Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on Tuesday reaffirmed the need for special economic status for the state due to its role in the nation and the burdens the state bears.
Sanwo-Olu spoke at the Southwest Zone public hearing of the House of Representatives Special Committee on the 1999 Constitution Review in Lagos.
The governor was represented by his deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamza.
He said that special economic status for the state was for the good of all.
âNigeria’s progress and prosperity are linked to the progress and prosperity of the state.
âFor us in Lagos State, the issue of state policing and fiscal federalism is high on our list of priorities in the current review process.
âEqually fundamental, especially for us in Lagos, is the issue of a special economic status for Lagos.
âThis takes into account our place in the national economy and the particular burden we carry due to our large population and the very limited land mass we have.
âI think that the need for this special status has been sufficiently articulated and justified.
“It is enough for me at this point to reaffirm that this request is by no means selfish but is in fact in the best interests of every Nigerian and Nigeria as a nation.”
According to Governor Sanwo-Olu, a special statute for Lagos State should not only apply to residents of Lagos State.
He commended the leaders and members of the National Assembly for responding to Nigerians’ concerns about the need to revise the 1999 Constitution to reflect current realities as a nation.
According to him, true democracy is based on the exercise of the sovereign will of the people and the voices and wishes of the people should always be heard loud and clear.
It is about how they are ruled and how they wish to be ruled.
âThis constitutional amendment process will give Nigerians the opportunity to express their views on the issues that need to be reflected in the Constitution.
“This is either an amendment to existing provisions or entirely new provisions,” said Sanwo-Olu.
He said it was very necessary to subject the constitution to a constant process of review and updating to ensure that it adapts to changing times and contexts.
Nigeria’s news agency reports that the review committee is currently reviewing more than thirty constitutional amendment bills that touch on electoral matters, local government, justice and basic human rights.
Others include gender equity, increased participation of women, vulnerable groups in governance, immunity as well as indigenousness and residence.
In addition, the devolution of power, strengthening the independence of institutions, traditional institutions, the establishment of state and local governments as well as the legislature and legislative bureaucracy, among others.