How to smoothly restructure Nigeria, by varsity teacher
A lecturer in business management at the University of Jos, Professor Peter Emeka Arinze, has thrown his weight behind restructuring Nigeria in the overall interest of unity, peace, joy and economic growth.
Arinze asserted that given the uncertainty of the country with many agitations for balkanization, the critical way to achieve economic progress and other indices should be tailored towards restructuring Nigeria on an original and typical African model.
The senior lecturer who spoke with The Guardian yesterday, argued that the African model he is talking about will be made up of harmony among the values of its cultural past and gifts of modern civilization most worthy of being accepted.
According to him, “This can be done by adopting this current six geo-political zone structure, North West, North East, North Central, South East, South South and South West. Each zone must have a parliament or house of assembly and presided over by the chairman of the Governor’s Forum form the zone.
“We will have central government with the President and Vice President and National Assembly. The national assembly will be represented by members from each state and zone. We will scrap the senate in order to lessen the cost of governance.”
Arinze further argued that by so doing, each zone and state will develop according to its own pace. “We should have state police or zonal police force. Each region, which is under federalism, develops and exploits resources in their region to develop their area and then pay tax to state and central governments.
“The federal government will only concern itself with issues relating to defence, external affairs, immigration and customs.”Speaking on the reservations of most Nigerians on the restructuring of the country, he said that major reason why some Nigerians are afraid of restructuring is because of resource control, adding that people no longer want to develop resources in their regions only to be taken over by the federal government.
“Everybody now depends on money got from crude oil sale. But Nigerians should realise that oil well may one day dry up. Even dependence on our oil was not as strong as before by countries that buy our oil.
Many people who buy our oil are developing alternatives. They have even electric cars that don’t use petrol.So, what do we fall back upon?” he asked.
He proffered a solution: “To remove the fears of those Nigerians who are apprehensive about resource control, we must alongside political restructuring include on economic restructuring.
“We may allow the mineral deposit to go to the centre so that revenues derived from minerals be shared according to 30 per cent to the state where the mineral deposit is derived, 30 per cent to the zone and 40 per cent to the central government. This formula is to allay the fears of those who are afraid of restructuring because of resource control.”
Arinze pointed out that apart from the major tribes of the Hausa, the Igbo and the Yoruba, there are other minority ethnic nationalities, stressing that as he is vouching for zonal or regional government, each government in the region will have its constitution to ensure that they develop at their own pace and also enhance healthy competition.
“The economic activities in the private sector would be higher than those of the public sector. There will be homogeneity and there will be no more cries of marginalization and demand for balkanization,” he maintained.
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