The clamour for the restructuring of Nigeria as a major panacea for the myriad of challenges facing the country has once again been brought to the front burner.
The latest protagonist of the much discussed national issue is no other person than the All Progressives Congress (APC) Vice Chairman, Lagos East Senatorial District and former Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Asipa Kaoli Olusanya who called for urgent restructuring if the country must make headway.
Asipa Olusanya, while speaking at the Constituency Stakeholders meeting organised by the Ikorodu Constituency l representative and the Major Leader of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. S.O.B. Agunbiade, at the Lagos State Polytechnic Permanent Campus, Ikorodu, said that nothing good can come of the system of government currently being run in the country if there is no restructuring.
He said that it is totally wrong for the Federal Republic of Nigeria to have a unitary system of government where the central (the federal government) commands all aspects of governance without ceding any control to the federal units (States).
“If we say Nigeria will be good, there is no way we will do it if we did not do a reform of the government structure. No amount panel beating that will make Nigeria stand. There must be a true Federal Republic of Nigeria where all the federating units will have access to their resources and be able to annex them for the good of their people in their respective states.
“It is totally wrong in a Federal Republic of Nigeria to have a unitary system of government where the Nigeria Police has a central command, the Custom has central command. How can somebody sits in Abuja and knows what is happening in Baiyeku? Does he know where Bayeku is? How can you post a policeman, maybe from Zamfara State and just drop him in ‘Area ‘N’ in Ijede, no allowance, no accommodation, nothing for him, you just dump him there.
Asipa Kaoli stated that the challenges facing the country presently is the failure of the current constitution being used in the country, stating that it was not designed by Nigerians.
“What we are seeing now is the total failure of the present system structure we are running now which is unitary. It is not we the people of Nigeria that made the current constitution that we are using presently.
He said that most of the resources that are supposed to be used by the states to develop their respective domains are being controlled by the federal government.
“When we are saying that this road is bad, that road is bad, but the resources to be used in repairing these roads, who is collecting them? It is the Federal Government. Lagos State has the highest number of schools in Nigeria and the federal government collect the highest tax on them, it also get almost 80% of the tax from Apapa Wharf, same goes for the petroleum. The Federal Government collect most of the taxes in Lagos State and these resources are taken away and we continue to ask for more handouts from the Federal Government.
Things does not work that way”.
The revered APC chieftain expressed his disappointment that the present structure of government in the country is depriving Lagos State the power over it resources despite its massive endowment.
“Lagos State is endowed but unfortunately, the structure of government we are using is denying us the power to our resources and there is no way the Lagos State government will reach out to a place like Gberigbe, Oke Afa, Agbede and rest with the present system.
“So, if truly we want to address the problems that led to the #EndSARS protest such as unemployment, infrastructure deficit, insecurity and the rest, the restructuring of the current system of government is inevitable.
“We have to reform. We have to restructure. That’s the only way out of our present predicament in this country,” Asipa Kaoli stated.