Politics has been inundated with calls for and against restructuring as a way out of structural imbalances in Nigeria. For the records, he presents the report of the Restructuring Committee of the Congress of All Progressives (APC) led by Governor Nasiru El-Rufai of Kaduna State.
1.1 Reasons for the committee
According to the purposes and objectives of its article 7, the APC Constitution commits the party to promote and foster, firstly, the unity, political stability and national consciousness of the Nigerian people, and secondly, to promote the true federalism in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
In the foreword to its vision for a New Nigeria (page 3, second paragraph), the APC Manifesto commits the party to ‘implement efficient public financial management strategies and ensure true federalism’, as well as to ‘restructure the governance of a a way that kicks off our political economy so that we can begin to walk the path of our better future. ” Furthermore, in its manifesto (page 7), APC entered into an “honest contract” with Nigeria to create a federalism with “a more equitable distribution of national revenues to states and local governments because this is where democracy must be established. base and economic development. “
In its Commitment to Restoring Good Governance (page 29, last paragraph), the APC Manifesto again emphasizes confidence in enhancing federalism through a two-pronged approach consisting of i) transferring control from local police and prisons to the states and grant the right to nominate state police commissioners to governors; and ii) Expand the role of the Council of States to act as a forum for consultation and negotiation between the federal and state governments to agree on joint economic and social initiatives.
Finally, under promised reforms and “a government that can be trusted” (page 37, last paragraph), the APC Manifesto commits to “transfer more revenue and powers to states and local governments for decision-making be closer to the people “and is committed to” bringing the government closer to the people through political decentralization, including local policing. “
From the above, there are enough statements in both the constitution and the party manifesto that commit the party to true federalism and the structural reform necessary to carry it out in the State of Nigeria.
Nature of the claim
Some of the proposals that are being analyzed by various interest groups include the following ideas.
- Devolution of powers, that is, reassigning the duties and responsibilities contained in the exclusive and concurrent lists of the Constitution to make decisions, in critical areas, closer to the people.
2. Revision in favor of the states, the current revenue allocation formula to reflect the additional responsibilities of sub-national units, i.e. state and local governments.
3. Constitutional reconfiguration of the federation in the six current geopolitical zones as federative units. The idea is that geopolitical zones become federative units that are strong enough to drive the train of economic diversification with a less dominant federal government.
4 Review of the report of the national conferences recommending far-reaching constitutional reforms.
5. Review of the power of the states over extractive natural resources within their jurisdictions that are currently the exclusive preserve of the Federal Government, also called resource control.
As a democratic party and government that is determined to promote the democratic values of freedom of expression and promised in its manifesto to “listen” and “deliver,” APC has a duty to involve the people in this debate. It is the Party’s view that any perceived resistance to the debate and the adoption of popularly demanded “true federalism” can equally undermine stability and national integration.
A compromise and an open debate with the protagonist of the restructuring, according to the APC national president, will lead to the arrest of the turmoil over ethnic nationalism and divisive conflicts within politics and will channel their energies towards a constructive dialogue. It is for these reasons that the Party constituted this Committee to carry out the tasks listed in the terms of reference below and to make recommendations to the Party’s National Work Committee.
1.2 Terms of reference
The terms of reference of the Committee are as follows:
i. Examine the Party Constitution, Manifesto, and other publications to distill the true intent and definition of “true federalism” promised by the Party in its Manifesto and during the presidential campaign.
- Review all the ideas promoted in the current public debate on national restructuring.
iii. Take a studied look at the report of the various National Conferences and, in particular, the 2014 one, their recommendations to identify areas of congruence with the Party’s promise in (1) above.
- From (i- iii) above, recommend a Party position and propose an appropriate mechanism to implement it if adopted.
- Make any other recommendation that in the opinion of the committee promotes unity, national integration and the collective well-being of the country.
- Committee membership and meetings
Initially, the party formed a 10-member Technical Committee to advise it on the five-point agenda established in the terms of reference. However, the committee, after deliberating on the nature and scope of its assignment, recommended to the party an expansion of the number of committee members to achieve greater inclusion and to ensure stronger representation of all stakeholders, particularly those involved. women and youth. The key committee considerations for its recommendations on committee composition are as follows;
1.3.1 Public perception
There was growing public debate about the APC’s actual desire to restructure the country, in part because history has shown that no matter the source or initial turmoil for restructuring and true federalism when in opposition, the appeal of federal power. Centralized, such as it is, is too tempting to give up when it is accomplished. There is a public perception that APC is no different. Therefore, it was decided that the first task of the Committee would be to show sincerity to listen and make open and honest recommendations to the Party and the Federal Government and that its existence is not a ruse to buy time or bury the unrest.
1.3.2 Re-composition of the committee
The Committee took the position that it needed a larger number of members to cope with the anticipated workload and to ensure that this expanded number reflects sub-national sensitivities, as well as the inclusion of national demographic realities, especially as it relates to women and a growing youth population. In light of these, a 27-member committee was reconstituted and inaugurated with the following members.
1.Malam Nasir A. El-Rufai – President
2.Sen. Olubunmi Adetunmbi – Secretary
3. Dr. A.U. Ganduje
4.HE, Prof. Senator O.A. Osunbor
5.Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN
6.Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola
7.He Simon Lalong
8 he Ibikunle Amosun
9.HE Emb. Fatima Balla Abubakar
10. Mr. Bolaji Abdullahi
11. Mr. Salihu Mohammed Lukman
12 Senator Osita Izunaso
13.HE Yahaya Bello
14 EL Kashim Shettima
15 SE Mohammed Abubakar
16 The Sullivan Ring
17 Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu
18 Senator Aishai Jumai Alhass
19 Hajia Aisha Ismail
20. Ms. Sharon Ikeazor
21, H.E. Dr. Stella Dorgu
22 Ms. Racheal Akpabio
23. Barr. Ismail ahmed
24 Mr. Jasper Azuatalam
25 Ms. Rinsola Abiola
26 Hon, Oladele Olatubosun George ’
27. Hon. Namdas Abdulrazak Sa’ad2
The methodology adopted by the committee is as follows:
2.1 Desktop research and secondary data analysis
This involved the review of secondary sources of information that mainly include the following. * Constitution and party manifesto
* Reports from previous constitutional conferences
* Newspaper reports and articles
22 Call for memoranda
In its widely publicized ad calling for memoranda, a number of key issues were highlighted without excluding other issues.
23 Public participation and zonal consultations
After extensive deliberations, the committee decided to conduct a nationwide consultation area by area. The following locations were agreed upon as venues for zonal public consultation meetings.
* South South Uyo and Benin
* Southeast of Enugu and Owerri
* Southwest of Akure and Ibadan
* North Central Jos and Ilorin
* Northeast of Bauchi and Yola
* Northwest of Sokoto and Kano
* FCT Abuja
2.3 Key issues
Key Topics and Definitions
1. State Creation: Should Nigeria create more states or not? Should states merge? If so, what should the framework and guidelines be?
2. Merger of States: What should be the legal and operational framework for States that wish to merge? 3. Derivation principle: What percentage of federal collectible resources should be returned to their sources? crude oil, solid minerals, VAT?
4.Devolution of powers: What elements of the exclusive legislative list should be transferred to the recurring list to allow the states to have direct responsibility, p. state and community police, prisons, etc.?
Federative units: Should the Nigerian federation be based on regions or zones as units or maintain the current structure of 36 states?
6. Fiscal federalism and revenue allocation: What are the proposed changes to the current revenue allocation formula? What should be the new distribution formula between the federal, state and local governments that will reflect their share of constitutional responsibilities?
7. Form of government: Should Nigeria continue with the current presidential system of government or return to the parliamentary system as practiced in the first republic or develop a hybrid of the two systems?
8. Independent candidacy: Should there be a constitutional provision for eligible citizens to participate in elections without being members of registered political parties?
9. Land tenure system: Should the land use law be part of the constitution or not and what should be the right of states in the ownership and control of mineral and natural resources on and under land ?
Local government autonomy: Should the LGAs be independent from the states and have direct income from the FG as the third level of the federation or should they be administrative units of the states?
11. Power Sharing and Rotation: Should Nigeria have a policy of rotating key elected political offices regionally or zonally for national offices and by senatorial districts for state offices?
12. Control of resources: Should states, regions or zones be allowed to own, exploit and take advantage of, exclusively or partially, the financial benefits of the natural resources in their domain and simply pay taxes to the Federal Government?
13. Type of legislature: Does Nigeria need a bicameral or unicameral parliament, part-time or full-time?
2.4 Work process
2.3.1 Field work
Accordingly, and in accordance with its mandate, the Committee visited the six (6) geopolitical zones to interact with APC members and members of the general public to receive their views and comments on the aforementioned topics on the best way forward. follow.
The audience that participated in the zones included officials and party members at the state and zone levels, as well as the general public.
The invitations for the general public were all inclusive taking into account five clear categories, namely: 1) Women; 2) Young people 3) Religious organizations, 4) Traditional institutions and 5) Vulnerable groups. Specifically, invitations were extended to the following individuals and organizations3.
A total of 409 location notes, emails, and website comments were received. There was also a good number of participation in the different places with a cumulative of more than 5,000 interested parties present.
* Newspapers ask for memorandum
* Zonal public hearings
* Interactive social platforms including email: email@example.com, twitter: @NGRTrueFed; facebook: facebook.com/NGRTrueFed; blog: https://medium.com/@NGRTrueFed; hashtag: #TrueFederalism
The committee created an active presence on social media, reaching more than 3 million Nigerian youth. Facebook and Twitter were the most active new media platforms during the “campaign” phase. Our Facebook account has more than 17,000 fans and more than 1,000 comments were generated through our new media channels and reached more than 800 people daily.
On Twitter, more than 2,746 Tweets were generated with the dedicated hashtag #TrueFederalism with a reach of more than 15 million within the cycle of public consultations and digital campaigns. Social media channels were used to report in real time on the various activities taking place in the regions, during public hearings and to inform the public about the Committee’s activities.
To get a sample of the opinion of Nigerians, we developed and published online surveys to collect opinions from the general public, on the 12 key topics, specifically. This was done to collect quantitative data on Nigerian opinion and views. Our initial target for the survey was 500 respondents, but we received a total of 619 respondents at the end of the campaign period. Details of this can be found in Volume 4 – Project Communications Report and Online Survey.
Approaches to the consultation and indicative work plan
In view of the size of the committee and the need to cover the zones on time, a concurrent zonal consultation approach was adopted. The 25-member committee was divided into 6 sub-teams of 4 members each to face each zone. The FCT consultations involved all members
3.0 Summary of findings
3.1 Creation of States
Opposition to the creation of new states is strongest among respondents from the northern states and online. Northwest in particular is very strong in this regard.
On the other hand, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, and online respondents are quite adamant in their advocacy of creating more states. The southeast in particular seeks the creation of an additional state to achieve parity with other geopolitical zones.
The demand for regionalism exists but in a discreet way. The demand arose in FCT, Northwest, Southwest and among electronic respondents. The low intensity of demand does not deserve significant consideration at this time. It would seem that the general preference is to retain what we have
Overall across the country, 48% of respondents oppose the creation of new states, while 36% are in favor. The demand for return to the regions has the support of 7% of those surveyed, while only 9% are really in favor of maintaining the status quo.
Recommendation It is the considered opinion of the committee that creating more states is not desirable because doing so will simply create new sub-national bureaucracies and their associated costs while reducing the portion of the federal statutory allocation that accrues to existing and proposed new states that are already dealing with the high cost of governance, paying workers’ wages and developing its people. The creation of states could further weaken the federative units and therefore go against the popular demands of “True Federalism” that the APC represents. The creation of new states would weaken rather than strengthen true federalism in the sense of denying federated units sufficient resources and capacity to meet the additional responsibilities that would be imposed on them.
However, it may be necessary to attend to the isolated case of the southeast zone where there is a demand to balance the states so that they are equal to other geopolitical zones. Since there are clear procedures already detailed in the constitution in case the need arises in the future, and such demand enjoys widespread support, deserving cases cannot be ruled out. In fact, the Nigerian constitution should make room for the creation of states in the future, provided the established requirements are met.
Merger of States
Here, three points of view were expressed in various ways, namely opposition, support, and status quo. Opposition to the merger of states is clearly very strong in the Northeast, Northwest, and Central North, while support was modest in FCT, Southwest, and South-South. There is some support for the idea in the central north, northwest and southwest, albeit in a low-key way. Some others in the central north and southwest simply prefer the status quo. In general, the consensus is clearly in opposition to the merger of states.