Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State has said that it’s time for Nigeria to begin the process of restructuring.
He argued that in order for states not to suffer a tyranny of unfunded mandate, Nigeria should reduce the items of the exclusive list to Defence, National Security and Customs operations.
The Governor stated this in an interview with Channels Television on Sunday evening.
Fayemi said, “Barely a month ago, I gave a lecture at the 50th anniversary of Arewa house in Kaduna, and I spoke specifically on this.
“My definition of it is, nation-building is a continuous process. At this point in time, based on the experience we have all had in Nigeria, it’s time to reduce the number of items we have on our exclusive list to a few, and those few, I mentioned, are defence, nation security, economy and customs.”
Fayemi added that restructuring should also include the devolution of resources to the states, which would enable a framework for regional revenue and allocation.
“Every other thing on the list should be devolved to the state. In order for the state to not suffer a tyranny of unfunded mandate, you don’t just devolve responsibilities, you devolve resources.
“So you need to change the framework for revenue allocation and distribution in Nigeria… We will continue to review and refine the structure of the country. That’s why constitutional reform process is on.”
The Governor added that the National Assembly was the only body required by the constitution to review the Nigerian constitution.
“The National assembly is the body saddled with the responsibility to review the constitution of Nigeria, and the process for doing that is clearly stated in the 1999 constitution and I believe that process has started.”
On insecurity, Fayemi urged for state and local level policing to complement the federal policing efforts in the fight against insecurity.
“The issue at hand has to deal with the territorial integrity of Nigeria. This is a war that has crossed over our territory and it is the central government that has responsibility.
“Even if you structure Nigeria, defense will still be on the exclusive list. Even if you devolve security operations, the ones devolved would be internal security.
“I am strong a believer in devolution of resources to where government is closest to the people… Governors have argued security operations would be more accountable if they are devolved to the lower end of government responsibilities.
“It’s not a diminution to the role of federal policing; it’s complementary addition of other levels of policing. We talk about about multi level policing rather; an exchange of federal with state policing.
“At the state level, there are crimes that are exclusively local state based. We are not just suggesting state policing, but also local government policing, and even campus level policing for smaller institutions.
“That will always be our (Governors) position. It’s not an exchange for federal for state; federal will still be critical to maintaining internal security operations in our country.”
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