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Shun ethnicity, religious bigotry, Sanwo-Olu tells Nigerians

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Don't rely on FG allocations, source for other means to boost revenue — Sanwo-OluGov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has urged Nigerians to shun ethnicity and religious bigotry to accelerate national development.

Sanwo-Olu made the call on Tuesday at the 3rd Annual Lecture of Freedom Online with the theme, “Nigeria: Foundation, Fundamental, Future,” held in Ikeja, Lagos.

The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, said that no nation would develop on the basis of religion and ethnic animosity.

According to Sanwo-Olu, “we should stop using ethnicity and religion to divide ourselves, no nation in history has developed on the basis of religion and ethnic animosity.”

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He said that it was imperative for the country to evolve, face issues and find solutions to the challenges presently bedeviling the nation as the country had what it takes to tackle them all.

While urging citizens to come together to do the right thing, he advised all to invest in the country in order to develop its economy and provide more employment.

He noted that Nigerians should be ambitious, set target and aim at achieving their goals.

He frowned at the overdependence on federal allocation, noting that states should be allowed to manage their resources as they deemed fit.

He urged state governments to create incentives, attract investments, set taxes and contribute from the internal revenues into the pool for the federal government.

The governor also frowned at the over concentration of power at the centre and stressed the need for states’ independence.

“States should be in control of their oil, power, transportation and security.

“We must support government in terms of agricultural revolution in order to sustain our economy.

“States should be free to control drilling of oil and mining of solid minerals and pay the required axes and royalties to the federation account.

“There is no reason why states cannot generate and distribute electricity and license same, within their geographical limits, thereby making necessary returns to the federation account,” he said

In his remarks, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, former Governor of Ogun, called for patronage of Nigerian made goods and services.

He said that government should ensure there was no room for capital flight.

“Those who have money should invest in the economy of the country, we must discourage capital flights and make legislation that would enforce all to invest in the economy,” he said

Commenting on insecurity, the former governor said that crime is localised, therefore, policing should not be left in the hands of the federal government.

“The state government should be empowered to do more in securing lives and property of the people.

“Therefore, I support regional policing,” Daniel said

Also speaking, the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, urged government to localise security.

Amaechi, who was represented by Mr Sam Nwakohu, called for dialogue among stakeholders on local policing.

“Government should localise security to ensure safety of lives and property because at end of the day, this is paramount to all,” he said

Amaechi, urged state governments to generate their own revenue and not depend solely on federal allocation.

He said that local governments should be allowed to function effectively as they are closer to the grassroots.

“Governors should allow local governments work effectively without interference.

“They should be strengthened to work and their allocations should be given to them as and when due,” he said

Vanguard

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