ONDO State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has said that the Federal Government should only coordinate and receive royalties as opposed to an arrangement where major revenues are concentrated at the centre.
He also noted that the government at the centre must shed the excess weight unduly appropriated on the sub-nationals so as to ensure that fairness, equity and justice were served.
Akeredolu spoke while declaring open the ongoing nationwide public hearing of the Senate Committee on Constitution Review in Akure on Wednesday.
He said the excessive weight of the Federal Government was the major cause of friction in the country, and the reason for the politics of bitterness and why everyone wanted the power at the centre.
He said that the basic law of any country must not be reduced to frivolities reflecting preferred whimsies, adding that it must not be oppressive on the minorities.
“Its provisions must indeed give teeth to the primary purpose for which the government exists,” he noted.
He charged the Senate to look into all the agitations of the peoples of the country with a view to improving the economic power of the average citizens.
According to him, the best way possible was to allow each region to flourish in its areas of comparative advantage.
“The new law must view, critically, the current misnomer which sees the Federal Government appropriating humongous amounts for moribund agencies whose duties overlap with those of the states,” he said.
“The fiscal policy of the country must be restructured to encourage ingenuity and uncommon resourcefulness.
“The Federal Government should only coordinate and receive royalties. The current system is not sustainable. All of us are beginning to appreciate this fact,” he stressed.
The governor urged the leaders galvanising the review to cast aside partisanship, which often served the purpose of parochialism and selfish considerations.
“This is the time for candour, that rare opportunity which gives vent to processed nuggets of introspection. This is the hour to accept that fundamental errors of judgement have been made and there is the need to correct the same.
“This is the moment when brothers and sisters must look at themselves in the eyes, chastise in love and be ready to embrace, warmly, afterwards. The stage must not be set for an unending and needless blame game and acrimony. This is definitely not a contest in sophistry where orators say so much but, in the end, say nothing.
“Providence has ensured our presence on the world map as Nigerians, a badge which evokes a mixed feeling of approbation and warmth, on one hand, and a general sense of revulsion for attitudes symptomatic of the current crisis of confidence in the country.
“Our ability to deliberate, dispassionately, on the issues which, ultimately, define us as a nation of peoples bound in the same destiny, will be far-reaching in our quest for abiding solutions to the perennial crises.”
The ongoing constitutional review was designed by the National Assembly to find answers to the many constitutional crises created by the 1999 Nigerian Constitution.