Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos state has said that the present structure of the Nigerian constitution is why the federal government is failing in effectively performing its duties.
Ambode made this known while speaking at a joint working retreat of Senate and House Representatives Committees on the Review of 1999 Constitution held in Lagos on Friday, July 14, The Guardian reports.
The Governor said, “We believe that the principle of appropriateness should guide the sharing of powers between the federal and state governments.
” Ambode also cautioned the National Assembly against going ahead with the passage of the Stamp Duty Bill, saying it poses grave danger for Nigeria’s fiscal federalism.
Naij report and quote Ambode that the bill would further cripple the internally generated revenue due to states in the federation, at a time there are calls for downward review of the 52.62% federal government of revenue in the Federation Account.
He said there are “imminent dangers inherent in the proposed Stamp duties Bill which no doubt seeks to cripple the internally generated revenue due to States in the federation in favour of a Federal Government Agency- NIPOST.
“The Bill is presently before the National Assembly and it is a grave threat to the principles of fiscal federalism and as representatives of the true beneficiaries of the Act as it presently stands, there is need to put an urgent and immediate end to its further coordination by the National Assembly which also has the noble tradition that once a matter is before the Court, all activities on the matter would be suspended.
” Speaking further, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode said it was time for Section 214 (1) of the Constitution to be amended to allow states to establish their own Police Service, as the current arrangement was unhelpful to truly protect the citizens.
Akinwunmi Ambode said over the years, the federal government had been unable to provide resources necessary to pay, equip and train policemen to the level required by the challenges they face, adding that the situation whereby only about 300,000 policemen are policing more than 140 million which is a ratio of 1 to 467, confirmed the fact that the country was grossly under-policed.
He said the situation had negatively affected states like Lagos with huge population saying despite the massive financial support to security agencies by most states including Lagos, such was still inadequate mainly, because state governments have no influence over the number of men recruited for or deployed to their domains.