APC c’ttee: States di­vided over LG au­ton­omy, power de­vo­lu­tion

Sunday Trust - - ANALYSIS -

By Muideen Olaniyi (Abuja), Rakiya A. Muham­mad (Sokoto), Yusha’u A. Ibrahim (Kano), Lami Sadiq, Bashir Li­man (Jos), Us­man A. Bello (Benin), Jeremiah Oke (Ibadan), Romoke W. Ah­mad (Ilorin), & Balarabe Alka­s­sim (Bauchi)

The 22- mem­ber Com­mit­tee on True Fed­er­al­ism con­sti­tuted by the rul­ing All Pro­gres­sives Congress (APC) held its zonal public con­sul­ta­tions be­tween Septem­ber 18 and 28, 2017.

The com­mit­tee, split into three teams, with each team han­dling two geo-po­lit­i­cal zones in the country. Gov­er­nor Ab­dul­lahi Umar Gan­duje of Kano State led Team 1 which cov­ered States from South-South and North-Cen­tral zones. Pro­fes­sor Oser­heimen Osun­bor headed Team 2 which cov­ered states from South-East and North-East region. Gov­er­nor Si­mon La­long of Plateau State was in charge of Team 3 that moved to the states in the South­West and North-West region.

The 12 is­sues that formed part of the in­ter­rac­tions at the zones in­cluded cre­ation/merger of States; deriva­tion prin­ci­ple, de­vo­lu­tion of pow­ers, fed­er­at­ing units, fis­cal fed­er­al­ism and rev­enue al­lo­ca­tion, form of gov­ern­ment, in­de­pen­dent can­di­dacy, land ten­ure sys­tem, local gov­ern­ment au­ton­omy, power shar­ing and ro­ta­tion, re­source con­trol and type of leg­is­la­ture.

Daily Trust on Sun­day, in this piece, takes a look at the out­come of the zonal con­sul­ta­tions held in 12 cen­tres across the country. Diver­gent views in North-West At the Sokoto centre for APC North-West zonal public hear­ing, Sokoto, Kebbi and Zam­fara States ex­pressed sim­i­lar views on a number of is­sues, in­clud­ing the de­vo­lu­tion of power, cre­ation/merger of states, deriva­tion prin­ci­ple, fis­cal fed­er­al­ism and rev­enue al­lo­ca­tion, land ten­ure sys­tem, power shar­ing and ro­ta­tion, type of leg­is­la­ture and re­source con­trol.

The three states, however, voiced diver­gent views on the is­sues such as the form of gov­ern­ment, in­de­pen­dent can­di­dacy, and local gov­ern­ment au­ton­omy.

De­vo­lu­tion of power: A former deputy gov­er­nor, Chiso Ab­dul­lahi, pre­sented Sokoto State’s po­si­tions on the var­i­ous is­sues. Sokoto be­lieves that the fed­eral gov­ern­ment needs to trans­fer cer­tain power and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties to states with com­men­su­rate fi­nan­cial re­sources to dis­charge the tasks. The Kebbi State Com­mis­sioner for Land and Hous­ing , Al­haji Chica Ladan, who pre­sented State’s view­points, backed the po­si­tion of Sokoto State. Ladan added that the fed­eral gov­ern­ment should en­gage in mat­ters of na­tional interest, in­clud­ing de­fence, immigration, and for­eign af­fairs etc. Zam­fara also said that states should be given more pow­ers.

Cre­ation of new states: Sokoto wants the cur­rent 36-state struc­ture main­tained in view of the cur­rent re­al­i­ties, not­ing that ques­tions are al­ready be­ing raised as to the vi­a­bil­ity of some of the ex­ist­ing states. Kebbi be­lieves that the cur­rent 36 states and the Fed­eral Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory (FCT) are ad­e­quate, con­sid­er­ing the tensed po­lit­i­cal cli­mate in the country. Zam­fara also wants the sta­tus quo main­tained.

Form of gov­ern­ment: Kebbi can­vasses par­lia­men­tary sys­tem of gov­ern­ment in Nigeria, while Sokoto and Zam­fara states urge that the pres­i­den­tial sys­tem be main­tained.

In­de­pen­dent can­di­dacy: While Sokoto and Zam­fara sup­port in­de­pen­dent can­di­dacy as a means to strengthen demo­cratic ideals and par­tic­i­pa­tion by all ci­ti­zens with­out dis­crim­i­na­tion, Kebbi op­poses the idea, stat­ing that it will make elec­tions too cum­ber­some to han­dle.

LG au­ton­omy: Sokoto backs au­ton­omy to local gov­ern­ment, con­sid­er­ing its im­por­tance to ru­ral trans­for­ma­tion and grass roots de­vel­op­ment. But Kebbi wants the sta­tus quo main­tained, stat­ing that local gov­ern­ment should be un­der ad­min­is­tra­tive su­per­vi­sion of states.

Leg­is­la­ture: The three states call for uni­cam­eral leg­is­la­ture. Sokoto, which notes that it is too ex­pen­sive to main­tain a bi­cam­eral leg­is­la­ture in Nigeria, adds that the leg­is­la­ture at fed­eral and state lev­els should be made to op­er­ate on part-time ba­sis.

Deriva­tion prin­ci­ple and rev­enue al­lo­ca­tion shar­ing for­mu­lar: The three states call for a re­view of deriva­tion for­mula and rev­enue al­lo­ca­tion shar­ing for­mula. Kebbi sug­gests that the deriva­tion prin­ci­ple as con­tained in con­sti­tu­tion should be main­tained but adds that 13 per cent be­ing given to states un­der deriva­tion is high, rec­om­mend­ing eight per cent.

Kebbi adds that eight per cent deriva­tion should be ex­tended to HYPADEC and hy­dro power pro­duc­ing states such as Niger, Kebbi and oth­ers.

On the rev­enue shar­ing for­mula, Kebbi sug­gests that the rev­enue shar­ing should be in ra­tio of 40:40:20 for fed­eral, state and local gov­ern­ments re­spec­tively.

Sokoto says 13 per cent deriva­tion given to oil pro­duc­ing states should be limited to rev­enue gen­er­ated from off­shore ex­plo­ration only, adding that the for­mu­lar should ap­ply to all rev­enues de­rived from min­er­als and agri­cul­tural re­sources from all states of the fed­er­a­tion.

Sokoto rec­om­mends rev­enue shar­ing for­mula of 43 per cent for the fed­eral gov­ern­ment, 35 per cent for states and 22 per cent for local gov­ern­ment coun­cils. Zam­fara, which also notes that the ex­ist­ing deriva­tion for­mu­lar is not fair, calls for a for­mula that is fair to all.

Land Ten­ure: The three states want the cur­rent land ten­ure sys­tem. Kebbi adds that fed­eral gov­ern­ment should be en­gaged in the de­vel­op­ment of the min­eral re­sources as done in the de­vel­op­ment of oil.

Gov­er­nor Aminu Tam­buwal, in his re­marks, said the APC de­cided to hold the public hear­ing on true fed­er­al­ism to en­sure in­clu­sive­ness.

Gov­er­nor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State said the event showed the APC’s com­mit­ment to demo­cratic norm.

Kano, Katsina op­pose de­vo­lu­tion of power

At the Kano centre for the public hear­ing, Kano and Katsina States op­posed the de­vo­lu­tion of cen­tral gov­ern­ment, say­ing the fed­eral gov­ern­ment should rather be strength­ened fi­nan­cially to en­sure ef­fec­tive ser­vice de­liv­ery.

Gov­er­nor Ab­dul­lahi Umar Gan­duje of Kano State and his Katsina State coun­ter­part, Aminu Bello Masari, made the po­si­tion of the two states known while ad­dress­ing a mam­moth crowd at the zonal public hear­ing held last Thurs­day.

Ji­gawa State, however, sup­ported de­vo­lu­tion of power.

Sub­mit­ting the me­moran­dum of the state, the Sec­re­tary to the Ji­gawa State Gov­ern­ment, Al­haji Adamu Ab­dulka­dir Fanani, said cer­tain pow­ers of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment, espe­cially in the ar­eas of agri­cul­ture, ed­u­ca­tion and health should be re­ferred to state gov­ern­ments.

Re­source con­trol, land ten­ure dom­i­nate in North Cen­tral

The land ten­ure sys­tem and the is­sue of re­source con­trol for states that pro­duce solid min­er­als dom­i­nated last Thurs­day’s North Cen­tral zonal public hear­ing for Plateau, Benue and Nasarawa States.

The meet­ing, which was chaired by Gov­er­nor Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State, had in at­ten­dance the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Gov­er­nor La­long of Plateau State and Gov­er­nor Sa­muel Or­tom of Benue State as well as the party chief­tains and traditional lead­ers.

The Di­rec­tor Gen­eral, Re­search, Strate­gic Plan­ning and Doc­u­men­ta­tion, Plateau State, Prof. John Wade, while stat­ing the views of state gov­ern­ment, said “we pro­duce solid min­eral, but don’t en­joy all that our other broth­ers in the south en­joy. This should be ad­dressed.”

While pre­sent­ing the po­si­tion for Benue State, the Le­gal Ad­viser to the APC in the state, Bar­ris­ter Omale Omale, said that the state sup­ports state po­lice and local gov­ern­ment au­ton­omy. Omale said that the sta­tus quo should re­main on the is­sue of land ten­ure sys­tem.

The APC chair­man in Nasarawa State, Philip Tatari Shekwo, said the state and the party had the same po­si­tion on is­sues of fed­er­at­ing units, form of gov­ern­ment and rev­enue that had been captured in the Nige­rian con­sti­tu­tion.

Delta del­e­gates seek part-time leg­is­la­ture

At the centre in Benin, only Delta State made pre­sen­ta­tion and sub­mit­ted me­moran­dum out of the three states of Edo, Bayelsa and Delta.

Bayelsa State was ab­sent at the meet­ing. Edo State that was present nei­ther made pre­sen­ta­tion nor sub­mit­ted any me­moran­dum dur­ing the meet­ing.

Though the meet­ing was held with­out hitches, the organisers were dis­ap­pointed that Bayelsa State was ab­sent, while Edo State could nei­ther make pre­sen­ta­tion nor sub­mit me­moran­dum.

Only two eth­nic groups; Ndokwa and Ika Eth­nic groups in Delta state made pre­sen­ta­tions dur­ing the meet­ing and they ad­vo­cated part-time Na­tional As­sem­bly and de­vo­lu­tion of power among oth­ers.

Gov­er­nor God­win Obaseki of Edo State pleaded for the ex­ten­sion of sub­mis­sion of me­moran­dum by seven days to en­able them reach out to peo­ple at the local gov­ern­ment to make their in­puts. Se­na­tor Ibikunle Amo­sun led the APC team.

La­gos, Oyo, Ogun de­vo­lu­tion of pow­ers

The Ibadan meet­ing was chaired by the Plateau State gov­er­nor and had par­tic­i­pants from La­gos, Ogun, and Oyo States.

In a com­mu­nique is­sued at the end of the meet­ing, the sum­mit re­solved that the ex­ist­ing 36-state struc­ture and the FCT should be re­tained and sus­tained.

On deriva­tion prin­ci­ple, the meet­ing agree that 50 per cent of the rev­enue ac­cru­able from the re­sources in each state should be given back to such state.

Also on the de­vo­lu­tion of power, the three states noted that power is over-con­cen­trated at the centre and there­fore, more pow­ers should be de­volved to the con­stituent states of the fed­er­a­tion.

They agreed that the state should con­trol its min­eral de­posit found in their re­spec­tive do­mains and pay roy­alty to the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment on agreed terms.

The com­mu­nique ad­vo­cated that Nigeria should re­tain the cur­rent bi-cam­eral leg­isla­tive sys­tem with a slight mod­i­fi­ca­tion to make it part-time with mem­bers col­lect­ing only sit­ting al­lowances as deemed ap­pro­pri­ate.

The Oyo state gov­er­nor, Se­na­tor Abi­ola Aji­mobi, was rep­re­sented by his deputy, Chief Moses Alake.

The Ogun State gov­er­nor, Se­na­tor Amo­sun, was rep­re­sented by his chief of staff, Chief Tolu Ode­biyi. Gov­er­nor Ak­in­wunmi Am­bode of La­gos State, was also rep­re­sented by Prince Abio­dun Ogunl­eye.

In North-Cen­tral, stake­hold­ers want FG al­lo­ca­tion re­duced to 40%

Stake­hold­ers at the APC North Cen­tral zonal public hear­ing called for de­vo­lu­tion of power and the re­duc­tion of the 52% rev­enue al­lo­ca­tion ac­cru­able to fed­eral gov­ern­ment to ei­ther 30 or 40 per­cent.

They agreed on the unity of the country, in­de­pen­dent can­di­dacy, de­vo­lu­tion of power and local gov­ern­ment au­ton­omy but re­jected the idea of cre­at­ing new states. The Yoruba speak­ing part of Kogi State, however, clam­oured for the cre­ation of their state be­cause of marginal­i­sa­tion.

The stake­hold­ers, at the meet­ing in Ilorin last Mon­day, were led by a mem­ber of the com­mit­tee, Gov­er­nor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State, Gov­er­nor Ab­dul­fa­tah Ahmed of Kwara State, and Gov­er­nor Sanni Bello of Niger State, who was rep­re­sented by spe­cial ad­viser, po­lit­i­cal mat­ters, Mr Solomon Nyaze.

Diver­gent views at North-East public hear­ing

Var­i­ous groups that sub­mit­ted me­moran­dum at the public hear­ing held in Bauchi last Mon­day ex­pressed diver­gent views. The North East sub-com­mit­tee headed by Se­na­tor Osun­bor held the public hear­ing for Bauchi, Borno and Yobe States.

Bauchi State Gov­er­nor Mo­hammed Abubakar, who was rep­re­sented by his Deputy, Engi­neer Nuhu Gi­dado, called for de­vo­lu­tion of power.

Borno State Gov­er­nor Kashim Shet­tima was rep­re­sented by the Speaker of the State House of As­sem­bly, Ab­dukarim Lawal, while Yobe State Gov­er­nor Ibrahim Gei­dam, was rep­re­sented by the Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary, Gov­ern­ment House, Lawal Has­san. want

Chief John Odigie-Oye­gun, APC Na­tional Chair­man

Gov Nasir El-Ru­fai leads APC c’ttee on true fed­er­al­ism

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.