There were indications yesterday that the National conference committee on Political Restructuring and Forms of Governments may settle for a modified-presidential system of government, to replace the current system.
The voice vote by delegates which passed a seventy per cent thump up on the new structure was however preceeded by a rigorous debate that pitched delegates on diverse positions on the issue.
Benjamin Elue from Delta State said contrary to belief by delegates that the current presidential system is the bane of the country’s infrastructural growth, the presidential system in Nigeria he said, has done well.
According to him, the system would however work better if certain areas such as personnel and structure are expunged, while the activities of government are tailored to limit the powers of the president to areas of national unity.
Elue stressed that areas such as agriculture, education, health and many others, are handled by states and not by the federal system.
But the former governor of Rivers state and a delegate from the state, Peter Odili, enumerated the cost of governance, effectiveness of governance, efficiency of governance and service delivery, as reasons to modify the presidential system.
He argued that the system is not Nigeria’s best option, saying its challenges must be addressed.
He however noted that where the presidential system is not modified, an alternative system of governance must be created to ensure checks and balances in the polity.
He also added that a modified presidential system involving parliamentary elements must also be enshrined to check impunity, corruption and waste in governance.
In his submission, Lawrence Agubuuzu from Enugu state advocated for a single term presidency to ensure probity and development.
Agubuuzu argued that Nigeria’s presidential system is the most expensive in the whole world.
He reiterated that a unicameral legislative system would enhance government operations better.
But Jonathan Tamlung from Plateau State took another position on the issue.
According to Tamlung, the presidential system has politically empowered minorities in the country.
He pointed out that the solution to the challenges faced by the presidential system is the attitude of political leaders.
For him, a change of attitude by Nigerians would enhance national development.