Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola
Gboyega Akinsanmi and Funmi Ogundare
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), has challenged the state chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to approach any court over its threat to put paid to the operation of the state Security Trust Fund (LSSTF) set up to give support to the state police command.
Fashola, who issued the challenge thursday at the sixth taxation stakeholders’ conference in Ikeja, alleged that he was in the know of plans by the PDP’s to sue the state government in a bid to stop the Fund.
He explained that the PDP wanted “to sue the Lagos State Government in order to stop the Fund from functioning. The Fund is an outfit set up on voluntary donations and to help discharge the obligation which the Federal Government under the PDP has for the Nigeria Police, but has failed to discharge.
“I have news for the PDP leadership. They should make my day because we will meet them in court. I think they are getting closer to dancing naked in the public. This is because the welfare and the provision of other basic equipment to the police is the responsibility of the Federal Government.
“The PDP budgets money every year for security but policemen cannot buy uniforms. They do not have vehicles for patrol. They do not have fuel to power existing vehicles. A government sits down here and brought up innovative ideas on how to fund the police in its state.
“The problem is not its responsibility. We go to our citizens to plead for fund for the police that are not control by the state government all in the interest to protect the lives of its citizens,” he said.
Fashola explained that in order, “to keep the police up to date with their responsibilities, we provided uniforms, boots, patrol vehicles and bikes; distribute guns to the police officers. Rather than commending the state government, the only thing you could do is to oppose such innovative idea. Then, it shows that you are truly opposite people according to late Fela’s music.”
The governor added that the sense of impunity was just outrageous, saying the state government “is responsible for the reconstruction of the Area C command when it was razed. We did it with the taxes paid by the residents of the state and the donation from the STF.”
Meanwhile, the governor said the state government had begun the issuance of the new Electronic Certificate of Occupancy to the land owners, saying the new document would replace the age-long C of O, which he said, was susceptible to forging.
According to him, we intend to move from the Yellow paper to a new one that is difficult to forge. The role of the government is to stay ahead of the forgers. We have started producing backlog of e-C of O.
On taxes, Fashola said there was no way government could achieve development of the state without taxing the citizens and a life without taxes “is impossible. All what we have done in the last six year was made possible by taxes. If they shut down the tap of oil today, Lagos State will survive.
“Close to 70 per cent of what we spent is generated internally. Since I became governor, I have never passed any law on taxation. I only implement the tax laws that are already passed,” he explained.
On complaint of illegal charges by local government authorities, the governor simply urged Lagos residents to resist paying any fee not in the harmonized approved list of payment as levies.