Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode said yesterday he was solidly behind the position of the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu on devolution of powers and the need to entrench true federalism.
Ambode spoke at the Fourth Quarter, 2017 Town Hall Meeting, the 9th in the series, at the SUBEB Proposed Permanent Site in Kosofe Local Government.
He said the clamour across the country for restructuring was not out of place as the present political structure was seriously hindering Nigeria’s growth.
Tinubu, at a forum held in Lagos, backed the call for devolution of powers and the need for the nation to truly adopt the practice of true federalism.
He noted that it was the surest way to correct the nation’s power imbalance and quell the agitations for secession.
Ambode, while responding to a question raised by a resident on true federalism, said: “I support true federalism; I support all the issues raised by Asiwaju; we are on the same page. That is the page of APC; that is where we are and that is what we are committed to.
“Like I have always said, we need to deal with issues that relate to devolution of powers. Like somebody said, if I have more resources, all these items that you are coming to raise here, once you raise it, I will just say done. I need more money. So, why should somebody be saying they are the ones in charge of inland waterways, when the waterways is transporting my own people and my own services and when there is a law about it?”
Ambode also queried why despite the existence of Hotel Occupancy and Restaurant Consumption Law enacted by the Lagos State House of Assembly, there were still attempts from the Federal Government to regulate hotels and entertainment centres in the state, a situation he said was an anomaly that should be addressed accordingly.
The governor said: “We enacted a law and somebody says he wants to do another law that regulates hotels inside Lagos. Is it not because of the roads that they put hotel there? That is what devolution of power is saying. If these things are on Residual List, let local government and states deal with them. That is all that we are asking for. It’s not that we will generate Value Added Tax (VAT) here and somebody will be sharing 50 per cent of the VAT somewhere else.
“So, obviously that is the whole idea behind this agitation for true federalism, devolution of powers and the need to use it to liberate ourselves so that we can get more prosperous; so that our people can be more comfortable and it is all about the welfare of our people. Our people have said we should do this work and we must be able to speak on your behalf on the things that really matter to all of you,” he said.