Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has advocated a deeper understanding of the current restructuring debate in the country.
Vice Presidential Spokesman, Mr Laolu Akande, said in a release issued on Tuesday in Abuja that Osinbajo had support for the idea of having State Police in the country, which would require constructional amendment.
He said that a deeper understanding of the debate would eliminate the different interpretations, meanings and purposes to which the restructuring debate was being put to.
The release was in reaction to conflicting media reports of what Osinbajo said about restructuring, at a question-and-answer session at the Second Foundation Day Lecture of the Elizade University, Ilara-Mokin, Ondo State.
Akande explained that the vice president had questioned whether the allocation of more funds to the states from the federal would be helpful at this time considering the dwindling revenues from oil and taxes.
Akande said it was important Nigerians understood that the issue of restructuring should run deeper than some of the superficial and surface value focus.
According to him, some of the issues involved include notions or views calling for a return to regionalism, fiscal federalism, devolution of power, and state police among others.
“He (Osinbajo) wholly supports the idea of having State Police across the country as articulated in the APC’s Roadmap to a New Nigeria.’’
He added that different interests “are taking different approaches and at times this confuses the debate and reduces it to mere political rhetoric.
He said the vice president had reacted to a question on whether allocation of more resources to states from the centre would make them meet current demands of governance at this challenging period.
He, instead, emphasized that focus should be on economic diversification, especially towards agriculture to make the states more vibrant in the wake of dwindling revenues from oil and taxes.
“Restructuring debate should go deeper than what we see on newspaper headlines and we need to understand all the angles to it.
“What do people mean when we talk about restructuring?
“Some focus on regionalism, some focus of the fiscal part, allocation of more resources, devolution of power, state police.
“It’s important we understand which part we are talking about at any given time.”
Akande observed that the constitution recognises a federal system of government and the federal government is truly committed to true federalism.
Akande added that the Federal Government was giving much attention to fighting corruption and ensuring effective governance at all levels.
“This is far more important than some of the political rhetoric and superficial arguments about restructuring ,’’ he said.
On the 2014 Confab Report, Akande said with or without any Confab resolution, the Buhari-led government was much concerned with the overall well-being of the people, delivering results and bringing governance closer to them.
According to him, the current administration has implemented some of the decisions listed in the 2014 Confab Report, not because it was in the report but because they were sound decisions.
He listed two of such decisions as the merging of Budget Office with National Planning as one full-fledged ministry and also the adoption in the 2016 Budget of a 60-40 per cent recurrent and capital expenditures.
”The president will do what is right even without recourse to the Confab Report.
“We have an agenda which is to promote the wellbeing of the people and bring the benefits of governance to the people.
“We will not be stuck in an elitist political rhetoric that does not deepen the issues,’’ Akande said.
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