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Ambode seeks economic freedom for states for growth, development

By Olaolu Oladipo, Lagos

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has called on Federal Government to ensure inclusive economic growth in the states by unbundling the potentials of each of the federating units for economic growth and development.Speaking in Kaduna at the fourth Progressive Governance Lecture Series organized by Governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) with the theme: “Building The Economy of States: Challenge of Developing Inclusively Sustainable Growth.

Specifically, Governor Ambode  said the Federal Government must allow the states to develop  the natural resources within their domain and create the necessary infrastructure that would attract investors.

Speaking on the Lagos experience of de-emphasizing reliance on oil, he said governors must also be encouraged to tap into multiple streams of income within their domain, especially with the Federal Government allowing the states to develop their potentials.

“We need to start looking at some changes that we need to make within and among ourselves as a government irrespective of whether it is federal, state or local government – that will now unbundle the potentials of each state which is the cornerstone of the whole message we are talking about.

“There is a great need for all of us to decide once and for all to unbundle the potentials of each state; take the comparative advantages of each state and fuse them together for the needs of our people.

“Governors are the owners of the land in their states but underneath the land and even inside the water, the Federal Government is structured in a way that it controls those potentials. In a situation where the states are being spoon-fed, because I call the federation account more or less like spoon-feeding.

“The Federal Government collects total revenue on Value Added Tax (VAT) and various revenues on behalf of all of us and make us to come to Abuja and more or less share it to us as peanuts thereby not allowing us to reach our potentials as competitive states individually,” the Governor said.

While alluding to the fact that insignia of progressivism in Nigeria should be first seen in the APC states, Governor Ambode said all critical actors must work together in the common interest of the people.

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