The President of the African Development Bank, AFDB, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has stated that the system of government currently being practiced in Nigeria can be described as fatherism and not federalism as expected.
According to Adesina, with the way Nigeria has been structured, it will be extremely difficult for the states to be viable and attain the desired potentials they long for.
The AFDB President spoke during the inauguration lecture to herald the second inauguration of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State and his Deputy, Governor-Elect, Lucky Ayedatiwa.
Speaking virtually from Abidjan on the theme “Towards A New Nigeria: From Federal Fatherism To A Commonwealth”, Adesina disclosed that for the country to be delivered from its quagmire, restructuring should not be driven by political expediency, but by economic and financial viability.
He added that in the midst of plenty, states are still very poor even as he cited the case of Ondo State which is endowed with enormous resources but still depends on Abuja for monthly allocation.
“We tend to copy systems that are not well suited to our context. The United States that we copied from, does not control resources at the state level. Instead, the states generate the bulk of their income from taxes.
“What’s needed is greater economic and fiscal autonomy for the states. The issue is less about state or regional autonomy, but financial and economic viability of Nigeria’s constituent states.
“If Nigeria were to be a conglomerate firm, it would not be economically viable because 92% of it constituent ‘subsidiary companies’ are not viable without the support of the holding company.”