The President of African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has thrown his weight behind the call for the restructuring of the country, saying restructuring should not be driven by “political expediency but by economic and financial viability.”
Akinwumi, who spoke as the guest lecturer in Akure at the second term inauguration lecture in preparation of the next tenure of the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, said, “Economic and financial viability are the necessary and sufficient conditions for political viability.”
The former minister of Agriculture added, “The resources found in each state or state groupings should belong to them. The constituent entities should pay federal taxes or royalties for those resources.
“The achievement of economically viable entities and the viability of the national entity require constitutional changes to devolve more economic and fiscal powers to the states or regions, thus, the stronger the states or the region, the stronger the federating units. Our union would be stronger.
“Instead of the Federal Government of Nigeria, we could think of the United States of Nigeria or the Commonwealth of Nigeria. The old will pass away for the new. We would change the mind-set between the states and Abuja; the fulcrum would be the states, while the centre would support them, not lord over them.”
He submitted that with good governance and better accountability systems and a zero tolerance for corruption, much economically “stronger constituent states would emerge” in the country.
In his remarks, the Ondo State Governor and Chairman South West Governors’ Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu, declared that the governors in the region would continue to fight against criminalities in the area with all legal means.
The governor said he was not disturbed by the criticism from some quarters against his steps to fight insecurity in the recent time, said the fight against criminalities in the region was not targeted at any ethnic group in the country.
He said, “Today, the most potent threat to national belief is insecurity. And because we have allowed a sustained, non-beneficial stagnation for too long in our approach, the consequences are increasingly becoming more daring. The time to act is now, not tomorrow. As leaders, the choices we make create the path to our desires. We cannot pretend that all is well when indeed, more things are going wrong.”