There have been agitations by different groups and individuals for the restructuring of Nigeria, particularly on the need to revert to regional government and devolution of powers to federating units. These calls have come from different parts of Nigerian, which is quite an indication that the agitation is a popular one.
No doubt, the present structure of Nigeria, whereby the central government is more powerful and richer than the federating units is absurd and clearly against the tenet of true federalism, just as it encourages corruption.
The concentration of resource control to the central government, whereby the government at the centre takes the largest chunk of the resources coming in and federating states, 36 in number and 774 local governments battle with paltry percentage. It has crippled the federating units and affect development at that level too.
In a situation where central government negotiates on behalf of state, Minimum Wage for their workers without consideration for the financial capacities of such states stands against the development of such states and their workforce.
One could recall the regional system of government of the old, when each region had control of its resources, civil service and determined the spate of its development, there was healthy competition for development among the federating units, hence the development was enormous and up till today, people still refer to the period as the best ever.
It is unfortunate that the jettisoning of that period of development had retrogressed the nation, hence, we are all struggling to survive as states and as a nation.
Besides, the presidential system of government currently in operation in Nigeria is too expensive and has seriously affected our development. Hence, joining agitators for parliamentary system of government would not be out of place as it would greatly reduce the cost of governance.
Therefore, the National Assembly should take cognizance of the facts highlighted above in the ongoing review of the 1999 Constitution with a view to bringing Nigeria back to the era of development. Restructuring of our country is a must and we must not be distracted to believe otherwise.
—Bolarinwa Abimbola, Erin Osun, State of Osun