- As Badaru pledges to host 2022 NPSA Conference
The former Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega has called for a three phased restructuring agenda for the country.
Jega whose paper was delivered by Prof. Habu Mohammed at the maiden North West zonal conference of the National Association of Political Science hosted by the Federal University Dutse with the theme Federalism and Restructuring in Nigeria: Perspectives, Challenges and Prospects, proposed a short term, medium term and long term phases of restructuring for Nigeria.
He advised government that from 2021 to 2023, a compact but broad based technical committee should be set up to review the report of Political Reform Conference and the National Conference and synthesize and prioritize their recommendations for implementation in accordance with the 3 phases of short, medium and long term agenda.
Prof. Jega said Federal Legislative list should be reviewed in order to transfer power to states in matters of Basic education, Primary and Secondary Healthcare,Agriculture and rural development, Police, Housing and Urban Development among others.
The Professor of Political Science also suggested that the Federal Governmnt should begin a systematic dismantling of the behemoth MDAs, adopt the practices of giving grants to state and local governments, introduce governance reform to improve efficiency, reposition anti corruption war, improve taxation and strengthen checks and balances.
The Keynote Speaker said from 2023 – 2027, government should implement the prioritized recommendations of technical committee and handover more responsibilities to the states which by then would have developed greater capacity and competence to shoulder such powers relating to seas, and airports, judiciary, pension, postal services, telecommunications etc.
From 2027 and beyond he said government can pursue other pertinent constitutional and administrative reforms as may be necessary in order to keep improving the efficacy of the Nigerian Federal system and governance process.
Jega said the essence of the restructuring is to reduce the power and resources of the federal government in the concurrent legislative lists in the 1999 constitution, increase power and resources of state on the state legislative lists, devolve powers and resources from states to local governments, creation of Development Areas and review resource allocation and sharing formula.
Earlier in his remark, the Governor of Jigawa state, Alhaji Muhammad Badaru Abubakar thanked the organisers for choosing Jigawa to host the conference adding that the theme of the conference is timely as we match towards 2023. He said he will personally take the conference communique to Northern Governors Forum and the Nigerian Governors Forum. He pledged to host the 2022 NPSA National Conference in Jigawa.
The Vice- Chancellor, Professor Abdulkarim Sabo Mohammed, thanked the governor for finding time from his tight schedules to grace the occasion. He said the papers that would be presented at the conference would profer solutions to the issues of restructuring in Nigeria.
In his good will message, the Wazirin Dutse, Alhaji Bashir Dalhatu who represented the Emir of Dutse,Alhaji Dr. Nuhu Muhammadu Sanusi said it is impossible to restructure the country because those advocating for restructuring has enjoyed a lot of political concession from the north but are unwilling to accept a democratic process when it comes to issues affecting the north.
Hon. Faruk Adamu Aliyu said time has come for citizens to ask for the source of the accumulated wealth of politicians rather asking for crumbs. He said the electorate should ask their elected representative on the bills they have initiated to benefit their constituencies.