Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola yesterday lamented that the central government was not sincere with its citizens on the current states of the country’s economy.
Fashola disclosed this at the 2014 World Food Day/Agric Value Chain empowerment, held at the Johnson Agiri Agriculture Complex, Agege Local Government, themed ‘Family farming: Feeding the world, caring for the earth.’
Fashola who handed over agricultural empowerment materials to 3,149 persons said, no state could function effectively without a structured tax system.
According to him, “As I was coming to this event, I received a message that the monthly Federal Allocation Accounts Committee, FAAC meeting where states know how much the country earn in the last 30 days and what percentage would be shared between the three tiers of government-Federal, State and Local governments-from the federation accounts.
“The meeting which was scheduled to hold in Enugu State today (yesterday) was postponed because there was not enough fund in the federation account. That is the situation of the country’s economy today,” Fashola added.
He noted that this was why he said that there is no state government that could function effectively without a well-structured tax system.
The governor added “So if we are to wait for the monthly federal allocation, we will not be able to provide the dividends of democracy to the residents of Lagos State.
“It was through the money we realized from taxes that we used to provide the empowerment materials for the residents of the state,” he added.
The governor said “We do not measure the economic progress in our state by the number of billionaires and owners of private jets which exclude many in the country.
“But we measure ours by the number of ordinary people in the society.
These are people who produce small products, render services that give them honest income and puts food on their table. With all these, we are raising new entrepreneurs and tackling unemployment in the state.”
Explaining the reason for the empowerment programme, the governor noted that it “is meant to ensure that persons who were unemployed can become entrepreneurs.
His words “Tomorrow (today), 3, 149 persons who were idled before today (yesterday) will set out to work; raising new entrepreneurs is what we do in Lagos.
“And if you want our democracy to be effective, in the next coming election vote and protect your vote. This is how concerned we are.
This economy must remain inclusive so that our democracy will continue to improve.”