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We Need Devolution Not Restructuring – Oshiomole

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Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Immediate past governor of Edo state, reacts to some criticisms against his views on restructuring. Excerpts:

I am clear that we need devolution of powers and review of the Revenue Allocation Formula. Those are the two things I believe are doable and they will transfer more resources to the states and the states can do some of the things that the Federal government is currently doing.

I don’t really know bur if that is what restructuring means, fine and good. I don’t believe they should move from one region to state and from state back to regions. I think what we need is very well captured by (Former President Olusegun) Obasanjo, who said “We need to restructure our attitude, we need to be more honest with our people, we need to creatively manage public fund to take care of the larger public.”

For me that is not a function of structure, it is a function of character, it is a function of attitude. sometimes �people are sentimental when we discuss issues of this nature, but what will interest you is that people who are saying we should implement the confab report, one of the confab reports said we should create additional 18 states. This does not make sense. And those saying these, were still the same people that reported that most states are not viable, �and yet they want more states.

Contradictions everywhere in Nigeria and you still see people talking about true Federalism. A governor from the south east retrenched Igbo workers who were not from his state.

PDP alleged that you abandoned the Auchi Fertilizer Company which was just re-branded and commissioned by Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo because you didn’t want to see any PDP legacy in the state?

What has happened is with President Buhari’s fertilizer Initiative which started in 2016. Special provision was made to try and provide some cheap funds to support and build blending plants and I believe State Government under Godwin Obaseki has taken full advantage of that. But the truth is that I don’t like reacting to PDP’s allegations because the dead and the living don’t communicate, God has used me to bury them in Edo state and they will never overcome their pain. You don’t expect them to ever say anything truthful.

I read them saying that I did not want to operate the factory because I did not want any legacy of PDP. But remember that governor Igbinedion then did not hand over to me, he handed over to Prof.Osunbor who was then his PDP member and Osunbor was there for 18 months. When the Igbinedion government commissioned it, they did not run the factory, so it is not as if the factory operated one day. In fact you recall that former President Obasanjo who came then to commission the place regretted what he saw and described it as the highest 419 in his presidency.

He was misled to commission the place and when went inside he found out that everywhere was dusty. And before Obasanjo got back to his chopper they had closed the gate and it never opened since then. So I think the good news is that President Buhari has come to rebuild the country and he rightly recognized that agricultural sector offers a huge potential not only in terms of job creation but also in terms of food security. A nation cannot be secured if you depend on imported food.

And for the Okpella cement factor commissioned by the Vice President, for me it is a dream come true. That Okpella cement was operating before, even the wall in this my house was built by Okpella cement in 1990.

It was a company that was working but unfortunately the previous PDP government ran it aground, they sold it and leadership has change over time and at the end they were just using it in bagging cement. But I encouraged BUA people to get the factory open so they could commence real jobs and conserve our foreign exchange. We followed through and it is now a reality.



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