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APC women leader backs devolution of power

Hajia Ramatu Aliyu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Women Leader has drummed support for the devolution of power in the country.

According to the women leader, it will enhance the delivery of essential services to Nigerians.

She stated this at a public hearing organised by APC Committee on True Federalism on Thursday in Abuja.

Aliyu stressed the need for some of the items on the exclusive list to be transferred to the concurrent list.

This, she said was critical to fast-track the country´s development, adding that Nigerians had a lot to benefit if the country was restructured.

“As most of us will agree, there is the need for devolution of power from the centre to the federating unit.

“A few items of the exclusive legislative list should be transferred to the concurrent list to fast-track the development of the country and enhance the delivery of essential services to the Nigerian people,´´ she said.

She also said that it would not be out of place to transfer federal roads and similar infrastructure to states for continued derivation principle.

The women leader maintained that if all hands were on deck and the country´s development became the priority of all, its challenges would be surmounted in “harmony rather than acrimony’’.

Speaking on ideal federating units, whether to adopt or not, or if there should be a merger or creation of more states, Aliyu said that the present statuesque should be maintained.

She also said that a return to the regional government format was not visible, as it would among other things fan the embers of suspicion of oppression by the minority.

According to her, many states of the federation as presently constituted are not economically viable and may not be able to pay workers salaries without allocation from federation accounts.

The women leader also said that there was the need for the Federal Government to revisit the country´s present land tenure system to ensure easy access to land.

She decried the practice in most communities in the country where people were discriminated against because there were not indigenes, saying that such practice should be of concern to the government.

“What is clear to us is that the present land tenure system needs to be revisited to make access to land for agriculture and development easy for the average Nigerian.

“What should matter in our nation today is where you reside and pay your taxes and not your state of origin.

“This will enable every Nigerian, irrespective of where you are from or live to enjoy the full rights and benefits guaranteed under our laws,’’ the APC women leader said.

She, however, said that the country´s unity in diversity provided its citizens with limitless opportunities and urged women as mothers to “keep talking and encouraging our sons and husbands that the unity of Nigeria is not negotiable.’’

The  orgnaisations which submitted memorandum to the committee were given opportunity to make presentations at the event.

The APC Committee on True Federalism was constituted on Sept. 14, by its National Chairman Chief John Odigie-Oyegun to articulate the party’s position on restructuring Nigeria.

The committee which is headed by Gov. Nasir el-Rufia of Kaduna State, had earlier embarked on a tour of the country´s geo-political zones to get the people´s positions on the issue.

The committee´s mandate was to look into issues of states and state creation, devolution of power, federating units, fiscal federalism and revenue allocation among others

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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