3 years after, legal process stalls Lagos-Ogun economic alliance

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Nearly three years after the establishment of the Lagos-Ogun Joint Development Commission, the economic alliance between the neighbouring states is yet to be formalised, Daily Trust can report.

In May 2021, Governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Dapo Abiodun of Lagos and Ogun states respectively, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) establishing the Joint Development Commission. 

The initiative was due to the interconnected nature of the two states bonded by culture, language, geography and urbanisation challenges. 

Our correspondent reports that the collaborative approach centred on security, transportation, infrastructure, urban renewal and other economic drives in the two states. 

At the MoU signing, Abiodun stressed that Ogun State has a larger percentage of the population over-spill from Lagos State as witnessed in many of the border communities like Ota, Akute, Alagbole, Lambe, Ojodu, Agbado, Mowe, Warewa, Isheri, and indeed, all the eight local government areas that share boundaries with Lagos State.

Sanwo-Olu on his part recalled the historical emergence of Lagos as a megacity with a population of over 22 million people and what the state government has done to realise its dream towards expediting action for greater synergy with other states, especially Ogun, for sustainable socio-economic development.

He, therefore, described the MoU as a “game-changer” that would transform the urban agglomeration that Lagos State had attained. 

However, about three years after the signing of the MoU, the commission has not been formalised due to lack of a legal framework sealing the alliance.

The legal hurdle, it was gathered, included sending a bill to each of the states’ assemblies for approach and passage, which has not been done in nearly three years.

Responding to questions from our correspondent at an interactive forum organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Abeokuta, the Commissioner of Finance, Dapo Okubadejo, admitted that the economic alliance has not been formalised.

Okubadejo, who is also the Chief Economic Adviser, blamed the delay on “a legal process involving even the House of Assembly in the two states.”

He said in spite of the delay in the formalisation of the commission, both states have been striving to achieve its set objectives.

“The Ogun-Lagos Joint Development Commission is a fantastic concept, structured to collaborate on my areas such as transportation, infrastructure and physical planning. 

“I know that the full functioning of that commission will be a legal process involving even the House of Assembly in the two states. But what I can tell you is that even in the absence of the fully commissioned institution, a lot of cooperation is going on between Lagos and Ogun. 

“For instance, I will tell you that there is now regular payment of taxes to Ogun State with respect to the payee of all the Lagos State government workers that live in Ogun State. Lagos State is fully cooperating to remit the taxes of those who work there and live here.

“A lot of cooperation is going; it may not have been formalised but because we want to achieve the same objective…,” Okubadejo said.


Source link: Daily Trust/

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