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No restructuring, No Development in Nigeria – Ex-Transcorp boss Ozigbo, Professor Olufunmilade

The Immediate Past Chief Executive of Transcorp Plc, Valentine Ozigbo, and Prof. Femi Olufunmilade have joined other leaders to demand that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to embark on restructuring of the country as promised in the APC manifesto.
The request is coming less than a month after Southern Leaders like Chief Ayo Adebanjo and Chief Nina Nwodo made a request for the restructuring of the country.
Speaking at the Zoom conference organised by Governance Index, the Former Transcorp boss said the best time to restructure the country is now adding that all economic indicators show Nigeria is in a big mess.
According to him, there is no other time to restructure this  country than now, we need to make the country more efficient.
Ozigbo said that restructuring will give the country ample opportunity to develop and be more efficient.
Speaking on the economic situation, Ozigbo said that country is in a big mess economically with current debt service ratio.
He said, “We are in big mess there is no doubt about it mind you, it is now we are going yo see manifestation of COVID-19, debt service which is clear indicator should give us source of concern, the debt can only come down unless you pay for it .”
In his presentation during the Zoom Conference, Prof. Olufunmilade, an academic at Igbinedion university, Okada, Edo state who canvassed for the urgent need for restructuring of the country extensively said that there is need for the federal government to unbundle itself adding that any state that cannot fend for itself should face the music.
Prof. Olufunmilade who expressed dissatisfaction with non-implementation of All Progressive Congress (APC) manifesto which hinged on restructuring said that majority of people in the North also want Nigeria to be restructured.
He added that the Minority in the North are simply using divide and rule to misinform North about restructuring adding President Buhari still have three years to implement the restructuring promised in the APC manifesto.
Speaking on the areas that needed to be restructured, he said the issue of ongoing killings in the North can only be addressed by state Police.
He said, “There is need for the Federal government to unbundle itself, any state that cannot fend for itself or it’s people should face the music, that was the spirit of the first republic that we always to look back to, which some longing for.
“At that time the regions were remitting money to the federal government. 20%  of their revenue were being remitted to the center, it was not other way round, the fiscal federalism we have is anti-development , states are made to look up to Abuja to collect money, their is therefore no incentive to look inward for internal revenue generation.

APC Failed Nigerians

“APC should look at the restructuring contained in it’s manifesto, why can’t the Governor of Zamfara  be able to allocate mine licenses to people, presently, if you want to mine you will need to come to Abuja to get approval. That is not right!
“Then you look at electricity, you cannot develop without electricity, see where we are with so much money going down the drain. we should have  state grid instead of National grid. Why can’t states have internal railway system, the power of Federal government should be unbundled.
“The So called Nigeria Police force is largely maintained by states.
The states fund them, fuel their patrol Vans, buy their equipments, but If the Commissioner of Police is not performing, governor cannot dismiss them, and yet they are collecting so much from the state.
“The fear that state police will be used to breakup is  unfounded,  it is a very narrow way of thinking. Look at it now, lives are being lost in the North daily, most of them are farmers that have never benefited anything from government, yet they can’t go to their farms , a governor is now carrying money to beg bandits, I have seen two governors from the North that are doing like that. They have given huge sum of money to beg bandits yet bandits are unrelenting.
“Sate police does not mean you will have same type of Police, if the major security problem is in the forest in your state, you will create forest rangers, you will have the station inside the forest if you are  going to be paying them N30,000 and you recruit 1000 youths you will be paying N360 million in a year which is not up to their monthly security votes.

Amotekun to the rescue

“Security belongs to all of us and we are all stakeholders, we can’t be cringed before those elected to serve us. Amotekun was not  the initiative of our governors in the South West, rather it was the collective will under self help by the people of the region.
“When we have state police, the focus and searchlight for performance will be on governors and not on Buhari. Nigeria is the only federation in the whole world that is practising centralized police system.
“I still see promise in a United Nigeria, but based on unequitable terms not in a situation where one section will be holding down the others, those who are against us are minority, but they try to divide us .
“If the conservative North do not want restructuring, we will force it on them, we must not joke with 2023, we dictate it on our terms.”
Also in his contribution, Director General at The heritage centre, Mr Katch Ononuju  said majority of the Northerners want restructuring, but the only people who are resisting progress are the Fulani.
According to him, Majority of people in the North want restructuring, it is only Fulani in Nigeria that are restricting restructuring.

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