The Federal Government’s ill-advised decision to dole out N90billion loan to the states has generated some dust among Nigerians. It is like struggling to meet up a problem you can’t solve. It is not different from a drunk fellow offering a helping hand to an already intoxicated colleague; it is sure that both of them will land in a gutter. States should be encouraged to paddle their own canoe, while the Federal Government should do everything possible to stimulate the economy through inclusive growth.
The economy of the states as it stands at the moment is worrisome. Just last month, a non-governmental organisation, Economic Confidence, in its investigation, revealed that 15 states of the federation may go bankrupt as their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), in 2015 were far below 10 per cent. Lagos State alone was said to have swallowed 32 states all put together.
The poorest southern state is Ekiti, which is the only state from the South to be among the 10 lowest IGR earners, while the rest in the category and bottom of the ladder are Northern states. From the above scenario, we don’t need a soothsayer to tell us that there is fire on the mountain.
Also, it seems we have quickly forgotten that some state governors are financially reckless in spending, since they always believe that monthly allocation will come from Abuja. It is puzzling that while some existing states inevitably appear to be struggling financially due to their inability to stand alone, some are very much clamouring for the creation of other states. I don’t think this agitation is born out of patriotism, because if it is, it would have been a positive thought towards ameliorating the problem.
I think it is high time we structured our federalism. There is need to go back to the drawing board. If advanced countries like Canada, Australia, Britain and others are still operating the parliamentary system; this system believes in giving power to the regions to develop and compete and not necessarily concentrating power and resources at the centre as it is in Nigeria today.
The Federal system of government we are operating is too expensive, it is porous and full of linkages.
- Alifia Sunday,