Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has called for immediate redress of marginalization of Lagos State indigenes in federal establishments located in the state.
The Governor made this known when the Honourable Commissioner representing Lagos State at the Federal Character Commission (FCC), Abdulwasiu Bawa-Allah paid him a courtesy visit on Wednesday at State House in Marina.
The governor who wondered why Lagos should be under-represented in the distribution of public service employment and political representation in Federal Government’s institutions, departments and parastatals that are located in Lagos, vowed that his administration would do everything possible to address the imbalance which, he said, is against the spirit of fairness, equity and federal character.
He said: “It is a shame that Lagos, which is Nigeria’s economic and industrial nerve centre, and which has the largest population has been short-changed in this national commission. The popular narrative about Lagos is that people think we are okay in terms of resources and infrastructure. They think we have been taken care of. This is not the case.
“Lagos is accommodating to all but the resources available is not enough to cater for all. The challenges facing us are enormous. Our citizens need to be given their proper space in line with the spirit of fairness and the mandate of the Federal Character Commission”.
While describing the appointment of Bawa-Allah as Lagos representative in the Commission as timely, particularly at a period the State was making efforts to bridge the deficit in its federal representation, he pledged the State Government’s readiness to work with the Commissioner to ensure that Lagos indigenes get a fair representation.
“With your calibre and the knowledge of these shortcomings, we are expecting that this unfair narrative will turn around for good for the state. Not only will we be working closely with you as our representative in the Commission, but we will also take up the charge and ensure what is deserving of us is taken up. We will be giving you all the support required to settle and work to achieve your goals”, he said.
Responding, Bawa-Allah pledged to work with the Governor to reverse the inequitable action against the State.
The Commissioner said he was shocked, upon assumption of office, to discover that indigenes of Lagos only made up 11 per cent of the 10,000 employees on Grade Levels 1 to 6 working across over 120 federal organisations operating in Lagos.
He added that Lagos representation in the federal system was not in the statutory 2.5 per cent, a problem, he said, was caused by a period of sour relationship between the state and the government at the centre.
He said: “While we cannot turn back the hands of time, I believe it is time to get cracking and address the issue. I stand in focus, courage, tenacity and optimism. I am determined to work hard with the confidence of the governor and stakeholders in order to get what is due to our State. I seek effective synergy and collaboration with the Government of Lagos, our representatives in the Senate and House of Representatives to achieve these goals.”