By Akpos Oghenetega,
Former President, Chief Olusengun Obasanjo, has cautioned federal government against hushing the call for restructuring in Nigeria.
Obasanjo made the call while presenting a plaque to Prof. Ehosa Osaghae, the Convocation Lecturer at the National Open University (NOUN) on Friday in Abuja.
According to him, “We should not sweep the quest for restructuring under the carpet. Let us talk about it.”
Obasanjo, according to News Agency of Nigeria report, is among 14, 771 persons expected to receive honours at the 7th convocation of NOUN on Jan. 20.
The former president is expected to receive a doctorate in Christian Theology.
Osaghae, had earlier in lecture titled` `Restructuring and True Federalism: Nigeria in Perspective’’ said that restructuring should start from the subnational units of the federation.
He said that states had performed poorly in the provision of social amenities and infrastructure despite their allocations.
“The states, which are responsible for over 50 per cent of public sector expenditures, have performed very poorly in the delivery of basic social services and infrastructure.
“It is ironic that allegations of marginalization, exclusion and injustice allude to poor roads, absence of running water, hospitals and schools, erosion, unemployment and the like-matters which the states and local governments should take responsibility.
“A major part of the problem of the states has to do with poor governance variables-low levels or absence of accountability and unrestrained powers of governors who have emasculated the capacities of states legislative assemblies, political parties, traditional rulers and civil societies.
“Local governments are of course far worse than the states which practically strangulate them; though the real problem with local governments is that they are inorganic and artificial to function as accountable units of governance,’’ he said.
Osaghae, who is the Vice-Chancellor of Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo state identified the National Assembly which has consolidated itself as a harbinger of federal might rather an assembly of representatives of constituents units.
He said that a sore point of the agitation for true federalism was the over centralised structure of fiscal relations that left the constituents unable to function effectively as autonomous units in their own right.