Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has stressed the need to rethink and rejig the current federal structure of the country, insisting that the current system is an inherited passive federal system.
Speaking at a public presentation of a book, titled “Federalism, Revenue Allocation and Restructuring in Nigeria: A historical perspective” written by Salisu Yekini of Lagos State University (LASU), yesterday, he said the imperative of restructuring the country could not be overemphasised.
Represented by Chairman, Task Force on Internally Generated Revenue and former commissioner for finance and infrastructure, Edo State, John Osagie Inegbedion, he said: “In a true federal system, the state and local governments are where powers are but today what we have in Nigeria is an inherited passive federal system of government, it is tilted towards a unitary system, that is why the federal has so much power and so much in the exclusive list.”
According to him, in a federal system, power is at the lower level, where more developments are carried out.
He said: “We recognise that the federal is responsible for defence and security as well as foreign affairs. But economic advancement and the creation of jobs will happen in the states. We have 774 local governments and 36 states. The population is more at the state and local government levels. So more resources must be deployed there. There are some businesses that the federal government need not be involved in.”
In his review, Prof. Sylvester Odion Akaine, of the Department of Political Science LASU, said the book is an information base for those interested in resource allocation matters.
He said it would enlighten those at sea on the question of what is meant by restructuring and possibly drive home the urgency of the moment, the need to revamp a country sitting dangerously on the cliff.
The author, Salisu, described Nigeria as a multiplicity of nations with deeply rooted and diverse ethnic pluralism. He said the independent research work, which has now translated into the book, commenced in 2017 not for promotion but out of curiosity for an expanded knowledge in Nigerian government and politics and also for the zeal and determination to contribute to the debate on critical national, political and economic issues.
Vice-Chancellor, LASU, Prof. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, who was represented by Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics), Prof. Elias Wahab, said issues of security, corruption and poverty deserve an urgent national conversation.