The wife of APC leader Bola Tinubu, Senator Oluremi Tinubu sponsored a bill titled ‘A Bill for an Act to make provisions for federal grants to Lagos State in recognition of its strategic socio-economic significance’ by (Lagos Central/APC) which was eventually killed by lawmakers.
The bill sought specifically to ensure the setting aside of one percent of the country’s annual revenue for Lagos State for developmental purposes.
The senator explained that as the economic nerve centre of Nigeria, the grant would be used in improving rail infrastructure, decongest roads and promotion of conducive social economic environment for federal institutions as well as increase the state’s capacity to continue to play host to international events in the state.
The bill also seeks to establish a joint committee to host both the president and the governor of Lagos State on an annual basis.
“Lagos is of strategic, social-economic significance as the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria. Today, Lagos serves as the commercial capital of Nigeria.
“The strategic importance of Lagos State is inherent in several sectors of the economy”, Tinubu noted.
She said statistics indicated that six out of 10 international passengers arrived in Lagos while eight out of 10 departed from Lagos.
“Lagos is home to the major ports that served Nigeria. It accounts for over 90 percent of all maritime exports.
“The state delivers much of the funds and charges that go into the coffers of the Federal Government. It is incontrovertible that Lagos State generates much of Nigeria’s income outside its oil sector.
“According to FIRS report in 2008, 86.2 percent company income taxes were collected in Lagos, including 56.7 percent value added tax.
“As a city which caters for the welfare of residents and visitors, Lagos is placed under a huge strain that affects its infrastructure and has welfare implications for residents and transient citizens of other states in Nigeria.
“This grant will be utilised in meeting the public infrastructural need of Lagos State, including rail infrastructure to decongest the roads”, she added.
However, opposition to the bill was strong as lawmakers led by James Manager and Abdullahi Adamu stood on provisions of the constitution by citing Section 164 (1) of the 1999 constitution (as amended) in kicking against the bill.
Other bills passed include National Archives Act (Amendment) Bill, Rights and Obligations under Tenancy Agreements (Regulations) for the Recovery of Premises in the Federal Capital Territory Bill, Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act (Amendment) Bill, Animal Health and Husbandry Technologies Bill and Federal Capital Territory Water Board Bill.