Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, yesterday tasked the delegates at the on-going national conference on the need to rework the current federal arrangement in the country.
Delivering a speech at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, he said the “current federal structure arrogates too much functions and resources to the government at the centre.”
Atiku added that such arrangement “is killing the spirit of innovation and enterprise among the people, which is a critical component in building a self-sustaining economy.”
He said: “I want to assume that a new and improved Nigeria is the goal, and I believe that any opportunity for people to talk is better than to fight.
“The National Conference should focus on designing a political and governmental system that empowers local authorities and gives them greater autonomy to address peculiar local issues, and enhances accountability, while contributing to the general good of the country.”
He said the envisaged robust federal system would reduce the tensions that are built into the nation’s current over-centralised system.
“As more power was concentrated in the centre, the federal government appropriated more resources and expanded its responsibilities.
“All of these were done in the name of promoting national unity. And the process was relatively easy as the unified command structure of the military ensured little opposition.
“Therefore, fixing Nigeria, to me, will require reversing decades of over-centralisation of power and over-concentration of resources at the centre.”