Abuja — A member of the National Assembly, Senator Olamilekan Adeola, has canvassed a special status as well as grant for Lagos following the massive destruction that followed the #ENDSARS protest that rocked the former federal capital.
Adeola represents Lagos West senatorial district and was one of the South-west Senators briefed last week by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on the destruction of public and private property across Lagos State.
He noted that over the years, many attempts had been made in the agitation for a special status for Lagos State on the basis of its being the nation's economic nerve centre and its status as the former Federal Capital of Nigeria with many federal infrastructures and huge population of all tribes of Nigeria.
The Chairman of the Senate committee on Finance added that the resources of the state government cannot adequately cater for the population and the pressure on amenities arising out of the status of the state as an acknowledged mega city with a population of over 20 million Nigerians.
The ranking Senator in a statement issued yesterday said: "The issue of special status for Lagos State has again been brought to the front burner following the fallouts of the protest against extra-judicial killings and Police brutality. With the magnitude of the destruction of critical infrastructures in Lagos State last week, it is inconceivable that Lagos Government alone can handle the rebuilding of destroyed properties, most of which are for public good. It is necessary at this time to state that when Federal Government makes interventions to assist the state like the N1billion per state to assist in efforts aimed at stemming COVID-19, Lagos State should be more favourably treated in view of its status. Nigerians boarding all the burns BRT Buses are not asked their state of origins when they board".
While commending Sanwo-Olu for his adroit and patriotic handling of the crisis within the power and resources available to him, Adeola stressed the need for urgent grant from the federal government to aid the Lagos State Government in rebuilding and replacing destroyed public facilities of all kinds during the attendant mayhem to the protest.
"From what we saw during our sympathy and condolence visit to Lagos State Governor and its people, it was clear that Lagos State Government cannot handle the rebuilding of infrastructure and facilities destroyed alone as the destruction in Lagos State in all aspects expectedly dwarfed that of other states and FCT put together as a result of the crisis" he stated.
He reiterated the argument that such a grant from the federal government at this time following the regrettable mayhem is ultimately in national interest as not only are all Nigerians of all parts of the country resident and doing business in Lagos State going to benefit "but many revenue generating agencies and other federal institutions are similarly located in Lagos State with the real possibility that their operations will be greatly impeded without urgent rebuilding and replacing some of the destroyed properties".