GOVERNOR Babajide Sanwoolu has asked that Lagos State be granted special economic status given its pivotal role in the Nigerian economy in his contribution towards the constitutional review public hearing currently taking place.
Nigeria is currently going through a constitutional review process and as part of the process, public hearings need to be held. Speaking at the opening of the two-day senate zonal public hearing on the review of the 1999 constitution chaired by Senator Oluremi Tinubu, Governor Sanwoolu said Lagos state needed special economic status, its own police force and fiscal federalism.
Governor Sanwoolu said: “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, considering our place in the national economy and the special burdens we bear by virtue of our large population and limited landmass.
“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.”
He also called on all Nigerians within the zone being covered by the senate committee to embrace the opportunity of the zonal hearing so that their voices and opinions will count in the amended constitution that will emerge. Governor Sanwoolu 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’s support in any way necessary.
Representatives of several states, town, communities, associations and civil society organisations spoke on several issues that have to do with states creation, gender equality and special status, among others.