Restructuring is the changing of the political and fiscal structure of Nigeria, with the principles of fiscal federalism and devolution of powers as the key drivers of intergovernmental relations in the polity.
The greatest resources is the human resources, and Nigeria clearly has it in abundance cum a plethora of other material resources necessary for her to be in the top 10 of the most developed countries in the world by per capita income. Paradoxically we are the world capital of extreme poverty, the third most terrorized country in the world, home to highest number of out of school children in the world, and with the worst of police force.
Little wonder the late Prof. chinua Achebe averted “The trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership”. However, it’s to our belief that the current structure of Nigeria had also contributed to the woes troubles with Nigeria.
The early Nigeria of the 60’s as we know it and as obtainable in our history, was a just society under the perfect federal constitution of that age, which to all intents and purposes enabled the three regions to engage in a progressive healthy productive competition to developing their human and material resources. Hence the federal constitution naturally bore a well diversified economy for the country, without any of the regions waiting on the federal government for the welfare of their people, in consideration of the vast groundnut pyramids of the Northern region, the vast cocoa export of the Western region, and the massive palm oil export of the Eastern region during the first republic.
Hence, we say the federal government of the modern Nigeria had put too much on with some over 60 items under its exclusive preserve, leaving the federating states to be unable to guarantee the welfare of their people to the maximum, as they had been striped of those powers needed to do so. This expectedly made Nigeria the most complicated federal arrangement.
And these complications and injustice with our modern federation had spanned a lot agitations an conflicts which had hindered economic growth and development in the country.
It’s in our believe that with a restructured Nigeria, as well as with a balanced local government system, the youth and other Nigerians only have to look up to their local council officials who are more closer to them for their welfarism and development.
And what’s more, the El-Rufai committee on restructuring was claimed to have arrived at same findings that were arrived at in the 2014 National Confab.
Therefore we call on the Nigerian government to begin a faithful implementation of the findings of 2014 national confab. So that we can return the country to a just society, with accelerated growth and development for the youth and other Nigerians.
*OUR POSITION ON THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT 774, 000 JOB SCHEME*
Critical times, calls for critical decision. Nigeria an economy of 450 billion dollars, with a 23.1% unemployment, 20.21 % underemployment, with 55.4% of youth unemployment/underemployment—( National Bureau of Statistics).
The 774, 000 jobs considered by the federal government is quite expedient particularly at this very time, and in consideration of the unemployment rate in the country, particularly the youth unemployment/underemployment rate.
However, the first question we’re asking about this job scheme is its unsustainability. The little information that can be picked up about this scheme is that beneficiaries will be engaged in sweeping public places. If so, why for three months? We must assume that there are indeed public spaces that need sweeping, or else there will be no need to engage 774, 000 Nigerians to do it, but has a new magic sweeping formula that keeps a place eternally clean, after it had been swept for three months been discovered? If not, what happens to these public places after three months, when the youths have been disengage? N60, 000 per beneficially per month multiplies by three months multiplied by N774, 000 goes down the drain or what? We are talking of N52 billion here? Or N46.44 billion, to be exact, this is a big sum that must be targeted well.
Again ask the Nigerian government and its officials, what becomes of the youth after the three months of engagement in the job scheme, do we send them jobless back to their parents, to the street and or to the neighborhood ?
Secondly, the tango between the National Assembly joint committee and Mr Festus Kayamo SAN delaying the implementation of the proposed jobs, though which had allegedly been resolved now was a source of national embarrassment and it leaves much to be which in itself is a question to be addressed? Or not?
Thirdly, many questions were raised, at least in the south Western states of Lagos and Oyo, about the morale behind the inclusion of the likes of Musiliu Akinsaya A. K. A MC oluomo in Lagos state and alhaji olajide Abideen A. K. A Ejiogbe in Oyo state, on the selection committee of a federal government job scheme initiative. What qualifies them to be appointed to the committee that will supervise the employment of young people, many of them with an education and certificates, who cherish dignity of labour? Is Oluomo and Ejiogbe such glowing role models or shining examples? Are we not building a society where knowledge and education takes back seat and rascality and miscreants are openly rewarded?
Finally, what is the true nature of those 774, 000 jobs, street sweeping or vaccine testing?
We call on the Nigerian government to please as a matter of public importance, address these potential questions and issues raised on the said job scheme.
Mr Aare Ayo Salami, National Director of Strategy NYPR.