Yakasai derides calls for true federalism

Wants agric to replace crude oil as a cash cow

Elder statesman, Tanko Yakasai, has described renewed calls for true federalism in the country as uncalled for in the prevailing circumstances.

In a chat with The Guardian yesterday, expressed concern over the fall in the price of crude oil, which is the mainstay of the economy, in the international market.

The rights activist and founding member of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) described the development as a tragedy to the country grappling to contain the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and hunger in the land.

According to him, it behoves the authorities to channel their energies towards revamping the agricultural sector of the economy, since the former mainstay of the economy has become near worthless.

His words, “There is nothing like true federalism. Countries adopt the concept of federalism that suits their local peculiarities as we have seen in America and nearby Canada. We have been doing so already, as could be observed in the implementation of the value added tax (VAT) and in agriculture.

“Those agitating for it in whatever term do not mean well for the country. All the talks about it are rubbish and balderdash. It’s just unfortunate that the fall in oil price has once again taken us unawares. None of our experts envisaged that the coronavirus would lead to this sort of catastrophe.”

Nigeria, he argued, can make up with agriculture.

“Nature abhors vacuum. I am sure the government will find a way round the problem, but the country can never be the same again. I had always stated that it was dangerous to rely solely on oil proceeds to run the economy.

“The other day, I was telling a friend from Akwa Ibom that a time would come when oil money cannot buy food for us. I didn’t know it would come this fast. It is left for the states of the federation to look inward in that direction. Our concern now is how to cope with hunger, unemployment and payment of salaries across the federation?” he added.

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