Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has said Nigeria is in serious political and economic decline, pointing out that the country was presently caught up in a serious existential crisis, which is self-evident.
Wike also declared that there is an urgent need for the international community to save Nigeria’s democracy from imminent collapse by mounting sufficient pressures on the APC Federal Government to uphold the rule of law and guarantee the integrity of the electoral system.
Wike further stated that the current flawed revenue sharing formula in the country has made development difficult in states as the Federal Government carts away 53percent of national revenue, while the 36 states share a meagre 22 percent.
Governor Wike said these while speaking at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), London.
The governor explained to the International Community that despite generating a huge percentage of the nation’s resources, Rivers State has suffered untold neglect and deprivation by the Federal Government over the years.
The governor said: “There is need for the international community to save the country and its democracy from imminent collapse by putting sufficient pressures on the Federal Government to uphold the rule of law, guarantee the integrity of the electoral system and do socio-economic justice to all segments of the Nigerian society
“The fact cannot be disputed that States bear greater development burden than the Federal Government. However, under the flawed revenue allocation regime, the Federal Government alone retains 53% of national revenue and allocates only 22% to the entire 36 States of the federation.
“Obviously, when 22% percent of national revenue is disaggregated among 36 States, what comes to each State is not more than 0.6 per cent on the average per annum, which by any stretch of imagination is incapable of funding serious developmental programmes for any State.
“The politicization and active involvement of key national institutions, such as the Independent National Electoral Commission and the Police in the rigging of the re-run elections in Rivers State was not only an affront to democracy, such acts constitute a serious invitation to chaos with destructive consequences of unknown dimensions”.
“For instance, the Federal Government has not undertaken any new development project in the State for the last two decades. Even the existing ones, such as the Port Harcourt international airport, the two seaports and the East – West highway have severely degenerated without attention for years.”
He said though previous administrations had played key roles in developing the state, the immediate past Amaechi administration stagnated development through unbridled theft of state funds during an era of resource boom.
On foreign scholarships, Governor Wike reiterated that the State Government will pay for final year students in critical science courses, while those studying arts courses were advised to return to Nigeria with the Rivers State Government footing their bills.