Ahead of resumption on Monday, delegates representing Lagos State in the National Conference, have resolved not to sign the final report to be presented to President Goodluck Jonathan.
Their decision was prompted by the failure of the conference leadership to allow the presentation of the state memorandum for consideration during the plenary.
The conference upon resumption, will review and adopt its resolutions preparatory to the compilation of the final report to be endorsed by members.
According to a Lagos delegate: “Several attempts made to present the state memorandum were rebuffed. The position of Lagos was not allowed to fly.
“Our opinion was not reflected in the Yoruba agenda accepted by the conference. Every move made by the Lagos delegates to be part of Yoruba position was rejected. Given the treatment meted out to us by the conference leadership, we may not sign the final report”.
Reflecting on the delegates’ position, Chief (Mrs) Yetunde Arobieke said: “We in the Lagos East Senatorial District support the decision of the delegates not to endorse the conference report because it does not reflect the interest of Lagos State”.
Arobieke, the immediate past chairperson of Agboyi-Ketu Local Council Development Area, cited three issues in the memorandum that are critical to the socio-economic development of Lagos State but which were never allowed to be presented by the conference leadership.
She explains thus: “The issue of Value Added Tax is very crucial to the economic viabililty of Lagos State. Oil producing states are talking of derivation because of the values that oil contributes to the Federation Account. Much of the VAT proceeds that go into the federal purse are generated in Lagos.
“So if the oil producing states are qualified for derivation, Lagos too is entitled to it on the basis of VAT.
“The Lagos State position is that immediate steps should be taken to repeal the Value Added Tax Act and the Federal Government should forthwith desist from the practice, administration and collection of VAT.
“In true federalism, the central authority lacks control over waterways. The right of sub-national states to their intra-state waterways is inviolable.
“It is a breach of the rule of law for central authorities to administer inland territory of any state in Nigeria against the wishes of the people of the states.
“We expect the Federal agencies to respect the constitutional autonomy of states over intra-state inland waters, its violation must abate forthwith.
“We made a case for special status for Lagos.
“Up till tomorrow New York is still being compensated for being former United States capital. Lagos should not be abandoned because capital has been taken to Abuja.
“Federal roads in Lagos are abandoned. For example the Federal government has failed to maintain Oshodi-Apapa High way that leads to the sea ports where the Federal Government generates huge revenue on daily basis.
“Our position is that Lagos should be accorded special status for the purposes of allocation of revenue and other resources as a final line charge on the national budet in keeping with recognised practice of rehabilitation for former capital territories”.
Arobieke absolved the Lagos delegates of any blame over their stance not to sign the report, stressing that it did not take the interest of the state into consideration.