Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State insists that the state deserves a special status, saying a Yes for the bill seeking such recognition would have provided an opportunity to reflate the economy.
Ambode’s position is contained in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Steve Ayorinde in Lagos, NAN reported.
The governor was reacting to the Senate’s rejection of a bill sponsored by Sen. Oluremi Tinubu, representing Lagos Central Constituency, for the state to be recognised and rewarded with a special status and grant.
Ambode said: “In spite of the setback the bill suffered on Wednesday, the fact remains that Lagos State has always played a special role to Nigerians as individuals and to the country as a whole.
“Nigeria needs Lagos in order for other parts of the country to continue to benefit from it.
“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 the state in serving as home to more than 21 million Nigerians.
“The state also serves as a 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.”
Ambode commended Tinubu for her thoughtfulness and courage in promoting the bill that sought a special recognition for the state.
“Without prejudice to the decision of the Senate to stand down the bill, Sen. Tinubu’s informed position and push will remain an important contribution as well as a reference point in the national economic discourse.
“What she 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.
“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,” he said.
The governor said that Lagos, in spite of the rejection of the bill, would continue to be special.
According to him, the state will not be deterred in continuing to play the important role of serving as a conducive and secure home for Lagosians as well as local and international visitors.
He said it would continue to be a home where opportunities are limitless and lives and property are safe.