The Niger Delta Enterprise Initiative (NDEI) commends the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike for leading and reviving the call for the full adoption of true federalism in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
It is unfortunate that five decades after independence from colonial British, the Nigeria, a nation made up of federating states is yet to live up to the dictates of true federalism and fiscal federalism.
We believe that the continued failings of the Nigerian state over the past decades have been as a result of this refusal to restructure the Nigerian state and adopt true federalism in line with Nigeria’s federated structure.
We also believe that the bold moves made by Malaysia and Indonesia, countries often cited by Nigerian political leaders, were as a result of the bold moves made to restructure those countries in line with the social, political and economical differences of the citizens of those countries.
NDEI therefore calls on the Governors of all Niger Delta States to rise up and lend their voices to the renewed clamour for true federalism and fiscal federalism.
NDEI calls on State Governors to support, encourage and drive across board, enlightenment and awareness programs in their various states to educate their people on federalism so that the people would understand the causes and foundation of federal systems, understand what federal systems require to be self-enforcing, understand how different units of government interact with each other and the public and then understand how federal institutions affect political outcomes, including fostering democratic values, diversity and good policy.
While we understand and remain aware of the many controversies surrounding true federalism, resource control and restructuring, NDEI believes strongly that these will greatly promote efficiency in governance and self-reliance amongst all ties of government.
It is also our belief that effective fiscal federalism will also energize our politics because by making the states more financially independent of the center and more fiscally responsible, citizens and voters in the various states will ensure that they vote only chief executives/Governors who have a track record of efficiency and prudence and so are more prepared to prudentially manage their resources and run an efficient and productive government.
Kerley George, Programme Coordinator, Niger Delta Enterprise Initiative
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