Fellow Nigerians, the Senate of the country has begun the process of amending the 1999 Constitution. However, the interesting thing about the process so far is that the Bill which seeks to reduce the powers of the Federal government has scaled the second reading.
The Bill, which was sponsored by Senator Akpor Pius Ewherido (DPP), Delta Central, wants the transfer of more responsibilities from the central government to the states, as the Federal Government is believed to have become too strong for a federal system of government which we claim to practice in Nigeria.
An implication of this particular Bill, if it eventually becomes a law, is that states will be able to make certain laws by themselves, and a good example is the issue of the state police which has generated a lot of controversies recently – with this law, whoever pleases may go ahead and create their own Police! Also, Lagos State has just announced plans to restrict the use of plate numbers from other states within the state. This, too, has raised a lot of eyebrows.
Generally, a law like this will help each state develop at their own pace – a situation which should normally lead to healthy competition among the states. The sponsor of the Bill sums it up best, saying the Bill will “allow the various states to develop and protect their core values, cultures and resources within their spatial sanctity and acceptable global practices.”
Well, that is his own idea. If YOU had the opportunity to change something in Nigeria’s constitution, what would that be?