Restructuring Is The Way To Go -ABC Nwosu

Nigeria is destined for greatness, and I am convinced that it will fulfil its destiny. Its destiny is to give value to the black skin just like Japan gave  value to the Asian skin and Indians are doing currently. 
Nigerians will not fail God that has destined that Africa’s fate lies in Nigeria doing well. So far, we are yet to be on the path to that destiny which was derailed by the civil war.

 I won’t dwell much on the past, but it was the civil war that destroyed our federalism in the determination by Nigeria to defeat Biafra. The Federal Government of General Yakubu Gowon usurped all the powers of the federating units; it usurped all the money for the federating units. 

                           ABC Nwosu 

I believe in Nigeria. I believe that we can produce. My experience is not a very good experience in Nigeria. I was in Government College when we got independence in 1960; I was a senior boy, I went to the University of Ibadan, I fled to University of Nigeria, the University of Nigeria was rechristened the University of Biafra and the set before me in 1967 graduated from University of Biafra. 

These are facts. After the war, it was rechristened University of Nigeria, and those of us who should have graduated in 1968 graduated not from University of Ibadan which we entered but from University of Nigeria which had now been reverted to University of Nigeria from University of Biafra, not in 1970 but 1971. 

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All these are experiences that have taught me a lesson on the way not to go and the way not to go is small independent states. Nigeria has a lot to gain from being one big nation-state. Nigeria has a lot to gain from cooperation from all the constituent units; Nigeria has a lot to gain from a larger size economy, but Nigeria is in danger of not achieving these things if everybody is not happy in the union as is the case currently. Restructuring simply means that everyone should be happy in the Nigerian union. 

We allow scallywags to run over the political space because the structure has permitted them; if the structure does not permit them where they will see very large amounts of money to steal?

 The late Major General Kantagora, a brilliant engineer, God-fearing engineer, working with his secretary identified over 8,000 uncompleted Federal Government projects in 2012. Why can’t we devolve these uncompleted projects and resources to complete them to the states?  Take as example, the churches, when they create parishes,  the Parish Priests are in charge of everything in the parish, births, deaths, weddings, everything, but in governance, the Federal Government decides to be responsible for the sinking of boreholes in the remotest parts of the country. The Nigerian Police has to be for all Nigeria and proscribes State Police.

 The argument is that State Police performs atrocities.  What atrocity can be worse than the Nigeria Police abducting a seating governor in Anambra State? Was it State Police that did that? So their arguments are non-arguments. If there is community policing as you have in America with federal policing responsibilities by FBI at the federal level, what is wrong with that? In my view, the first thing Nigeria should do is to go back to schools. Let’s go back to the Barewa College of old, to the Government College Umuahia of old that gave the world Chinua Achebe and Barewa College of old that gave us Jubril Aminu, the Kings College that gave us Asiodu; Government College Ibadan that gave the world Wole Soyinka as Noble laureate. 

Let’s restore these colleges and build more. Secondly, Nigeria should make sure that when people finish studying there are meaningful job opportunities because everybody cannot be an entrepreneur or drive KEKE.  

Government must recognize that the greatest employer of labour is infrastructural development in massive construction of roads, railways, etc. When you get the Chinese, Germans or the Americans and give them a job, you attach as many Nigerians to learn the skills from them. So why can’t we think on a larger scale and calculate how many people a particular contract will put to job instead of spending money buying KEKE? 

Thirdly, we should get into manufacturing; the market is there, the Nigerian market is there, and the West African market is there, the Central Africa market is there not even to think of Europe. Why can’t we get into manufacturing? We can set up industrial clusters, and I am encouraged to hear that that is being thought of. 

Fourthly, we must be a just, secure and caring society. Look at the Universities, how would you be happy teaching in the university where there is insecurity, you can be bombed the next day, so which kind of teachers will be there? Take a look at the Nigeria Police; every State Government spends the bulk of their security votes to purchasing vehicles for the Nigerian Police, information equipment and even towards giving allowances to enable Nigerian Police personnel to operate. Then why no to State Police? 

The Nigeria Police uses the money from Federal Government for interstate activities and linkages, monitoring and setting up forensic laboratories where finger prints, for example, can be linked nationally. And finally the question of good leadership. Chinua Achebe once said that leadership is everything. 

However, as we wait for good leadership, we must take precautions against bad leadership. A perfect example is the structure that says you must have 36 Ministers; if there is a bad leader of Nigeria, he can have 18 ministers all from his state and dare you to do your worst with even this provision. So while we are praying for good leadership, we must also take precaution against bad leadership. 

The precaution lies in RESTRUCTURING and constitutional amendments to reflect the changes. Each part of Nigeria has minerals, and I am sorry for the Minister of solid minerals, I don’t know what he wants to achieve without changing Article 39 in the exclusive list. This word involves restructuring. 

Article 39 in the exclusive list says that all minerals, mines, etc. are under the Federal Government. That is why you can apportion people’s farm land as oil bloc (OML), and you think that you can now have exception with gold and bitumen.

 You cannot; you must bring Article 39 under the Concurrent list big restructuring. Nigerians must control their resources or participate in it and must participate whether it is liquid petroleum or solid gold or coal or the gas that we are exporting. You cannot appropriate petroleum leave gold and other solid minerals in the North to be exported illegally. It is unfair. 
The question is must Nigeria have 68 items on the exclusive list. I was at the 2014 National Conference, and the decisions are excellent if we want to restructure this country for our own collective good. 

Finally, let me go to the mantra of this administration which is ANTI-CORRUPTION. 

I am in the PDP. The institutions and laws to fight corruption were set up by the PDP. Under the PDP, many PDP stalwarts were brought to book. Anti-corruption is supposed to sanitize public service, not as a political weapon. Once you don’t keep it at the back of your mind, then you can get the fight right. 

We ought to be told the culprits and the large sums found in Kaduna airport and Ikoyi; we deserve to know about the “grass cutting” contracts etc. When a public servant whether director or permanent secretary has plazas and houses all over the place, then something is wrong. It means that the anti-corruption campaign needs to be adjusted.
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