Nigeria should be restructured along economic lines –Ahmed


Amid growing calls for the restructuring of the country, the Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, has said such restructuring should be done along economic lines.

In an interview with journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, Ahmed said restructuring should not be viewed as a way of balkanising the country.

He said the restructuring Nigeria requires was the one that would make the people take their potentials to the fore and allow everybody contribute to human capital development and economic growth.

The governor said, “Certainly, Nigeria requires to be restructured, but along what lines? When you are using a process that has not translated into the desired benefits, you change it.

“But each time we talk about restructuring, people express fear that it is a way of balkanising the country. No. it is a way of reviewing how we have been doing things. If the way we have been doing things has not taken us to the Promised Land, what new way do we need to do?

“Our restructuring in the past had largely been political and driven by political exigencies. That is why the economic impact is not felt. We need to restructure on economic lines which might also require geopolitical restructuring. But I think the most important thing is on the economic lines.

“We need to identify our economic strengths and put our energies in those strengths with specific ends in mind and allow for those economic ends to truly transform into human capital development that will transform into wealth creation. That is the kind of restructuring I think Nigeria should go for.

“And that is what will give everybody a sense of comfort without necessarily allowing ourselves to be reliant on a section of a country for support because every section of the country has one support or the other.”

Ahmed said he was not aware that the President said he would jettison the report of the 2014 National Conference convened by the admiration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Backing the President’s decision to put the report on the “so-called shelves,” the governor said the present administration could only fight one battle at a time.

He added, “Jettisoning and putting the report in the cooler are not the same. The reason is very simple; you can only fight a battle at a time. There is a high level of insecurity, huge economic downturn, low level of human capital development and infrastructural deficit.

“You cannot be fighting these and still want to restructure the country at the same time. You need to bring the country to a basic minimum level when we begin to see the implementation of whatever is put together in the report of the national conference.

“So, I think the President is not incorrect by saying that there is a basic minimum level we need to stand on before we begin to talk about implementation.”

On the criticism that the change promised by the All Progressives Congress had been late in coming, the governor said it would be unfair to make assessment without looking at where the nation was coming from, its current state and the prospect for the future.

He said the President inherited huge problems, saying change would not come overnight. Ahmed added, “We have seen changes in the area of corruption eradication, because it is part of the bane of good governance. We have seen changes coming in the area of infrastructure development. The government is coming up with deploying infrastructure in energy, road and water at national and sub-national levels.

“But of course, the challenges are enormous and that is why the changes are slow. Except we truly speak as a country and agree that we have to jointly move forward, it is not an APC or PDP thing. It is a collective responsibility. Enough of bickering!

“This idea of thinking a section of the country or a part of the country would move us forward is not doable; it is a collective responsibility.”

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