Former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari on how to go about the much publicized issue of restructuring in the country.
Jega told the President to restructure in order to resolve the narrative of poor governance in the country and review the revenue allocation formula.
Jega’s view was conveyed in his keynote address on, “Governance Reforms and Human Security in Nigeria” at the 10th Annual Forum of Laureates of the Nigerian National Order of Merit, NNOM, and 2017 Award Winners’ Investiture on Wednesday in Abuja.
The former INEC Chairman also called for accelerated review of the Electoral Act to boost the integrity of the electoral system.
Jega is currently a political science scholar at the Bayero University, Kano, BUK.
He called for a restructuring of the present federal system before 2019 to “devolve some powers and responsibilities, and commensurate resources, from the federal to state governments.”
He noted that there is need for reforms in four fundamental areas of governance, namely: “the structure, the institutions, the agents/actors and the attitudes/behaviors, adding, “If only Nigeria could begin the governance reform processes with the urgency, as well as the serious commitment that it deserves, we can in a reasonably short time de-escalate tension in the polity and begin to strengthen the foundation of good democratic governance for human security.”
Jega while submitting for a phased implementation of his restructuring proposal, said that ”in the short term, that is before 2019, that there should be devolution of power and resources from the federal to state governments.”
In the medium term, spanning 2019 to 2024, he canvassed “revised vertical and horizontal formulae for revenue allocation and substantial increase in the derivation principle, with some elements of resource control.”
And in the long term, he recommended a fundamental review of the federal arrangement that would result in “a compact, if not small federal government and a revolutionised revenue generation and allocation system.”
Other measures that Professor Jega proposed include institutional changes, which would involve a reform of the Police in particular and the broader national security architecture in general, to “pay more attention to national, i.e. people/citizen/communities’ security, more than to regime or government functionaries’ security.”