The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, on Thursday re-emphasised the need for Nigeria to think in the direction of true federalism saying it is one of the major solutions to the country’s many challenges.
Obasa made the call at the 13th annual Hijrah Lecture 1443 A.H (2021) organised by the House with the topic: The Role Of The Youths In The Emerging Socio-Economic And Political Realities.
According to the Speaker, it is very obvious that citizens and leaders in the country intensify efforts to salvage the economy, especially as it relates to the increasing poverty rate, the need to make the country secure and peaceful as well as the dwindling fortunes of the Nigerian currency as against the dollar.
The Speaker, who noted the topic of the event as very important at this time of the country’s journey, further urged the federal government to see the current situation as an opportunity to address the issue of the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) in favour of the states.
He said if Nigeria was to make progress, the country should follow the steps of the United States of America and China which relies on the provinces.
“The topic of this event is very important. What is the situation of our country? What is the situation with the youth? How do we live our lives? What is the health and educational situation of the country?
“We talk about youth unemployment, but what is the state of education and qualifications?
“The topic is important, especially with the argument that the economy has become seriously challenged.
“The standard of living and the rate of poverty are biting. Months ago, the dollar rate was still welcoming at a little above N300 but today, it is more than N500.
“This current situation of the country is an opportunity for the federal government to address the issue of VAT.
“China today relies on the provinces of the country. USA practises true federalism. If we are practising federalism, we should be consistent. We should operate in a way that Osun State would explore its resources and Zamfara would do same,” Obasa said while expressing hope that Nigerians would be proud of the country which marks its 61st independence anniversary.
He noted that Lagos State House of Assembly has always been youth-friendly in relation to bills passed by the House.
In his lecture, Shaykh Muhyideen Ajani Bello, Chief Imam and Missioner, Ansar ud Deen Society of Nigeria, Northern States Council, urged the youth to know that they would one day lead the country just as he slammed leaders for relegating the youth for too long.