According to Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde, fiscal federalism and devolution of powers are the only ways to get Nigeria out of its problems.
Makinde stated that true federalism is the future of democracy in the country and urged the federal government to grant more powers to the states.
The Oyo State Governor stated that natural resources and the security plan of the states should be controlled “to avoid the path of destruction”.
He made this disclosure at the International Conference Center, University of Ibadan on Tuesday during his keynote address at the maiden Seyi Makinde National Democracy Summit.
The summit saw the presence of Ondo Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, represented by the Commissioner of Justice, Charles Titiloye; ex-Edo Governor, Professor Osariemen Osunbor, the Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Professor Eghosa Osaghae, among others.
Makinde said: “As we continue to deliberate on the future of democracy in Nigeria, let us remember that true federalism is the way forward. Restructuring the Nigerian state, and giving the federating units more powers is the route to economic prosperity.
“We are the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but our federalism exists in name only. Students of political history will tell you that what we have been practising is, in fact, a unitary system of government – where more powers are concentrated in the central government.
“There is so much power at the centre and another thing that our political theorists will tell you is that by nature, a unitary system of government is better suited for small countries, maybe countries with flat ethnic nationalities.
“Nigeria is not a small country and very diverse. You can easily identify why we are experiencing developmental challenges across the board. We are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
“For true federalism to thrive, the federating units should have more powers and autonomy. The legislature is also fighting for autonomy, which has shown that we have to devolve.”