By TONY EDIKE
ENUGU—FORMER Governor of Anambra State, Senator Chris Ngige, has thrown his weight behind call for adoption of a regional system of government to ensure rapid development of the country.
He said of the 36 states in the country, only about four were viable, stressing that the present system where most states depended on oil revenue portended great danger for the nation.
Ngige, who represents Anambra Central in the Senate made this known during the Hardis and Dromedas Special Day at the 23rd Enugu International Trade Fair.
He observed that Nigeria was better off when it practiced regional system of government, saying the defunct Western, Eastern and Northern Regions were viable economically.
Describing Nigeria as a very bogus structure that is “parasitic and indolent in nature”, Ngige wondered how such a structure could effectively develop the grassroots.
He lamented that except Lagos, Rivers, Kano and Delta states, other states in the country rely on allocation from the Federal Government for their survival.
He stressed the need to allow the states to generate their own revenues, keep part of the revenues and remit some percentage to the account of the Federal Government.
While lamenting that the military introduced false federalism in the country, Ngige maintained that in a true federalism, the center can only exercise the powers given to it by the federating units.
Recalling that former President of the country, Nnamdi Azikiwe, late Surduana of Sokoto, Alhamadu Bello, former premier of defunct Western Region, Sir Obafemi Awolowo and former premier of old Eastern region, Sir Micheal Okpara used proceeds from natural resources to develop their regions, Ngige said the regions could do even better now if given the powers.
He lamented that the bogus political structure introduced by the military gave the federal government unprecedented powers and made the states to abandon the natural resources available in their area.
Ngige therefore insisted that it was high time a national dialogue was convoked in the country with a view to carrying out a radical surgery that would lead to the political and economic restructuring of the country.
“We must sit down on a round table and discuss the political structure of Nigeria and after the political structure, we discuss the economic structure, the federation is made up of 36 states, the question is, are those 36 states viable, the answer is no, only about four are viable, so why do we retain a bogus structure that is parasitic?” he queried.