Dayo Johnson – Akure
President of the African Development Bank Group, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, regretted that the Nigerian system is not federalism but “fatherism”.
Adesina, who was a guest lecturer at the second introductory lecture by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu in Akure, the capital of the state of Ondo, said that the Nigerian system is basically a system of income sharing.
He spoke on “Towards a new Nigeria, from federalism to the Commonwealth”.
According to him, states are “poor in the midst of abundance. They do not explore or exploit what they already have in abundance.
“The federal monthly subsidy system has paralyzed them.
“With huge resources, all concentrated in the center, states are always dependent on the center. With the magnetic field of federal revenue allocations, states are constantly withdrawn, powerless into permanent dependence.
“This financial pilgrimage creates a feeling of helplessness and open dependence on the center.
“State governors now spend more time in Abuja than in their own states, looking for a monthly” federal flaw. “
“Like a pendulum, which is constantly moving from one side to the other, this unfortunate addiction has become seemingly unstoppable.
“It is true, however, that in order to survive and strive, states must become financially independent of the center in Abuja.
“This is federalism of fiscal dependence. It is federalism that is fiscally unhealthy for states and the federal government. “Because Nigeria is dependent on oil for more than 70 percent of state revenues, any drop in oil prices creates fiscal and economic instabilities that resonate in all countries.
“Greater economic and fiscal autonomy of states is needed. The issue is less about states or regional autonomy, but about the financial and economic sustainability of Nigerian constituent states.
“If Nigeria was a conglomerate company, it would not be economically viable, because 92 percent of its” subsidiaries “are not sustainable without the support of the holding company.
“Nigerian federalism is not growing within the entity. It simply makes them eternally dependent.
“So the Nigerian system is not federalism … but ‘fatherhood.’
“The anxiety for decentralization can be understood when viewed in the light of the desire for greater autonomy.
“But let’s face it, political autonomy is meaningless if it is not supported by greater fiscal independence at the state level.
“We tend to copy systems that are not well adapted to our context. The United States from which we copied does not control resources at the state level. Instead, states generate most of their revenue from taxes.
Vanguard News Nigeria