Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State yesterday said Nigeria should be restructured to allow states have access to the revenue within their domain.
The governor said the nation’s subsisting political system was robbing states of revenue, adding that unless there is a reform, the second tier of government will continue to depend on handouts from the Federation Account.
He said solid mineral deposits should belong to states where they are found, but the 1999 Constitution gives ownership rights to the Federal Government.
Ajimobi noted that without a constitution amendment or restructuring, the states will remain parasites.
He said amending the constitution would make states get involved in extractive industries and boost their revenue base.
Ajimobi, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Dr. Gbade Ojo, spoke in Ibadan, the state capital, at the third annual Dauda Adegbenro Foundation lecture, with the theme: Transparency in the Extractive Industries: Driving Wealth Creation and Sustainable Revenue as Solution to Economic Recession.
The governor also said Nigerians must decide on the federalism they desire, since no two types are the same.
He urged the Federal Government to diversify the economy, saying Nigeria’s continued reliance on a mono-product economy would not bode well for the nation.
In his lead paper, Executive Secretary of Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Waziri Adio listed areas Nigeria should focus on to drive growth and development on the extractive industries.
He said the nation should leverage on opportunities offered by resource endowments by pursuing value optimisation.