INEC’s former Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega, cautioned that while Nigeria hasn’t collapsed, it teeters on the brink of becoming a failed state due to substantial and verified issues.
Emphasizing the urgency of addressing these problems, he stressed the potential severe consequences for a country of over 200 million people in peril, advocating for a reorientation of policies to meet citizens’ basic needs.
Jega, speaking at a lecture titled ‘Safeguarding Nigeria’s Future’ at Sa’adu Zungur University, urged constitutional reforms for decentralization and drew lessons from successful federations like India, Canada, and the USA. He proposed restructuring based on evidence and a shift from a colonial economic structure that favors primary commodity export over industrial production.
In his words, “No additional States and Local Governments should be created. The additional resources current states would get from the deconcentration of power and resources as recommended above would make all the 36 states and FCT financially viable and facilitative of grassroots development.
“The cost of governance at both the federal, state, and local tiers of governance need to be drastically cut, and measures introduced to entrench transparency and accountability and effective anti-corruption oversight.”