Former Vice President, and presidential candidate of the People Democratic Party in the 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar, has said the centralization of power and concentration of resources in the federal government has not served us well and should be reversed.
He stated this while delivering a lecture at the 11th conference of Achievers University, Owo, Ondo State with the topic “Diversity, Education and Autonomy: Developing Nigeria in the Years Ahead noted that it is a cog in the wheels of the nation of development and progress.
According to him, “The excessive centralization of power and concentration of resources in the federal government has not served us well.
“Instead, they have encouraged a domineering all-knowing federal government that stretches itself into every aspect of our lives with little positive results to show.
“Rather, we have had excessive corruption, mediocrity, generations of citizens who hope to become wealthy without work, emasculation of state and local initiatives, and a lack of creative and healthy competition among states as they all look towards Abuja for handouts every month.
“The development strategies that have produced 13 million out-of-school children, millions of unemployed or under-employed youth, including those with university degrees, and a level of insecurity that threatens to splinter the country into tiny bits controlled by armed warlords are the wrong ones. We must change direction.
“We must reverse the concentration of power and resources at the center. And we must make serious and conscious efforts to identify the potentials and strengths of each state and section of this country and work to maximize its contribution to the development of our country as it is supported to develop itself.
“That is how you allow greater autonomy while pulling together. Greater independence for states will allow ideas to germinate from anywhere and blossom. If Kano becomes a thriving industrial city, Jigawa will benefit and soon become an industrial center.
” If we support the emerging automobile centers in Nnewi, Kaduna, Bauchi, and Lagos, the tanneries of Kano would be the local natural suppliers of leather to that sector.
“If we reverse the ongoing de-industrialization and attract tire manufacturing companies back to supply that sector, jobs will be created, and the rubber plantations in Edo and surrounding states will benefit.
“If we have suitable transport and communication infrastructure and a reasonably free market, no section of a country would develop without the others soon joining in. Capital moves and expands to take advantage of new opportunity centers.
“Reduction of federal powers and responsibilities and greater autonomy for states would, for instance, allow a form with low demand for university spots to decide whether its priority is another federal university or investments in primary, secondary teacher education to ensure that its young population has a primary education, preparatory for possible university or vocational education in the future.
Atiku reiterated the need for autonomy of the constituent parts adding that the country needs to tailor its development policies and practices to admit its diversity and benefit from it.