The Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, on Saturday said that the seizure of Local Government funds by former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration contributed to the slow pace of development in Lagos State.
Akiolu said this at an inaugural lecture, as part of activities for the Lagos State at 50 Anniversary in Lagos, where he highlighted the history and culture of the state.
Recall that the former President Obasanjo-led administration withheld Lagos state local government funds, following the creation of 36 new local government development areas (LCDAs) in Lagos State.
The insistence of the state not to yield to the directive of the Federal Government to cancel the new LCDAs attracted the withholding of funds meant for the 20 existing local governments.
Akiolu said that the then governor of Lagos, Senator Bola Tinubu, with all his development plans would have done so much for the growth of the state, but for the seizure of the state’s federal allocation.
According to the monarch, Lagos state would have been far developed by now.
“The Story of Lagos State State has been a success story right from the time of Alhaji Jakande who set a good example of leadership. Sen. Bola Tinubu came with robust development plans for Lagos State, but he could not do so much because of the seizure of local governments’ funds. But he laid the foundation upon which his successors had been building.
The state was blessed with Babatunde Fashola, and now, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode. These governors had taken Lagos to an enviable height with unassailable internally generated revenue,” he said.
Akiolu urged political office holders in the state to live up to their mandate by being sincere and honest in all their dealings.
He also urged residents to support the state government as it strives to develop the state and make life comfortable for its residents.
In his address, Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode said that the golden jubilee of the state was to the showcase the legacy, arts, language, heritage and culture of the people.
Ambode, who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Idiat Adebule, said that the state occupied a noticeable position in global affairs as the fastest growing mega-cities in the world.
“Celebrating Lagos is to celebrate Nigeria’s unity and progress, because Lagos provides the cohesion that keeps Nigeria together. We need to celebrate our past achievements and showcase to the world our immense potential for future growth and development. Government alone cannot do it; we must all join hands together to build the Lagos of our dream,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ambode had on Friday unveiled the “Lagos at 50” logo to herald the lined-up programmes for the anniversary that will run till May 27,2017.
Lagos State was created on May 27th, 1967.