Eko Club, one of the prestigious social clubs in Nigeria, has tasked the Federal Government on decentralization of the control of the nation’s resources. This, according to the club, is in order to boost the revenue of the various states in the federation.
The assertion was made by the President of Eko Club, Chief Tunde Fanimokun and other stakeholders at the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples (WIP), which held recently and which the Club also used to celebrate Lagos State at 50 in its own quintessential way.
Making a case for Lagos State, in particular, Fanimokun, explained that the state should be given the opportunity to benefit largely from the income it generates through Value Added Tax (VAT) and others resources, just as he advocated for other states in the country to be given the same opportunity to control their resources.
Similarly, a former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the State, Supo Sasore (SAN) added that it was constitutionally wrong for the Federal Government to be controlling the Lagos waterways and its resources, lamenting that such arrangement would hinder development. He therefore advocated for restructuring.
Fanimokun pointed out that for Lagos to remain a great contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and a force to be reckoned with in the world; sustainable economic policies have to be in place.
According to Fanimokun, “Our triple slogan for the maiden edition connotes the Yoruba proverb, “Aro Meta kii da obe nu”, (meaning that a pot, sitting on a balanced tripod will not fall off). These are Economy; the key to inexhaustible prosperity; unity-in- diversity, the door to everlasting greatness; and Enterprise, the environment for accelerating new investments”. These are the three fundamentals for ensuring Sustainable Development Drive over the next fifty (50) years, 2017 to 2067 of the State, when the centenary celebration of Lagos will hold, as Fanimokun said.
Describing the theme of the anniversary, “Sustainable Development Drive: Beyond Lagos at 50, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello, explained that the government of the state has created an enabling environment for citizens irrespective of their class to thrive and it is committed to delivering citizens oriented services that will further make the state an international destination.
Speaking on the plight of Indigenous people, Fanimokun said, “There is a consensus among Nigerians that indigenous minority populations have not been fairly treated in Nigeria. Questions about equity, justice and fair distribution of resources have always been raised.”
To change the notion, he pointed that governments at all levels have to deploy equity, justice and fairness in the display of their duties.
The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is observed each year to promote and protect the rights of the world’s indigenous population. The event also recognizes the achievements and contributions that indigenous people make to improve world issues such as environmental protection. It was first pronounced by the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) in December 1994, marking the day of the first meeting of the UN working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Promotion and protection of Human rights, in 1982.
On its part, Eko Club was founded in 1974 and was formally launched in May, 1975. The Club is one of the prestigious clubs in the country with the aim of fostering and promoting friendly relations and understanding amongst members, to promote, organize social, cultural, educational, sporting and other forms of activities and co-operation, among others.