Hardship: Reduce levies, taxes – Fashola urges Sanwo-Olu


A former governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, has
advised the Lagos State Government to reduce levies and taxes as a measure to
ease the current socio-economic challenges facing the residents.


Fashola said this at the Lagos State 18th Edition of the
Executive and Legislative Parley held on Friday at the Eko Hotels and Suites,
Victoria Island, Lagos.


The annual parley is held to review the activities and
mandates of each of the arms of government.


It discusses the prevailing social-economic issues and
develops a strategy for dealing with the potential areas of conflict in the
overall interest of the state.


This year’s theme is “Engaging all for Inclusive Governance:
Hands on for a Greater Lagos Rising.”


It was attended by legislators in the Lagos House of
Assembly, representatives of the various constituencies of the state in the
National Assembly, Governing Advisory Council members, and other key


Fashola, who was the immediate past minister of Works and
Housing, applauded Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu for rolling out other measures to
cushion the effect of subsidy removal.


He said aside from the school feeding initiative in schools
and reducing the cost of transportation, the reduction of levies and taxes in
other sectors would help a great deal.


“The Lagos State government deserves to be commended for the
feeding initiative and for also reducing the cost of transportation in the
state; this is commendable, and I applaud Gov. Sanwo-Olu.


“I’d like to make additional suggestions. I’d like to advise
that, in line with finding succour for residents of our great state with the current
economic situation, I think reducing levies and taxes would help.


“There must be a balance. I remember during the Ebola
crisis, the Association of Tourism and Hotel Owners approached us (the
government) then that we should suspend the consumption tax, which we did.

 “These are some of
the ways we can bring relief to the people of Lagos State.


“It is important to increase the quantum of money for
disposal. There must be a balance in governance,” Fashola said.


Fashola, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), urged the state
government to find a way of redistributing wealth and giving small businesses


“We must meet with small businesses across the senatorial
districts, state legislature should hold town hall meetings to understand their
needs and demands.


“We have more money in the hands of the people; we need to
roll out public works in construction, supply, etc. We need to find a way to
redistribute wealth,” the former governor said.


According to Fashola, representatives of the people at
various levels must check themselves and see if they have represented the
interests of the people they represent.


He said representatives of the people should ask themselves
if they have represented the people since they were appointed or elected.


“They should ask, do I still live in the constituency I
represent; do I truly represent them; do I know where it pinches, and do I know
where it hurts?” he said. (NAN)


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