The one greatest problem with the primitive society like Nigeria is the lack of superior ideas to solve the ever increasing natural problems that befall mankind. It is, for this reason, we are still where we are as a people. If not, the so many socioeconomic, sociopolitical, sociocultural and security problems in Nigeria have solutions and are easy to solve only if we use our brains well.
It beats my imagination when I see some of my brothers from the Northern Part of Nigeria kicking against the call by the Indigenous People of Niger Delta (IPND) and other ethnic groups and people to restructure Nigeria into a true Federal State with resource control. I must say here that those kicking against the restructuring of Nigeria into a true Federal State are the true enemies of Nigeria as they are the people forcing Nigeria to disintegration today.
Come to think about it; is it that these people are not knowledgeable enough to understand the advantages and positive effects of restructuring has to all indigenous tribes; communities; local government; States and Nigeria in general? Could it be that those who rely on crude for their survival does not know that all States in Nigeria would still continue to benefit from crude oil revenue even if Nigeria is restructured? I must say here that the level of ignorance from the leadership class in Nigeria is worrisome except they want me to believe that it is simply stupidity and greed?
Okay, let’s look at some basis one after the other starting from crude oil production in Nigeria.
Crude Oil Revenue:
If Nigeria is restructured to a true Federal State with resource control, as a fact all none oil producing States in Nigeria would continue to get crude oil allocation from the central government as they do get today in addition to resources which they would be making from exploration and development of natural resources from their lands. Thus, all States stands the opportunity to make more revenue. Which implies more revenue for the Federation.
Check this out, at the moment, about 75 percent of crude oil production in Nigeria comes from deepwater oil and gas fields. If Nigeria is restructured in line with the model of the USA; as so many have proposed, the Federal Government shall have jurisdiction over revenue from crude oil production in Nigeria deep waters. Which implies that none oil producing states would still continue to receive crude oil revenue as they do receive today. So why the fears from none oil producing states?
The Niger Delta States would just be having control of about 25 percent crude oil production that comes from the land; swamps and shallow offshore. Which is almost equal to what they state gets together when you consider what they receive in 13%; Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, NDDC etc. The only advantage is that if the states work more with peace and security they would get more.
Security under True Federation:
The security situation in Nigeria has the potential of huge improvement under true Federal State. State Governors would be in charge of Security in their States and they must work to ensure their is peace and security as to attract the needed investment to their states to generate revenue; jobs for their people ans create wealth. The people themselves would be more responsibility for the security of their states. As a fact; the Niger Delta Security crisis would be a thing of the past and Boko Haram would not be heard of anymore. Agitation for the restoration of Biafra Republic would cease because their land they are fighting for they would have to themselves at that time.
Natural Resources Development:
As a fact, all States in Nigeria have one form of natural resources or the other. Also some of the Northern, Eastern, and Western none oil producing States have huge potentials for commercial agricultural production with potentials to generate great deal of additional revenues to these States. It is a fact that Kogi State and Ondo State are potentially among the riches states in Nigeria with abundant natural mineral resources untapped. Same with states like Zamfara, Nassarawa; Benue; Ebonyi but these States are poor today because they are not allowed the opportunity to explore and develop their natural resources.
The advantages of a restructured Nigeria is enormous to behold. Putting in mind that Nigeria has the advantage of economy of scale due to the size and population. If Nigeria is restructured together with the whole of West Africa Region as a Confederation with one common free market and currency then West Africa with a population of about 400 million people would stand the chance to emerge as a superpower for international trade and commerce.
Conclusively, I must say Restructuring of Nigeria to a true Federal State with resource control provides a win win for all and I call on all well meaning Nigerians to support the call of the Indigenous People of Niger Delta (IPND) to restructure Nigeria to a true federal state with resource control.
Written By Roland E. Idimi (Ubiomor)
Indigenous People of Niger Delta