By G9ija

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on Thursday urged the Federal Government to grant special economic status to Lagos.

The governor, who described the state as a “national asset”, said the benefits of Lagos transcend a region of the country as all Nigerians enjoy the state’s prosperity in one way or the other.

Sanwo-Olu made this known at the 2023 Budget Estimates Presentation to the Lagos State House of Assembly in the Alausa area of Ikeja, the state capital.

He presented the Budget Estimates of N1,692,670,759,894 with Recurrent as N759,958,569,792 (45%) and Capital being N932,712,190,102 (55%).

Christened the ‘Budget of Continuity’, the governor said its effective implementation will be for the benefit of all.

He said, “Lagos continues to experience increased pressure on social services due to unhindered migration from other parts of the country.

“It is for this reason that I always sought and I will still continue to reiterate the need for Lagos to be accorded a special status as a national asset.

“Lagos is too big for this country to allow it to fail. Lagos is too strategic for us not to see it that the wholesome of Lagos is the wholesome of this country, that the benefits of Lagos transcend one region, one part or one scope of this country.

“As a microsome of the entire country, Lagos deserves all the support it can get at the national level.”

This is not the first time that the governor will call for special economic status for Lagos. In June 2021, Sanwo-Olu urged the National Assembly to consider amending the 1999 Constitution to grant special economic status to Lagos.

Also in October of the same year, he demanded one per cent share in the revenue allocation formula arguing that the special status of Lagos has multiplying effects on the entire country.

Sanwo-Olu also urged the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, (RMAFC) to review the revenue sharing formula to be 34 per cent for Federal Government including one per cent for FCT – Abuja, 42 per cent for State Governments, 23 per cent for Local Governments and one per cent for Lagos State (special status).

Currently, the Federal Government gets 52.68 per cent, states get 26.72 per cent while local governments get 20.60 per cent.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Lagos, with over 20 million people, collected the highest Internally-Generated Revenue (IGR) of N753.46 billion in 2021 followed by the FCT which collected N131.92 billion.