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Constitutional Review: Again, Sanwo-Olu justifies need for ‘Special Economic Status’ for Lagos

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Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on Tuesday restated the need for a Special Economic Status for the state owing to its role in the nation and the burdens the state bears.

Sanwo-Olu spoke at the South West Zonal Public Hearing of the House of Representatives Special Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution in Lagos.

The governor was represented by his deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamza.

He said that a special economic status for the state was for the good of all.

“The progress and prosperity of Nigeria is linked to the progress and prosperity of the state.

“For us in Lagos State, the issue of state police and fiscal federalism are at the top of the priority list for us in the ongoing review process.

“Equally fundamental, particularly for us in Lagos, is the issue of a special economic status for Lagos.

“This is considering our place in national economy and the special burden we bear by virtue of our large population and the very limited land mass that we have.

“I believe the need for this special status has been sufficiently articulated and justified.

“It suffices for me at this point to restate that this request is by no means a selfish one but one that is actually in the interest of every Nigerian and of Nigeria as a nation.”

According to Gov. Sanwo-Olu, a special status for Lagos State must be a concern not only for the people of Lagos State alone.

He commended the leadership and members of the National Assembly for responding to the concerns of Nigerians on the need to carry out a review of the 1999 Constitution to reflect the current realities as a nation.

According to him, true democracy is all about the exercise of the sovereign will of the people and the voices and wishes of the people must always be heard loud and clear.

This is regarding how they are being governed and how they wish to be governed.

“This constitutional amendment process will provide Nigerians the opportunity to express their minds on the issues that must be reflected in the Constitution.

“This is either by way of amendment to existing provisions or entirely new provisions,” Sanwo-Olu said.

He said that it was very necessary to subject constitution to a constant process of review and updating to ensure that it keeps up with changing times and contexts.

It was reported that the review committee is currently considering over thirty constitutional alterations bills which border on the Electoral matters, Local Government, Judiciary and Fundamental Human Rights.

Others include gender equity, increased participation of women, vulnerable groups in governance, immunity as well as indigeneship and residency.

Also, devolution of power, strengthening the independence of institutions, traditional institutions, State and Local Governments creation as well as Legislature and legislative bureaucracy among others.

Adeyemi Adeleye And Oluwatope Lawanson

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