Nigeria’ll profit more if restructured ― Anyaoku, Hamzat
Calls for restructuring of the country echoed again on Friday as the former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku and Lagos State deputy governor, Mr Obafemi Hamzat, said Nigeria will profit more if it can be governed using the regional system of government as applied in the First Republic.
Anyaoku and Hamzat spoke at the 6th Memorial Lecture in honour of former Ondo State governor, late Dr Olusegun Kokumo Agagu, which took place at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island.
The former Commonwealth secretary-general, while speaking at the event attended by the Ondo State deputy governor, Mr. Agboola Ajayi; former Governor Gbenga Daniel, Mrs. Bola Obasanjo, wife of former President Olusegun Obasanjo; Oba of Oke-Ila, Oba Adedokun Abolarin; South West Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman, Dr. Eddy Olafeso; Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, Elder Wole Oyelese, Mr. Wale Edun, among others, said it was through the regional system of government then in practice that permitted then Western Region government under Chief Obafemi Awolowo to build the first television in Africa.
Besides, he said the government under Awolowo was able to prioritise education by investing more, calling on the Federal Government to ensure it invested more in education.
“We need to increase budgetary allocation in education and also ensure our youths are engaged in entrepreneurship. We need to prioritize education,” Anyaoku said, even as he decried a situation whereby Nigeria had just eight per cent budgetary allocation for education whereas Ghana committed a total of 31 per of its total budget to same sector.
Also speaking, Lagos State governor, Mr Hamzat, maintained that restructuring the country was the best way out as it would allow every state “to get its advantage.”
“We are doing the wrong thing, until we go back and restructure,” he said, recalling also that it was the constitution operated under regional system of government during the First Republic that made then premier, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, to build the first television in Africa in Ibadan and also be able to implement free and compulsory education in the Western Region.
According to him, allowing restructuring to take root would allow the country to be self-sufficiency in food production whereby it could feed itself.
While contending that it was important for the country to be able to feed itself as every state had a comparative advantage to explore, Hamzat decried a situation where Nigeria currently expended N6billion to import sugar currently.
The deputy governor, however, noted that based on efforts on the part of the Federal Government to increase local production of rice, a total of six companies had folded up in China, just as he expressed the hope that Lagos was resolved to feed the whole country soon with its own rice as it had since acquired large expanse of land in both Ogun and Osun states for its production on large scale.