The need for Nigeria to devolve resources to constituent units in the interest of overall development of the nation was again emphasised Tuesday by president of African Development Bank (ADB), Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina.
Speaking at a public lecture organised as part of the activities marking 2nd term inauguration of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu in Akure on the theme :“Towards A New Nigeria: From Federal Fatherism To A CommonWealth,” Adesina said devolution of resources presently concentrated at the centre will be of benefit towards development of component states.
Addesina who spoke virtually said: “With resources concentrated at the centre, states are ever dependent on the centre. With the magnetic field of federal revenue allocations, states are constantly pulled, powerlessly into perennial dependency.”
He stated that Nigeria’s federalism does not grow its constituent entities but simply make them perpetually dependent on whatever crumbles come from the centre.
The ADB boss noted that the Nigerian system is not federalism… but ‘fatherism’.
He advised that the resources found in each state or state groupings should belong to them and the constituent entities should pay federal taxes or royalties for the resources.
Adesina stated further that the stronger the states, or regions, the stronger the federated units. Moreso, in the process, the union of states and regions could be reviewed to make such union stronger.
He said: “Given its vast resources in bitumen, Ondo state should have the best roads in Nigeria, but its roads are barely tarred with bitumen. That is the irony of Nigeria; it imports what it has in abundance and leaves its own resources untapped.
“Ondo state’s wealth is not seen. It is locked under the ground. The state ranks number 13 of the top 20 states in Nigeria in terms of its GDP, estimated at $8.4billion. That is the irony of Nigeria’s states: They are poor in the midst of plenty.”