How we can make Nigeria work better - Atiku

How we can make Nigeria work better - Atiku

- Atiku Abubakar has called for a change in Nigeria's current structure

- The former vice president said federating units need to be given more power

- He also called for a reform of the country's electoral structure

Former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, has said that the current structure of the country is not working and advocated for a restructuring for a better nation.

Premium Times reports that Atiku spoke at an event to mark his conferment as “the Hero of Nigeria Democracy” organized by the Hall of Grace Magazine in Lagos.

The All Progressives Congress chieftain called for restructuring of power that will see the federation units have more powers concentrated on them.

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He said: “It will encourage states to compete to attract investment and skilled workers rather than merely waiting for monthly revenue allocations from Abuja.”

“This will also include the establishment of state police for the states that so desire so as to improve security. We must be open to changing the nature of the federating units such as using the existing geo-political zones as federating units rather than the current 36, of which only a few are financially viable.

“Political decentralization must be accompanied by economic diversification. We need to diversify our economy away from the dependence on oil. We need to create opportunities for our people to engage in diverse economic activities which governments will then tax for revenues.

“But we can’t do that efficiently and effectively without accurate data. I have in the past called for an end to the self-defeating politics we play with census in the country. With all the data gathering and analytic tools in existence in the 21st century we have no good reason not to have accurate data on our people, down to the smallest unit, the individual.

“Without data we cannot plan properly and all of us will lose, including those who try to inflate their population figures and those who want to suppress those of others.”

Atiku spoke about the country’s dependence on oil saying it would not make the country better.

“There is a saying that if you want to get out of a hole you dug yourself in you first stop digging.

“So we need to stop our slide towards economic and political precipice. And one way to build a Nigeria that works is to identify what our people want and what they think our priorities should be. The next step is to assess whether the policies and strategies we currently pursue will adequately address those, and if not, in what ways they might be better addressed.

“When you talk to ordinary Nigerians as I do regularly what they profess to be at the top of their priority list include the provision of and access to high quality education and training; infrastructure such as power, roads, railways and ports; security; employment and job creation; and accountability and reduced corruption.

“They also call for a reorientation of values, which, I think, will come mainly from the change of behaviour by leaders. A Nigeria that works would be one that effectively and efficiently meets these needs.”

Atiku also spoke about Nigeria’s electoral structure saying it needs to undergo changes to make it more independent and transparent.

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He said: “For example, funding the electoral umpire from the first line charge in the Consolidated Revenue Fund is critical; transferring the power to appoint the chairman of the electoral umpire from the President to the National Judicial Council will help, as will efforts to curb the role of money and godfathers in our elections.

“I have also been arguing that the declared winner of an election should not be allowed to assume office until all legal challenges to that election have been resolved.

“We also need to reform the anti-corruption agencies to help depoliticize them and make them really independent. This will help to strengthen the fight against corruption, which is critical in renewing our people’s belief in the integrity of public institutions and pubic officials. Such a reform will require changes to how the agencies are funded, how their heads are appointed and who they report to.”

Meanwhile, the presidency officially responded to the recent call by BBOG co-covener, Aisha Yesufu, asking President Buhari to step aside due to his illness.

In an open letter to Yesufu posted on her Facebook page, the personal assistant to President Buhari on social media, Lauretta Onochie advised the social activist to step aside.

According to Onochie, Yesufu is painting BBOG in a bad light and needs to get seek help and get busy with other things.

Femi Fani-Kayode in an exclusive interview with revealed what President Muhammadu Buhari told him when they met


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