎.”

Opposing the bill,Philip Aduda, a senator from the federal capital territory (FCT)‎, argued that if special consideration would be given to Lagos state, the same thing should be extended to Abuja.

After the debate, Ike Ekweremadu, deputy senate president, who presided over the sitting, called for a voice vote to which a majority of members yelled “nay”, marking the end of the bill.

If the bill had passed, Lagos state would have been entitled to one percent of the federal government revenue..