It would really amount to self deception if anyone thinks the current state Nigeria is does not require to be adequately looked into. Nigeria, almost sixty years after independence, one of the largest producers of crude oil in the World, with over 180,000,000 human resources at her disposal, and with countless other mineral resources apart from oil, has been adjudged to be World's poverty headquarters in 2018. Sometimes you ask yourself as a Nigerian: why is this nation so dysfunctional and retrogressing, instead of making progress? It would amount to sheer stupidity and wishful thinking if anyone thinks Nigeria is making progress.
If at all there had been any form of progress, then it means the pace of the said progress is definitely slow. There is no argument that corruption is part of Nigeria's greatest problems and that politicians are largely part of Nigeria's greatest undoing, but the truth of the matter is that the present state of the country makes corruption to thrive and politicians to turn themselves into some thin gods. For example, when you have a system that invests authority in unimaginable proportions to individuals rather than on institutions, the effect is what you see all around in the country. Barack Obama once said "what most African nations need to progress are strong institutions, and not strong men." The pathetic state in Nigeria is that we have more strong men than effective institutions.
This brings to the fore once again the need Nigeria must be restructured going forward. We have heard so much being said about this matter in the past weeks and it appears that certain individuals do not see the need why Nigeria as it is right now, the whole system and every fabric of it; must be examined once again. It is important that our political actors understand this simple fact that restructuring Nigeria is not the same with splitting Nigeria into pieces as some thinks. It is not a call for tearing the country apart as it were. It is simply a call for looking into and examine once again, how we develop and allocate our natural resources so that every parts of the nation benefits without any iota of being left behind or marginalised.
If you examine deeply the challenges Nigeria is facing, you will discover that marginalization has been the core of most of the clamours. Restructuring Nigeria means ensuring the federating states will tap the resources in their geographical areas and make contributions to the national coffers. It means that policing will be left in the hands of locals. Many of us have written about the need for the policing structure in the country to be decentralised.
It is quite unfortunate that the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo believes in the creation of state police, but he does not still think Nigeria needs to be restructured. This in itself is self contradicting, as restructuring would mean that states have their own policing system, and less dependent on the current Federal policing arrangement in which a bulk of them are allocated to the elites and the rest of the population are left defenceless. Restructuring also means that each region will concentrate on developing its infrastructure at its own pace. This system had worked in the past during Nigeria's post independence era in which there was a healthy growth in the component regions of Nigeria.
Restructuring will also ensure that the Federal Government will concentrate on defence, currency and foreign affairs. This is what true federalism entails, and not the kind of federalism we currently practice in Nigeria. In a federalist government, the power is divided between the national government and other governmental units. A true federal system in Nigeria would mean the power is divided between our federal government and our state and local governments. A true Federal system when fully restructured would mean each state would develop its natural resources and effectively guarantee the good life for its people.
When Nigeria is restructured this way, there would be less tension, inequality would reduce and there would be equitable redistribution of wealth. Nigeria truly needs restructuring going forward.