Chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) and Senator representing Rivers South-East, Senator Magnus Abe has said that the recent recommendation by delegates at the ongoing national conference that 18 more states should be created is a mere academic exercise.
Senator Abe, who made this view known while speaking with reporters in Abuja on Thursday, said the problem has always been about revenue generation and not how money is shared among the different tiers of government.
It would be recalled that the national conference had on July 3, adopted the recommendation of its committee on Political Restructuring and Forms of Government, which proposed the creation of 18 additional states from the existing 36 states of the federation.
But the lawmaker argued that the conference being a “mere expansive advisory body” to President Goodluck Jonathan, can only recommend what the President has powers to implement.
“The problem in Nigeria is not the issue of how money is shared but how money is made. Creating 18 states on the present resources of the country to my mind will make the states poorer and make the citizens poorer because the quality of service delivery to the average citizen has continued to decline as the number of states increases.
“Any recommendation they make to the President that is outside the powers of the President to implement is no issue. The only body that is vested with the constitutional responsibility to create states is the National Assembly in conjunction with the State Houses of Assembly that can amend the constitution”, he said.
The senator insisted that creation of states has drastically reduced the amount of money available for service delivery to the citizens due to increasing recurrent expenditure occasioned by high number of public officials.