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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Why I’m Pushing for a Government Structure Reform Bill – Editor

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The initiator of a bill seeking restructuring and a new model of governance in Nigeria, Akin Fapohunda, said on Monday that the proposals would help resolve some of Nigeria’s crises if they became law.

Fapohunda appeared on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, expressing concern over the critical situation in Nigeria and the need for change.

“I proposed this bill because the country is facing a severe crisis. My goal is to find a way to reorganize the system in a highly effective and efficient way,” he said.

The bill has not yet been presented to the National Assembly.

The bill titled ‘A Bill to replace the Schedule to Decree 24 of 1999 with a new model of governance for the Federal Republic of Nigeria’, seeks a new model of government by altering the Nigerian constitution.

Bill Highlights

A highlight of the bill includes the proposal to create six regions, each with its own regional government and legislature.

Seeks the abolition of the current 36 states and 774 local governments to be replaced by the proposed regional governments.

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It also seeks the establishment of a regional electoral commission to conduct elections in each region, and the creation of a federal commission to oversee the distribution of resources and funds to the regions.

Fapohunda, whose profile on

“It seeks to replace the existing three-tier structure (federal, state and local governments) with a more simplified two-tier framework consisting of federal and regional governments.

“This new structure, as outlined in the bill, would give the regional level the freedom to set up its own governance and select delegates, effectively eliminating the need for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC),” said the author of the bill. law.

“In addition, this bill addresses issues that have been overlooked until now. In a federal system like ours, there should be two separate structures, each with its own clear constitution.

“However, we currently have a single constitution that covers everything, which is not the norm in other countries. Furthermore, we are a diverse nation and our differences are not adequately recognized or addressed in our current approach.”

He said the bill was motivated by the need to address “issues of inefficiency, corruption and inequality in the current system.”

Criticism

A renowned lawyer, Tunji Abayomi, who also appeared on Arise Television’s morning show on Monday, criticized the bill, which he said contained typical provisions of the constitution handed down by previous military regimes.

“I do not consider this bill as the basis for a law. It is no different from a military constitution,” he said.

He also criticized the way Fapohunda sought the constitutional amendment.

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“A constitution should not be presented as a bill,” he said. “A bill is legislation, while a constitution is a founding document that describes the framework of a country. A constitution is the basis of laws, which are then created and approved by the National Assembly, and not the other way around.”

Controversy

Fapohunda said he planned to present the proposal to President Bola Tinubu, who would then present it to the National Assembly as an executive bill.

However, the House of Representatives has distanced itself from the bill, stating that it has not been presented to it.

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