Morgan Omodu: Time to restructure Nigeria

Morgan Omodu: Time to restructure Nigeria

There has been resound calls for need to restructure the Nigeria, even though the calls has been around us for a while but the way and manner people talk about it and mobilize for it now cannot be over emphasized. The various groups keying into this debate calls for great concern which informs my writing this piece to throw a bit light into the subject matter in other to deepen the discourse and same time caution those rising against need to restructure the country.

By restructuring, it simply means call and need to restore the country back to where we are before the 1966 struck when we had a proper federation, when each area of the country was able to develop at its own pace. It also means devolution of power, while to some it is restoration of true federalism.

Production of Agricultural products from across the country was been sold with direct benefit for the farmers then, this period was when we have the cocoa in the south, the groundnut pyramid in the north among other farm products while some is been exported. This even development across the zones allowed for regional growth and development was more pronounced. Then there was prosperity and people of likes mind feel we need to return back to the basis for the country to move forward. The competition among the region then was about competitive competition. As Awo was doing Free Education in the West, Zik was granting scholarships in the East, there was that healthy rivalry. The North was doing its own as well.

But ever sincere incursion of military into our system, they foisted on us unitary system, making the states to solely rely only on Oil. This unitary system and over reliance on oil allows room for few people to benefit from this rot, and it is good for them and they stand against the need to restructure the country around true federalism.

That is when our problem started and we started drifting away and this is where we are today and time is running out on Nigeria. The government at the center uses Command and Control system to make all the state governors to be tied to this UNITARY System that is about to collapse on our heads. Some people enjoy it because it aides their conquest mentality and encourages corruption. There is thus a need to have a re look at the demand and call for restructuring.

We have unprecedented high level of Insecurity in our country; violent crimes are on the increase. Ethnic conflicts all around us. These are as a result of uneven distribution of wealth and no visible agenda to ensure that we develop the federating units; we need to act now because the Nigerian state is withering away and collapsing before our very eyes. We are going down the hills by the day. Despite this signs, there is no attempt to even pull the breaks. In the midst of all these the crisis of unitarist by government has reached her peak and the cheapest option out of it all today is to ensure we have devolution of power.

By restructuring we will be giving power to the federating units and states to develop on their own based on the available resources in their domain, while an agreed percentage will be contributed to the centre, the report of 2014 conference recommend that we should remove Minerals from Exclusive list and bring it to concurrent list. This will give us the prospect of a N60 trillion economy in Nigeria. Currently, we are doing about N6 trillion and we cannot even fund the budget, yet we are depending on just one product and the whole things is even riddled with corruption. Taking a look at the 2014 National Conference recommends wherein they state that, to use 5 percent of our federal budget to go and prospect for mineral resources, we would grow the economy and have more money to feed ourselves. But if it is on the basis of this Oil & Gas, we are doomed.

When you look at the shrinking opportunities that are available, the truth is that, economy can be further developed if we allow the federating units and regions to have access to the Mineral deposits in their domain as it will increase and return us back to the healthy competitive days. The Oil & Gas we solely depend on is too small for our population.  Respective government has continually paid lips services to diversifying economy; this can’t be done if this concrete step is not taken. This will promote the comparative advantage among the states.

We have had several groups supporting and some opposing this call, prominent among them are three divides which are some that says come what may let’s leave Nigeria the way it is, their final destination will lead the country to disintegration all because of their selfishness, another group are the Separatist forces who say we are tired of this nonsense and call for disintegration of the country along ethnic nationalities.  The final groups are those of ’us’ standing in between the two groups who are saying let us restructure. There is enough to make the country develop, enough to create job and reduce insecurity, enough to make us stronger as a nation. This group must be listened to and given a chance to lead the process. The fear constantly been nursed by a section of the country has been neutralized with the recent joining of the call to restructure by Alh. Atiku Abubakar who most sees as a bridge and thus the fear of a region dominating or taking all should be put to rest for the country to evolved and be stronger. The fear of the handlers should not stop the idea whose time has come. Let us adopt a template that allows every section of Nigeria to establish their own civilization and live their lives according to their own civilization.

Thus the clamor for restructuring should not been seen along ethnic divide or party issue but rather as a clamor that has a better prospect for this country. It is a way to move away from Indolence to Productivity. A way to be self-reliance once again, a way to reduce aggression building up by making every section of the country becomes a Productive Centre.

There is no state in Nigeria that God has not deposited abundance of solid minerals. All the states in the North have a large deposit of various minerals. We are not touching it now because we are just doing Oil & Gas. It is time to diversify and listen to the call to restructure Nigeria for benefit of all.

 

Morgan Omodu

Email; morganomodu01@gmail.com

08034067741

Website design in Abuja


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