Senate Rejects Bill Seeking To Recognise Lagos Nigeria’s Commercial Capital
The Senate has rejected a bill seeking to compel the Federal Government to recognise Lagos as the country’s commercial capital.
Based on the bill the recognition will entitle Lagos to one per cent of the nation’s revenue.
The bill, which was sponsored by Senator Oluremi Tinubu, was rejected in a rowdy session on Wednesday.
During the second reading of the bill, the Chief Whip, Sen. Olusola Adeyeye, one of those who supported the bill, had asked why the Federal Capital Territory was being subsidised by the Federal Government, whereas taxes were being paid for same government services in Lagos.
He also asked why some northern states which banned alcohol consumption were benefiting from the revenue from the VAT paid on alcohol consumed in Lagos.
Arguing for the bill, Olusola Adeyeye, senate chief whip, said that Lagos state deserved a special status because of its economic significance to the country.
“We have a governor that banned alcohol, and if my own people consume alcohol, that governor should not enjoy a kobo of value-added-tax (VAT) from my area,” he said.?
“If it is 13 percent for Bayelsa and Delta, it should be so for Lagos state from VAT.”
He described the FCT as a “rotten, spoilt child” because “the city does not pay tax to the federal government”.?
After he described the FCT as “a rotten pampered child,” tempers flared in the chamber, making the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the plenary, to ask Adeyeye to withdraw the statement, which he did.
Most of the senators who spoke on it took a sectional angle.
Philip Aduda, a senator from the federal capital territory (FCT)?, argued that if special consideration would be given to Lagos state, the same thing should be extended to Abuja.
After the debate, Ike Ekweremadu, deputy senate president, who presided over the sitting, called for a voice vote to which a majority of members yelled “nay”, marking the end of the bill.
?Not satisfied with the outcome, Ekweremadu called for a voice vote two additional times, but the “nays” had their way.
Afterwards, there was momentary rowdiness, and the presiding officer tried repeatedly to call the senate to order but the cacophony continued.