From Joe Effiong, Uyo
Former governor of Akwa Ibom State and co-chairman of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Obong Victor Attah, has warned that Nigeria may break up unless fiscal federalism is instituted.
Attah, who spoke on a private radio station in Uyo, the state capital, yesterday, said the only respite Nigeria has against its imminent disintegration would be to return to fiscal federalism as that remains the only solution to myriad of socio-economic problems besetting the nation.
“Under a fiscal regime, as it were in the days of the regions, states, would contribute 50 percent of their resources to the central government and use 50 percent for development of their territories, such that multiplier effects would douse 90 percent of tensions in the country.”
Attah, who was governor between 1999 and 2007, said Nigeria would have achieved more significant development if true fiscal federalism had been put in place, instead of what is obtained at the moment.
The former chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum dismissed arguments that majority of states in Nigeria are not viable and pointed out that if fiscal federalism was in place, the states would look inwards, to develop their inherent potential, instead of allowing sleaze and corruption by governors to slow down the tempo of development in their respective states.
Known for his fight for resource control while in office, Obong Attah equally advocated adoption of two party system in Nigeria.
According to him, political parties in Nigeria should look inwards, with a view to identifying parties with similar ideologies to merge.
“Two major political parties are good for this country, so that when one is not doing well, the people should have a choice to vote the other,” Attah argued.
He urged the people to defend their votes by always demanding from their governors how tax payers monies were being appropriated.
Commending the Federal Government for “a lot of things Buhari is doing, and one of them is this fight against corruption,” as well as routing Boko Haram, Attah, however, said the same zeal was not deployed to tackle the menace of herdsmen decimating farmlands, raping and killing people at will. (The Sun)