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Stakeholders advocate devolution of powers at Freedom Online 5th Yearly Lecture



Stakeholders advocate devolution of powers at Freedom Online 5th Yearly Lecture
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Participants at the Freedom Online publication’s 5th Yearly Lecture on the theme: 2023 to 2027: Nigerians, elected Leaders, expectations, on Tuesday at the Sheraton Hotel, Lagos, in consensus advocated devolution of powers in Nigeria to foster socio-economic development in the country. They argued that centralisation of governance is a product of the military, asking why the civilian government since the exit of the military regime cannot decentralise governance.
They stated that the centralisation of national resources and sharing same from Abuja has not promoted productivity in the country. The participants also pointed out that the current revenue sharing formula in Nigeria where the federal government takes the lion share is no longer affordable in the country.
The participants, therefore, advocated that the constitution has to be reworked to make the centre less attractive and reduce desperation for power and political violence. They were of the view that the federal government cannot use a central formula to tackle local problems.
One of the participants stated that founding fathers of Nigeria, like late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Sir Ahmadu Bello and others ran the country on decentralized power structure, promoted economic development in their respective regions.
The participant emphasised that the federal government appoints 42 ministers in Nigeria, yet, some people are still complaining of maginalisation. He noted that the US do not appoint beyond 12 Secretaries of State, but no one complains.
The participants were of the view that the adoption of state police, even local government police that are intelligence driven, working with local intelligence will make insecurity become history in Nigeria.
They, therefore, declared that Nigerians want decentralisation in the current democratic dispensation.

Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State was the Special Guest Speaker, Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State was Special Keynote Speaker, Chief Olabode George was the Special Guest of honour.