By OLA AJAYI
IBADAN – Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, yesterday, identified the mockery of federalism in Nigeria as the bane of the country’s developmental effort.
This was even as the governor called on relevant authorities on education for the need to restore effective and qualitative basic education to save the country from breeding illiterates.
The governor made these calls while delivering a lecture, entitled, ‘’Regional Economic Integration and Nigeria’s Development Prospects,’’ at the Sustainable Development Discourse, organised by Centre for Sustainable Development, CESDEV, University of Ibadan, Trenchard Hall.
He noted that the logic of regional integration rested on the same sound principle that makes federalism desirable, adding that regional integration was not another prevailing fad, but a well-thoughtout developmental idea.
Aregbesola said: “The travesty of federalism in our country is a major bane of our development effort. Our history as a country vindicates this assertion. At independence, our federalism was anchored on tripartite regional structure – Northern, Eastern and Western regions.
“We have since been unable to reproduce the economic successes recorded under this arrangement. Yet, we can, if we really want to. It is not just the case that we can replicate that phenomenal economic success, we can surpass it.”
The governor stressed that the conversion of the previous three regions into 36 states had not been well served in terms of national development, noting that the more states the country has, the more it wastes scarce resources on overhead and administration.
On education, Aregbesola urged a review of university ownership, stating that the existing structure where each state has its own university is not healthy. He argued that it would have been cost-effective if the South-West Zone had one Great Western University operating a collegiate system.