Atiku reveals what will happen to states after Nigeria’s restructuring

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Nigeria's Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has revealed what will happen to the 36 states of the federation after the country is restructured.

According to him, the 36 states will acquire more powers which will enable them to generate more resources for regional development.

He stated this in Abuja at the 3rd edition of the Policy Monitoring Dialogue Series on National Unity, Integration, and Devolution of Power/Restructuring held on Friday.

Atiku said Nigerians who were agitating for restructuring should not be bullied into silence, adding that violence and intimidation cannot replace sound arguments.

The former Vice-President said: "Restructuring to me, means effecting changes to our current federal structure, it means devolution of more powers to the federating units with their accompanying resources.

"After restructuring, states will get more resources than they are currently getting, they are simply lazy.

"Restructuring will ensure greater accountability. People are more likely to hold their state and local governments to account once those governments are no longer able to convincingly blame the central government for their shortcomings.

"Restructuring will promote healthy competition among our federating units, which will encourage them to diversify their revenue sources.

"Restructuring will ensure greater fairness and a perception of same among our constituent parts.

"Beyond these, there is also another huge economic imperative for us to restructure: oil, which underlined and underwrote our excessive centralization and fragmentation into numerous unviable states, and which has been at the centre of much of our squabbles, seems to have reached its peak as source of revenues for our country.

"In fact, long-term, it seems to be on a downward trajectory. And even if its contribution to our revenues were to remain at current levels in the long term, it still spells trouble for our economy and the unsustainable structure which it has supported for nearly 50 years.

"The states or zones of the country that are most dependent on oil revenues have a greater urgency to decouple themselves from that dependency now that there is still some oil revenue to assist them in the transition.

"That window may not remain open for a long time, which may then make the inevitable transition much more painful and chaotic.

"New technologies of oil production have hugely increased oil output, especially in the US. This, as well as the massive investments in alternative energy sources around the world, has depressed oil prices.

"And things are going to get worse for oil dependent economies."

Also speaking was the former Secretary General of the Common Wealth, Emeka Anyaoku.

Anyaoku on his part, insisted that a return to a regional system of government will hasten socio-economic development of the country's regions.

"Restructuring will be the panacea of most of our current challenges. The powerful centre that we have which breeds the do or die competition for the control of that centre – I would suggest that the 36 states, they should remain as parts of the six federating units, they should become development zones within the six federating units," he said.

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