FASHOLA ADVOCATES FOR MERGER OF ‘NON-VIABLE’ STATES
Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola has advised that states that are not viable should be allowed to merge through constitutional process to enable them stand independent of the Federal Government and function as federating units.
Fashola gave the advice during a television programme, 60 Minutes with Angela, on Wednesday, while answering questions on his advocacy for fiscal federalism.
The governor said fiscal federalism would allow “diversity to prosper but towards a common purpose.”
However, the host reminded him that some of the states which were not as rich as Lagos might suffer under the rule if allowed to be practiced.
Fashola replied, “Some people are clamouring for state creation; the same instrument that will be used for state creation can also be used to encourage the state to merge to achieve their fill potentials of they cannot do it alone.”
The governor had also said the current agitation for a new state, Lagoon, to be carved out of Lagos, would be determined by what the people want.
He said the Federal Government had dabbled into many things which were not its responsibility and the states needed to claim them back.
“Federal Government should hand off lotteries. Value Added Tax should be domiciliary in the states it is been taken. Imposition of fuel pump price by the Federal Government is illegal. It is like determining the price of Gala after collecting tax from the company that made it,” the governor said.
He explained that the current efforts to clean up Apapa area of the state was not a declaration of war against tanker drivers, but government’s well intentioned initiative to get people and business back to work in the area.
He said, “Businesses have fled the area. The need to get people and businesses back motivated the government.”