A bill for an act to make provisions for federal grants to Lagos state was kicked out after causing a mild strife on the floor of the senate.
The bill was sponsored by Senator Oluremi Tinubu (APC – Lagos Central), and it seeks to establish “an Act to make provisions for federal grants to Lagos State in recognition of its (the state) strategic socio-economic significance and other connected purposes.”
The bill sought to ensure that Lagos is legally entitled to 1% of the total revenue generated by the Federal Government.
According to PUNCH, the Chief Whip, Senator Olusola Adeyeye, who supported the bill, queried why the FCT was being subsidised by the Federal Government whereas taxes were being paid for same government services in Lagos.
He also wondered why some Northern States that banned alcohol consumption were receiving benefits from the Value Added Tax (VAT) paid on alcohol in Lagos.
“In Lagos, all of us pay taxes; and all of this VAT is taken to Abuja. What we need to do is to say whatever is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. If it’s 13% for Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers for (producing) oil, let it also be 13% for Lagos for the VAT paid there.”
Speaking on Fiscal Federalism, Adeyeye said: “Until we have fiscal federalism, Lagos will not work; Calabar will not work; the FCT will not work. By the way, the FCT is a rotten pampered child.”
His last sentence caused an uproar on the floor, prompting the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu who preside of the session, to ask him to withdraw his statement.
Adeyeye withdrew his statement and said: “My point remains that for everyone who lives in a house in Lagos, you pay tax. (In) Abuja, we don’t pay tax and, therefore, the FCT is being subsidised by the Federal Government. That must end! I won’t apologise for that. The FCT is not paying sufficient tax.”
Ikeweremadu later put the bill to a vote and the nays had it.