The Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday lauded the Supreme Court’s ruling granting state governments the right to regulate hotels, restaurants and tourism.
The Speaker of the House, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, said in a statement that the judgment was a “resounding victory for states”.
The apex court had on July 19 dismissed a suit filed by the attorney general of the federation seeking the control of the hospitality industry by the National Tourism Development Corporation, NTDC.
The court upheld the contention of the attorney general of Lagos State that the 1999 Constitution only empowered the National Assembly to regulate tourist traffic and not hotel registration or licensing.
The Lagos State government and the federal government had been embroiled in a controversy over the proper authority to license and grade hospitality establishments.
This resulted in the NTDC and the state government setting up parallel registration and regulation structures in the state.
Ikuforiji said: “I commend the ruling of the justices of the Supreme Court which gave a unanimous victory to the Lagos State Government for the Hotel Licensing Law and the Restaurant Consumption Law.”
He said with the judgment, the issue of separation of powers between states and the federal government has now been finally settled.
“It is pertinent to put on record that the Supreme Court has been proactive and consistent in discharging its enormous statutory responsibilities,” the statement added.
The speaker added that the country must return to the path of true fiscal federalism and the rule of law in order to uphold its democracy.