NLC’s boss flays calls for restructuring, Anglican bishop kicks against unitary government
The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, has condemned calls for the country’s restructuring.He spoke yesterday in Abuja at the Independence Day rally organised by the NLC.According to him, restructuring the country would not solve the existing problems, unless the leaders embrace good governance.
Wabba explained that if the states were allowed to control more resources, there would be executive lawlessness, as the governors were already ruling their states like emperors, without checks and balances.He said: “For us, restructuring or devolution of more powers and resources could only make sense, if there is good governance. We have heard calls for three, four or eight regions.”
But, the Bishop of Anglican Communion, Calabar Diocese, Tunde Adeleye urged Nigerians to vote for leaders who would provide a new structure for the country.He said: “Nigeria needs restructuring. We must and should restructure. We cannot continue to go on like this. The present derivation system is simply oppressive.”
The bishop, who made the call yesterday at the Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity Anglican Communion n Calabar, said the existing structure of unitary government had not yielded the needed results.
For Wabba, “As long as the political and bureaucratic elite continues to misappropriate and divert the resources meant for development, we cannot easily overcome the existing developmental challenges.” He stressed that addressing poverty, inequality and economic imbalances between the super-rich tiny minority and the rest of the population, was key to solving the country’s challenges.
He said the very poor people were currently occupying the bottom rung of the ladder, with the middle class almost completely eliminated, while the very rich people were at the top.
The labour leader maintained that government must refocus its development programmes to prevent the upheavals in the different parts of the country from developing into a convulsion. Wabba also urged the Federal Government to reconstitute the national minimum wage negotiating council, adding that the minimum wage of N18, 000 was obsolete.
He urged the Federal Government to shun the dictates by the international financial institutions and invest massively in education, electricity generation, health care and other social services.
Adeleye said: “The general name for the existing federalism, has made everything to be centralised around the Federal Government. Until Nigeria practises true federalism, the country may grind to a halt. The present system was a fall-out of the unitary culture of military dictatorship, which we lived with for many years.”
Meanwhile, a former Director of Research at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPPS), Prof. Ogoh Alubo, has called for the appointment of a new director general for the institute. He told The Guardian that there had been a vacuum in the institute, since the exit of Tijjani Bande, over two years ago, contrary to the extant laws.
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