Akinwumi Adesina proposes ‘United States of Nigeria’

 Akinwumi Adesina, the president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), has proposed a name change for Nigeria to the “United States of Nigeria”.


Adesina suggested the rebranding while speaking on the need for restructuring on March 6, when he received the 2024 Obafemi Awolowo ‘Prize for Leadership’.


The economist said it is necessary to change the governance system in the country and decentralise governance to states to provide greater autonomy.


The former minister of agriculture said state governments must focus on unlocking the huge resources in their areas, adding that “states that adopt this strategy would have less of a need for monthly trips to Abuja for grants”.


 “To get out of the economic quagmire, there is a compelling need for the restructuring of Nigeria,” he said.


“Restructuring should not be driven by political expediency but by economic and financial viability. Economic and financial viability are the necessary and sufficient conditions for political viability.


“If there was one attribute that defined Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and there were many, it would be his visionary boldness.


“He went where others feared or failed to go. In the process, decades later, his footprints remain in the sands of time.


“Likewise today, in Nigeria, we need men and women with vision, who are willing to take bold decisions. Surgeries are tough. They are better done well, the first time.


“The resources found in each state or state groupings should belong to them. The constituent entities should pay federal taxes or royalties for those resources.


“But let’s be clear. The achievement of economically viable entities and the viability of the national entity requires constitutional changes to devolve more economic and fiscal powers to the states or regions. The stronger the states, or regions, the stronger the federated units.


 “Instead of the Federal Government of Nigeria, we could think of The United States of Nigeria. The old would give way to the new.”


This, according to Adesina, would change the relational mindset between the states and Abuja — “the fulcrum would be the states, while the centre would support them, not lord over them”.

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