The All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and his running mate, Obafemi Hamzat, have said the push for the realisation of special status for Lagos is non-negotiable.
They said they would support restructuring that would grant financial autonomy to Lagos as a former federal capital of Nigeria and economic nerve centre of the country.
Sanwo-Olu said Lagos remains the highest source of non-oil revenue accruing to the Federal Government, pointing out that it was time for the state to earn its fair share of the revenue generated within its jurisdiction.
The APC candidate and his running mate spoke at Friends’ Club, an elite social group whose members are senior citizens and professionals. The club members posed various questions to the candidates.
Sanwo-Olu used the opportunity to explain the cardinal programmes in his policy agenda to members of the club, giving details on how he would improve the fortunes of the state through his five cardinal programmes with the acronym “THEME”.
He said: “We will develop effective implementation model for all the programmes mapped out in our manifesto. If the implementation goes according to our planning, we would not only make Lagos a truly growing 21st-century economy, we will take the state to a height that will be a reference point.”
Being the economic hub of the country, Hamzat said Lagos attracts people from all corners of the country. Because of the uncontrolled influx of people to the state, he said Lagos had been battling congestion, which led to traffic gridlock on major roads.
Hamzat said: “The state has brought up various infrastructural projects to address the challenges that came with the growing population. All of us, irrespective of our political colouration must ask for a restructuring of this country. If Lagos can operate within a restructured Nigeria, the state would do better than what is presently being done.”
Corroborating his running mate, Mr Sanwo-Olu said the state needs to harness its resources for the benefits of its residents, adding that his government would pursue an infrastructural and environmental renewal drive to improve the state economy.
The club president, David Majekodunmi, described the APC candidates’ presentation as “brilliant”, noting that the meeting was informed by the need to engage them of their programmes for the state.
He said the club is non-partisan, stressing that other political parties’ candidates would also be invited for discussion.
Other members of the club present at the event included the lawmaker representing Lagos East in the Senate, Gbenga Ashafa; Lagos Head of Service, Hakeem Muri-Okunola; and APC chieftain, Mutiu Are, among others.