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Senate Seeks 1% VAT Reward For States Affected By EndSARS Violence

By ibrahim874 • 2 months ago • 1615 views • 362 comments




ABUJA – The Senate on Tuesday called on the Federal Government to set aside one percent of Value Added Tax (VAT) as compensation for states affect­ed by the violence that trailed the EndSARS protest.

This is coming after a mild drama in the Senate as debate over compensation for states affected by the #EndSARS pro­test across the country became heated.

Debate on the motion concerning the devastation caused by the #EndSARS pro­test took a different dimension when a lawmaker from Niger State, Sani Musa (Niger East) insisted that compensation should include states in the North-East suffering from banditry and Boko Haram.

Musa insisted that “any intervention by the govern­ment should be holistic and not restricted to Lagos State or Calabar”.

It was also observed that while the debate was raging, the senators representing Lagos State didn’t contribute. The senators from Lagos are Remi Tinubu and Solomon Adeola Olamilekan.

The Senate, in its resolu­tion, also asked the govern­ment to set up a visitation panel to visit and evaluate the extent of damage in the affect­ed states.

The lawmakers added that its committee on state and lo­cal government affairs should monitor compliance by the panel.

The Senate’s resolution followed motions by Senator Olujimi Abiodun (Ekiti State) and Senator Gershom Bassey (Cross River), calling on the National Assembly to com­pensate states affected by the violence.

In their arguments, the movers of the motion dis­closed large scale destruction of public and private property, including police stations and other public facilities.

Also affected are the resi­dences of a serving and a for­mer lawmaker in Lagos and Cross River states.

In her submission, Senator Olujimi lamented the extent of destruction suffered by the South West and Lagos State in particular.

She listed the damage to include the destruction of Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Gov­ernment Secretariat, the Palace of Oba of Lagos; the Lagos State High Court, Igbos­ere; Oyingbo BRT terminus; Ojodu Berger BRT terminus; Vehicle Inspection Office, Ojo­du Berger; Lagos State Public Works Corporation, Ojodu Berger; Lagos City Hall and Circle Mall, Lekki; numerous luxury shops in Surulere; the Nation Newspapers, TVC, and Shoprite in Lekki.

Also listed were the 27 burnt BRT vehicles estimated to cost $200,000 each and anoth­er 57 BRT vehicles estimated to cost $100,000 each, all totalling about N3.9 billion.

She also listed about 25 po­lice stations that were report­edly burnt in Lagos.

These are the police sta­tions in Orile, Amukoko, Lay­eni, llasamaja, Ikotun, Ajah, Igando, Elemoro, Makinde, Onipanu, Ebute Ero, Pen-Cin­ema, Isokoko, Alade, Cele, Igbo Elerin, Shibiri, Gbagada, Onilekere, Makoko, Daleko, Asahun, Makinyo, Amu­wo-Odofin, and Anti-Kidnap­ping, Surulere.

Other police stations van­dalised but not burnt were Ojo, Ojodu, Mowo, PPL, and Morogbo.

According to her, the state lost N1 trillion as more than 27 BRT buses were vandalised in the crisis.

 She noted that the #End­SARS protest, which assumed a global dimension, began on October 3, 2020, when the video of a SARS officer, who allegedly shot a young Nige­rian in Ughelli, Delta State, surfaced online.

She further noted that on Wednesday, October 7, 2020, youths in Lagos State set out for a three-day protest to call for the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the Nigeria Police, as part of the push for reforms in the force.

The lawmaker explained that October 7 was the start of a 14-day protest in Lagos that eventually turned vio­lent after being hijacked by hoodlums.

She further said that at about 6:45p.m on Tuesday, Oc­tober 20, 2020, several media accounts revealed that peace­ful protesters were allegedly shot at by the Nigerian mili­tary at the Lekki Toll Gate.

Olujimi noted that the al­leged shooting of protesters further infuriated youths across the country and ten­sion flared violence and de­struction swept across the country, especially Lagos, the epicentre of the protest.

The lawmaker noted that private and public assets de­stroyed by hoodlums in Lagos were estimated to be over N1 trillion by the governor of La­gos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

In his argument, Senator Gershom Bassey lamented the crisis in Cross River State, stating that “it is unfortunate that what started as a peaceful protest was hijacked by hood­lums, unleashing terror on innocent citizens”.

According to him, “Govern­ment must do what is neces­sary to ensure that the situa­tion does not happen again.”

The motion was, however, hotly debated by other law­makers, who insisted that their states should also be compensated.

While Senator Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa State) said that any legislative mo­tion on #EndSARS would be prejudicial to the outcome of the panels set up by state gov­ernments and that the Senate should wait for the outcome of the panel investigations, Senator Ike Ekweremadu noted that the nation had not done enough to protect the interest of the youths in job creation.

Ekweremadu insisted that the National Assem­bly must do more to create jobs for youths in order to prevent a repeat of the End­SARS protest.


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