- Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has explained why Lagos state thinks like a self-governing state and has so far outgrown its financial challenges
- Osinbajo revealed that the seized funds belonging to local governments in Lagos state by former president Olusegun Obasanjo in 2005, empowered the state financially
- The Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Osinbajo thereby urged states to look inwards and find ways to grow their resources from within rather than depend on federal allocation
Ekiti state- Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said the seizure of funds belonging to local governments in Lagos state by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2005 provided ample opportunity for Lagos to think like a sovereign state able to overcome its financial challenges.
Osinbajo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said the capacity of the state to rethink its predicament at the time resulted in a huge increase in its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), which is today in the region of N45 billion.
This Day reports that Osinbajo made this disclosure in Ado Ekiti, on Thursday, October 14, at an Economic and Investment summit the “Fountain Summit 2021,” organised by the Governor Kayode Fayemi led administration.
He appealed to governors of the federation to start making huge investments in areas they have a comparative advantage to shore up their IGR and stop complete reliance on federal allocations for survival, adding that the governors could grow investments without resorting to multiple taxations, Vanguard also reported.
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Osinbajo, who was one of the panelists at the summit, stated that the time had come for the chief executives of states to start thinking about how to grow their respective economies like a nation, by investing in the most appropriate ways in their areas of economic strength.
“The attractiveness of investments to any state should be radical, because that is the revenue hub and determinant of how happy the people of any state will be in terms of economic development in relation to their standard of living.
“But while trying to grow investments, we must be cautious of multiple taxation. It weighs down businesses.
“During my time as a commissioner in Lagos, we started with N600 million monthly Internally Generated Revenue in 1999. The seizure of Lagos funds by President Olusegun Obasanjo made us to think like a sovereign state. Today, Lagos is making over N45 billion monthly.
“The surest way forward is to deepen investments in the areas where Ekiti has comparative advantage. We should also make good investments in technology to grow the knowledge economy, which is education."
Osinbajo’s suggestion came as Fayemi and Governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos state, Godwin Obaseki of Edo state, and Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state canvassed robust multi-level policing system in the country, to protect citizens and investments.
They insisted that preventing governors from taking charge of security was affecting investment, development, and wellbeing of the people adversely.
Osinbajo calls for Naira exchange rate to be determined by market forces at it is currently "artificially low"
The vice president made the remark at President Muhammadu Buhari's second tenure's midterm retreat.
The report quoted the Vice President as saying the present currency rate is artificially low, and this is preventing investors from bringing foreign capital into the country.