Against popular opinion that Nigeria’s restructuring could take years to accomplish, former President Atiku Abubakar says it can be done in six months – for some sectors.
The former vice president stated this while delivering a lecture on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka .
Atiku called for the reduction in the power and roles of the federal government adding that some items on the concurrent list should be returned to the states.
“Restructuring means amending the current federal structure so it comes closer to what our founding leaders established, in response to the very issues and challenges that led them to opt for a less centralized system,” Atiku said.
“It means devolving more powers to the federating units with the accompanying resources. It means greater control by the federating units of the resources in their areas.
“The epidemic of federal take-over of state and voluntary organizations, schools and hospitals which began in the 1970s must be reversed.
“Some of what my ideas of restructuring involve require constitutional amendment; some do not. Take education and roads for instance. The federal government can immediately start the process of transferring federal roads to the state governments along with the resources it expends on them.
“In the future if the federal government identifies the need for a new road that would serve the national interest, it can support the affected states to construct such roads, and thereafter leave the maintenance to the states, which can collect tolls from road users for the purpose.
“The federal government does not need a constitutional amendment to start that process. The same goes for education and health care. We do not need a constitutional amendment to transfer federal universities and colleges as well as hospitals to the states where they are located.