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CONSTITUTIONAL REVIEW: SANWO-OLU DEMANDS SPECIAL ECONOMIC STATUS FOR LAGOS, FISCAL FEDERALISM, STATE POLICE

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…Urges South-West To Embrace Zonal Public Hearing Opportunities

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Wednesday demanded a special economic status for Lagos, saying the progress and prosperity of Nigeria is inextricably linked to the progress and prosperity of Lagos State.

The Governor also demanded for a State Police and entrenchment of true fiscal federalism in Nigeria.

Governor Sanwo-Olu made the demands at the opening of the two-day Senate zonal public hearing on the review of the 1999 Constitution under the leadership of Senator Oluremi Tinubu, held at Marriot Hotel, Ikeja in Lagos State.

The Governor also commended the leadership and members of the National Assembly for responding to the concerns of Nigerians on the need to carry out a review of the 1999 Constitution to reflect current realities.

“For us in Lagos State, the issues of State Police and fiscal federalism are at the top of the priority list for us, in this ongoing review process. Equally fundamental, particularly for us in Lagos State, is the issue of a Special Economic Status for Lagos, considering our place in the national economy and the special burdens we bear by virtue of our large population and limited land mass.

“I believe the need for this Special Status has been sufficiently articulated and justified. It suffices for me at this point to restate that this request is by no means a selfish one, but one that is actually in the interest of every Nigerian and of Nigeria as a nation.

“The progress and prosperity of Nigeria is inextricably linked to the progress and prosperity of Lagos State. A Special Status for Lagos State therefore must be a concern not only for the people of Lagos State alone, but for all Nigerians.”

Governor Sanwo-Olu also called on all Nigerians within the zone being covered by the Senate Committee on Constitutional amendment to embrace the opportunity of the zonal hearing so that their voices and opinions will count in the amended constitution that will emerge.

He said: “This constitutional amendment process will provide Nigerians the opportunity to express their minds on the issues they want to see reflected in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, either by way of amendments to existing provisions, or entirely new provisions.

“This is another opportunity to build on the work that has been done so far. I should note that many of the issues that have been agitating the minds of the various stakeholders in the Nigerian project are already in the public domain. However, this Zonal meeting provides an opportunity to articulate and express them again, in the hope that this particular process will produce favorable outcomes.

“According to the National Assembly, the primary issues on the table for this Public Hearing include: Increased Participation of Women and Vulnerable groups in governance, Local Government Administration and Autonomy, State Police, Fiscal Federalism and Revenue Allocation, Judicial Reforms, Electoral Reforms, Residency and Indigene-ship, Constitutional Roles for Traditional Rulers, and many more.”

Governor Sanwo-Olu who commended the leadership and members of the National Assembly for responding to the concerns of Nigerians on the need to carry out a review of the 1999 Constitution to reflect current realities, assured them of the Lagos State Government support in any way necessary to make the assignment easier and highly rewarding for all Nigerians.

Speaking at the events representatives of several states, town, communities, associations and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) spoke passionately on several issues that have to do with States creation, gender equality and special status, among others.

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Akpabio’s Comment On N30bn To Govs Misconstrued – Eyiboh

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Senate President Godswill Akpabio’s statement that Governors recently received N30billion from the federal government to cushion the effects of hardship was misconstrued, his spokesman, Hon Eseme Eyiboh has said.

Governors Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Umo Eno (Akwa Ibom) denied receiving such amounts.

Eyiboh, in a statement in Abuja, said the Senate President holds Governors in high esteem.

He said Akpabio urged the “sub-national governments not to be distracted by any misunderstanding of the context and true meaning of the statement.”

The statement reads: “The office of the President of the Senate has been drawn to various misconceptions in the public domain on the statement credited to the President of the Senate in plenary of Wednesday, February 21, 2024, during the presentation of a report of the joint Committees on Finance, Agriculture/Food Sufficiency, Banking and Insurance.

“During the session the President of the Senate commented on the payment of an unverified cumulative sum of about N30billion to the sub-national governments by the Federal Government for various interventions to ameliorate the food situation of our citizens at the sub-national governments.

“The unfortunate conjectures to take away the kernel in the material facts of FAAC payment are rather regretted.

“In considering the well-intended motive of urging State Governments to collaborate with the Federal Government of President Bola Tinubu to facilitate strategic interventions to mitigate the prevailing economic situation in the country remains the underpinning motivation in the comment.

“The President of the Senate is not oblivious to the fact that State governments are functional partners in all the efforts of the current administration of President Bola Tinubu and are also valuable stakeholders in the various legislative engagements of the legislature in creating the nexus between the legislature and the people.

“The President of the Senate has always demonstrated commitment to team building and shall not do less in the circumstance.

“He therefore urges the sub-national governments not to be distracted by any misunderstanding of the context and true meaning of the statement.

“The President of the Senate recognizes and appreciates the current efforts of the governors at ameliorating the adverse effects of the current inclement socio-economic environment and therefore invites more hands on the plow to complement the renewed hope agenda.”

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Hardship: Afenifere Begs Yoruba Race Not To Join Protest Against Tinubu

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The leader of the Pan Yoruba sociopolitical group, Afenifere, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, has appealed to Nigerians, especially from the South West states, against the planned nationwide protest against President Bola Tinubu-led federal government amid the hardship Nigerians are currently experiencing.

Fasoranti who made this appeal, in a statement personally signed by him, lamented over the current economic crisis in the country, describing it as unfortunate, and urging Nigerians to endure the hardship for tomorrow’s prosperity.

The Afenifere leader said, “As the National Leader of Afenifere, and leader of the Yoruba, I address all and sundry today with a deep understanding of the challenges our dear country is going through at this critical time. The outcry over the hardship, hunger, and price hikes is not unexpected.

“However, we must come to terms with the realities of our national challenges, which the present administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is striving to resolve.

“While acknowledging the hardships faced by our people, it is important to recognize that these economic measures, although difficult, are part of a larger strategy aimed at restoring economic prosperity and stability to Nigeria.

“The government’s commitment to implementing these measures is a testament to its dedication to addressing the root causes of our economic challenges, inherited from the ills of the previous years”

He said “As a responsible leader, I appeal to every Yoruba man and woman, young and old, and our fellow citizens across the nationalities, to exercise patience and refrain from engaging in protests or actions that may escalate tensions.

“Understandably, the immediate impact of Tinubu’s economic reforms is challenging to everyone, but it is crucial to give the government the necessary time to realize the intended benefits”

Attributing the current economic hardship to the removal of fuel subsidy and has done great damage to the nation’s economy, saying “It is important to note that the removal of fuel subsidies and the floating of the Naira is not undertaken lightly, as we all know the great damage done to our national prosperity through the nefarious activities of the agents of darkness within the oil and financial sectors.

“These measures by the Federal Government, though painful in the short term, are designed to create a more sustainable economic environment that will benefit us all in the long run. It requires collective understanding and resilience from every citizen as we navigate through these challenging times.

“We cannot afford a preference for the euthanasic approach of painless death of our nation, where we are propped up with loans and subsidies until a total collapse into a failed nation, while we have the opportunity of painful healing through treatment with multiple surgeries that will guarantee not just our survival, but restored health, vigor, and thriving life. We must endure today’s hardship for tomorrow’s prosperity”

He, however, appealed to Nigerians to give Tinubu more time and engage in constructive criticism that can contribute towards the development of the country.

“I implore you to trust in the government’s commitment to the welfare of our nation. Let us engage in constructive dialogue and contribute positively to the ongoing economic reforms.

“Join me in appealing for unity and understanding among our people. Together, we can weather this storm and emerge stronger as a nation.

“I want to assure you as the Leader of Afenifere, that we are actively engaging with the government at different levels to address the concerns of our people. Let us remain steadfast, patient, and united in the face of these challenges, confident that our collective resilience will pave the way for a more prosperous future”
Recall that last Thursday, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, the president-general of Ohanaeze, similarly appealed to the Igbo groups not to protest against the administration of President Bola Tinubu.

The Ohanaeze in a communique issued after an emergency meeting asked the people of the southeast to “invoke the indomitable Igbo spirit of brotherliness and hard work” during the period of economic hardship.

The group urged south-east governors and traditional rulers to take “advantage of the upcoming farming season to catalyze massive agricultural production for sustainable food security” in the zone.

Ohanaeze added that since the apex court in the country has ruled on the 2023 presidential election, the group has decided to support the administration of Tinubu.

“We reviewed with intense passion, the level of unemployment, poverty, hardships, especially the rising cost of goods and services in Nigeria, the rate of depreciation of Nigerian currency, and the excruciating effect on the masses; and reminded Ndigbo that they should quickly readjust themselves to the reality of the times and that the Igbo have passed through the worst of conditions in the past,” the communique reads.

“There is no better time than now to invoke the indomitable Igbo spirit of brotherliness, hard work, ingenuity, wisdom, resilience, inventiveness, perseverance, and capacity to turn adversities into diverse opportunities

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FG To Implement Oronsaye Report

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President Bola Tinubu
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..To Scrap Many Agencies, Merge Others

In a landmark decision, President Bola Tinubu has approved the implementation of the age-long Oronsanye report.

This is one of the decisions taken at this Monday’s meeting of the federal executive council, at the state house.

The report submitted by the Oronsanye committee under the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in 2012 has endured successive administrations without implementation.

By Implication, some federal agencies would either be scrapped, merged or relocated.

A committee to be headed by the Secretary to the Government of the federation is to work out the modalities for implementation.

 

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