The Association of Lagos Titled Chiefs, a non-political association of honorary chiefs and prominent members of the Lagos community has reaffirmed its total support for Vice President Yemi Osinbajo after it reviewed the allegations against him.
The President of the association, Chief Iyabo Foresythe, in a statement released at the end of its September meeting, emphasised on one of the most debated issues in the Nigerian public space bothering on the allegation of the transfer of the sum of N90 billion from Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to the Office of the Vice President for purposes of financing the 2019 elections.
The debate, they said, had however attracted diverse views and demands. “Against this background, the Association of Lagos Titled Chiefs having re-examined the issue, commend Professor Yemi Osinbajo’s integrity and veracity, as well as the affable relationship between him and President Muhammadu Buhari.”
She affirmed that the issue of marginalisation of the Vice President could never arise as the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Third Schedule Part One) states that the National Economic Council (NEC) shall comprise amongst others, “the Vice President who shall be the Chairman of the Council”. “Constitutionally therefore, the Vice President is to superintend over the NEC. As key stakeholders with robust interest in the cosmopolitan city of Lagos, the economic capital of Nigeria, we also affirm that the President is entitled to constitute an advisory body for the economy.”
The association commended the President on the recent constitution of the Economic Advisory Council that would promote synergy for the growth of the country’s economy, and however, expressed concern that contemplating an increase in VAT rate now, will be inconsistent with economic reality.
“It is the view of the association that at the current rate of five per cent , the country can make twice as much from the current VAT rate by reforming the existing tax laws, especially as it affects Lagos State that generates the biggest chunk(90 per cent) of the VAT revenue and expanding the tax net,” she stressed.