Speaking on Tuesday at the second annual conference of the Young Parliamentarians Forum, the deputy senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, reiterated his belief in the fact that restructuring can solve Nigeria’s economic challenges as the debate on restructuring rages in the country.
Ekweremadu said Nigeria’s “feeding bottle federalism” is the bane of her problems.
“I disagree with those who say that Nigeria does not necessarily need restructuring, but good governance that will eliminate corruption. The truth is that it is difficult to tame corruption where the federating units virtually run on free federal allocations that some people see as national cake, not their own sweat.
“Conversely, the people will be more vigilant and ready to hold their leaders accountable when the federating units begin to live largely on internally generated revenues and their sweat. However, restructuring should be on incremental basis to ease the country into a more prosperous future.”
“We need to reinvigorate the youth arm of our political parties as in the days of the First Republic and pre-independence era when vibrant youth movements and arms of the political parties thrived and served as platforms for political apprenticeship for aspiring political leaders.
“Unfortunately, there is little we can do about meaningful youth economic inclusion and employment until we restructure our behemoth federalism. I still hold the view that this feeding bottle federalism, this act of robbing Peter to pay Paul, which we have gradually enthroned as state policy since the fall of the First Republic, remains cause of our economic quandary,” he said.