How Nigeria Can Be Great Again – Anyaoku

Elder statesman and former Commonwealth Secretary General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku has said Nigeria can be great if leaders do the needful, which entails restructuring Nigeria into true fiscal federation with powers devolved to the federating units as was practised in the First Republic.

“We are facing serious crises now. Nigeria cannot achieve peace, stability and development without a far-reaching change to the existing order,” said Anyaoku at the weekend in Lagos, during the meritorious awards and reception organised by Ndigbo Lagos for eight Igbo sons and a daughter, who recently left public service.

Anyaoku linked the raging violence and insecurity, especially in the North-East, the challenge of fast-tracking development to provide employment for youths and other adverse social vices to “inappropriate governance.”

“Inappropriate governance, since the military intervened in 1966, is the cause of the problems because it ended true federalism under which the country was making faster development in our early years of independence.

“The challenge of the National Conference is to produce a consensus for restructuring the present architecture of the country. The conference will be a monumental failure if it fails to reach a consensus on restructuring Nigeria into a true federalism.

“Nigeria should ideally be restructured into a federation of six regions based on the six geo-political zones with most of the powers devolved to the zones to enable each region develop at its own pace.”

He said in considering allocation of revenue, there is need to look at man-made resources and God-given resources like minerals and petroleum.

“For equity, God-given resources should be allocated in the following manner: Federal Government, 20-23 percent; mineral-producing areas, 15-17 percent, and six regions, 60 percent.

“Under this structure, the states should remain as developing areas in the regions. The benefits of the restructuring include a massive reduction in recurrent revenue, which is currently 70 percent and more funds will be available for capital development;

“The do-or-die political competition for the centre, which fans the embers of religious and ethnic sentiments, will end; there will be faster socio-economic development, greater accountability and reduction of corruption.

“There will be healthier competition and emulation among the regions as obtained in the early days of our independence.”

Those honoured at the event were Mr. Peter Obi, immediate past governor of Anambra State; General Azubuike Ihejirika, former Chief of Army Staff; Admiral Dele Ezeoba, former Chief of Naval Staff; Professor Barth Nnaji, former Minister of Power; Princess Stella Oduah, former Minister of Aviation.

Others are Mr. Reginald Chika Stanley, former Executive Secretary of PPPRA; Mr. Reginald Ihejiahi, former Managing Director/CEO of Fidelity Bank; Mr. Chima Ibeneche, former NLNG Managing Director, and Mr. Ken Igbokwe, former Price Water House, West Africa Managing Partner.

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