The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday disclosed that when Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was governor in 2005, then President, Olusegun Obasanjo provided Lagos State with an ample opportunity for Lagos to think like a sovereign state in order to overcome its financial challenges.
Osinbajo, who was serving as a commissioner at the time, disclosed that this happened with the Obasanjo-led federal government’s seizure of funds belonging to local councils in Lagos State made the state put on the thinking cap which resulted in its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to the tune of the current N45bn.
Naija News reports that the Vice President stated this as a panelist during an Economic and Investment Summit, tagged “Fountain Summit 2021,” organized by the Governor Kayode Fayemi administration in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital.
“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 think like a sovereign state. Today, Lagos is making over N45 billion monthly,” he said.
Osinbajo asserted that the time has 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.
He further urged 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. He said the governors could grow investments without resorting to multiple taxation.
“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. Ekiti is a business-friendly environment. Ekiti has also excelled in the aspect of ease of doing business. You have vast arable lands for agriculture,” the Vice President said.