7 Daily Benefits of Restructuring Nigeria
With the restructuring debate entering Nigeria’s political discourse and engagement after a biting recession, there is no doubt that it will form the basis of sustained growth, wealth and prosperity. Without confusing you or make any bogus statements but make this piece as easy as possible I will like to say that restructuring stems from the concept of true federalism. True federalism, however, is a system that operates based on the shared responsibility of individual units while having a central core that binds everyone together.
The idea of this was considered in January 1967 before the war broke out in July of that year and the idea was for every region to run their affairs, create wealth by harnessing and managing their resources while making some commitments to the federal and central government. Economically, these units must be distinct and independent while other areas can be negotiated like the Military which is always the purview of the central government with the President as the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces for any Federal Republic.
Nigeria, today does not run a truly federal government and this has been proven with the federal police, power issues and the compulsion to connect to the national grid, education, agriculture, mineral resources which the states cannot mine and other areas as contained in the Exclusive Legislative List. Without much ado, let me go into the common or daily benefits of restructuring to Nigeria and with that, you can grab the scope of this discussion.
- Power: The way power generation works today is that if power or a new power plant is built in Kano or Bayelsa, the law requires that it must be connected to the main grid to distribute to everyone and this adds to the cost of generation and transmission to homes and other end users. The restructuring will make it possible for Kano or Imo or Edo or Bayelsa to produce their power and share with those within their state borders and when there is excess they can share to neighbouring states.
- Mineral Resources: Do you know that if your state has any mineral resource from oil to coal to iron to columbite to gold to bauxite and many others we are blessed with you cannot as a state government mine and explore this unless for illegal miners (which comes with lots of risks). With the restructuring, a state like Enugu can tap their coal and explore the uses maximally, Jos, Plateau can explore their tin and columbite and start using to produce aeroplane parts and create wealth for the state and country.
- Education: Sadly, this is also in the exclusive lists with the Federal and State government having a shared responsibility which is why we have the state and federal tertiary institutions and the secondary schools as well. Restructuring and full powers to the state will have them explore the talents and abilities of students and channel their curriculum and policies to design an education that brings out the complete potentials of students. A State like Ekiti can craft ways to ensure that its Professors start researching and developing papers for development. Ekiti State is known to have produced the most Professors in Nigeria.
- Police: With a state or regional police, security is assured as states and indigents who understand their territories can take charge of ensuring that the states are safe. The concern of abuse by state governors and executives can be checked with the right laws and policies and over time it will be perfected to be averse to abuse.
- Autonomy: This will not just be for the sake of autonomy but due to the benefits of the reforms and changes that will come. With the above listed, it will create wealth for these states and people who live in Aba, Kano, Otukpo to go and look for greener pastures in Lagos and Abuja. Trust Igbo men, if the South-East can attain economic autonomy no one will leave their villages and Local Governments. Lagos and Abuja and Port Harcourt will not be congested because every man will return to their homes and develop them. Every visit outside your state can be temporary for pleasure or work.
- Federal Character: This was adopted to help balance our federation and it has become the bedrock of corruption, nepotism in Abuja and federally owned offices and agencies. With all these, Abuja will be less attractive because we would have more organized cities and local governments that are self-sufficient. The development will be widespread across aboard and any region or state that doesn’t develop that will be their burden and responsibility.
- Ease of Management: When the President realizes that the work has been reduced and decentralized to the states and LGAs, he can relax and focus on other issues. Play oversight functions, monitor, carry out heavier projects and get taxes from states. Every governor will deploy resources to operate on a small scale and the same for the LGAs. The states will become mini-countries that when one succeeds or fails we can rate their achievements with what is on the ground. Presently, they all give excuses for the system that is not designed for growth.
Why is this restructuring urgent?
Now, it can only be a palliative measure to solve our many pressing challenges which are largely economic. It will reduce corruption and start the process of value addition before money acquisition; people will work with the guarantee of rewards. Right now, people are in need of material gains, basic necessities of life, education, health, good roads and hospitals and when these things are fixed due to more wealth redistribution then we will have lesser fights about security, corruption, tribalism and nepotism.
Thanks for reading and I hope to continue this piece on more subjective benefits of restructuring for Nigeria.
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