A group, Development Agenda for Western Nigeria [DAWN], Commission, has called on state governments in the south western Nigeria to take advantage of the constitutional amendment bills that removed electricity generation and railway from the exclusive legislative list.
In a statement signed by the Commission’s director-general, Dr Seye Oyeleye, said to states in question should take advantage of these amendments to demonstrate that the prosperity and political stability of Nigeria hinges on political reforms on fiscal federalism and unbundling of the Exclusive Legislative list.
The group said it has partnered with stakeholders in the railway sector to actualise the Great Western Rail in the region.
The statement reads: “The commission commends President Muhammadu Buhari for signing constitutional amendment bills that removed electricity generation and railway from the exclusive legislative list.
“No legislation, since 1999, has excited Nigerian development stakeholders as these ones. It therefore salutes the 9th National Assembly, the State Houses of Assembly and many lobby groups that worked to produce this near-miraculous feat that has gulped years of consistent socio-political advocacy.
“DAWN Commission acknowledges that Nigerian states, by virtue of these amendments, are now empowered to function as true federating units and centres of production that can plan and develop at their own peculiar pace.
“The Commission assures the people of Southwest region of the Governors’ readiness to take advantage of these amendments to demonstrate that the prosperity and political stability of Nigeria hinges on political reforms on fiscal federalism and unbundling of the Exclusive Legislative list.
“To attest to their readiness, DAWN Commission has partnered with stakeholders in the railway sector and a roadmap to the actualisation of Great Western Rail will soon be unveiled. Electricity will form the crux of the meeting of the Investment Promotion Agencies of the Southwest States in Akure next month.
“Exciting times are ahead and the Commission, with the backing of the Governors, is poised to ensure the latest constitutional amendments translate to evident and improved development in the region.
“Though the amendments inch Nigeria towards a truly federal state, more reforms are still needed. The Commission therefore calls for further constitutional amendments that guarantee state and community policing, amongst others.
“The Commission, in addition, calls for the amendment of the country’s revenue allocation formula, considering that many of the responsibilities that justify the Federal Government’s share of 52.68 percent have either been privatized or decentralized.
“Lastly, the Commission thanks all well-meaning Nigerians who have demonstrated commitment to political reforms. This major feat should serve as an encouragement to do more.”
By Ken Okoye