July 6, 2018.
THE CONCEPT OF RESTRUCTURING: THE NEED FOR A HOLISTIC APPROACH.
Ironically, the ruling party already defined restructuring by her slogan of “CHANGE”, which simply means doing things differently by altering or changing a system in order to make it work more effectively. Why the concept now seems hazy or too difficult to understand let alone implement by the APC despite being one of their cardinal campaign promises is a discussion for another day.
However, YPP believes that restructuring should be holistic. Beyond the clamour for devolution of more powers to States and resource control by same, we are of the opinion that “leadership and citizenship restructuring” should be at the heart of any discourse that borders on restructuring as the present clamour for restructuring is as a result of failed leadership, which has led to increased poverty, unemployment and incessant killings.
Failure to acknowledge the importance of leadership and citizenship restructuring would mean we have only succeeded in decentralising our problems as the age long agitation of marginalization will continue at the component units.
In as much as restructuring is important, it only succeeded in the first republic and years before the coup of 1966 because we had visionary, focused and less greedy leaders in the mold of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and Sir Ahmadu Bello. These leaders were able to drive development through ingenuity and innovation anchored on unparalleled selfless service. They also had vibrant and engaging citizens who were not docile but fully participated in governance while simultaneoulsy holding these leaders to account.
Sadly, we have more thieves than we had in the 50’s & 60’s who operates like emperors and are not held accountable. We have myopic, stereotyped and self-centred leaders who have failed to see the big picture or have a global view of where Nigeria should be in the next 10, 20 or 30years but are rather concerned about smaller pictures of ethnicity and religion. Developed countries got to where they are today because of their understanding of the concept of globalization, which explains why they always want to attract the best of global citizens irrespective of creed or race provided they have the capacity to add value.
A system does not work in isolation. You need people to operate the system that will become operational as a result of restructuring and since we would not go to heaven to bring angels to operate the system but same Nigerians, it will suffice to say unless the mental state of our leaders and citizens is restructured, we may end up making little progress after restructuring the system as the exercise would have only amounted to the decentralisation of our current challenges.
Restructuring in our view should be aimed at drastically reducing the cost of governance, promote human & infrastructural development, good governance, the rule of law, citizens participation in governance and effectively enhance the protection of lives & property. Any proposition adverse to the above will be an attempt to worsen the already precarious situation. This is why we fault the creation of more States in the 2014 Confab report as this will lead expansion of unnecessary bureaucracies and increased cost of governance that our scarce resources can no longer accommodate.
In addition to the aforementioned:
1. We don’t need two chambers of the National Assembly as it is sheer waste of scarce resources and members of the single chamber should also be on part time.
2. On resource control or derivation, our position is more on how scarce resources allocated or controlled are being utilized by leadership at all strata.
3. We support State Police and matters bordering on the Police should be on the concurrent list so that States can be able to solve their peculiar security challenges and Governors can be held liable as chief security officers for failure.
Comrade Egbeola Olawale Martins
National Publicity Secretary.