While some Nigerians are calling for a return to regionalism, currently there is a proposal before the Senate on the creation of new states.
Some of the requests are ITAI State (from Akwa Ibom State); State status for the FCT; Katagum State from Bauchi State; Okura State from Kogi East; Adada State from Enugu State; Gurara State from Kaduna South; and Ijebu State from Ogun State.
Others are Ibadan State from Oyo State; Tiga State from Kano State; Ghari State from Kano State; Amana State from Adamawa; Gongola State from Adamawa; Mambilla State from Taraba State; Savannah State from Borno State; and Okun state from Kogi State.
The list also includes Etiti State from the South East Zone; Orashi State from Imo and Anambra states; Njaba from the present Imo State or the excision of Aba State from Abia State; Anioma State from Delta State; Torogbene and Oil River States, from Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states; and Bayajida State from parts of Katsina, Jigawa and Zamfara states.
I really don’t think Nigeria needs additional states and my reasons are not far-fetched. At a time when many of the existing states are not economically viable and most of them are struggling to even pay the minimum wage and deliver the basic minimum requirements for governance, suggestion about additional states is a bad idea.
Some have even pointedly suggested that states should merge to survive because of their non-viability.
So with new states, we will have more senators, House of Representatives members, state legislators and commissioners. The cost of governance will definitely shoot up. In a period where there is a serious clamour for the reduction in the cost of governance.
What is behind the clamour for more states? I believe the lack of good leadership, equity, fairness and justice at all levels may be fueling the agitation for the creation of new states.
I strongly believe that the creation of new states will not solve the problem of marginalization; it will only worsen it .It is instructive to note that Nigeria has over 350 tribes and with time ,all the tribes will be demanding for new states.
No doubt, the Nigerian federation needs to be tinkered with to ensure accountability, good governance, growth and prosperity. First, in view of the rising insecurity in every region of the country, I strongly believe state police is the way to go.
I have consistently advocated that power should be devolved to states. Instructively, the Federal Government exercises exclusive power over 68 items on the exclusive list.The states in concurrence with the Federal Government, exercise power over 30 items on the concurrent list. I think more items on the exclusive list will be taken to the concurrent list.
I see no reason why minimum wage, mining and agriculture should be controlled by the federal government.
The revenue allocation formula be changed to give more allocations to the states .
Presently, the local government system is practically dead and tied to the apron strings of the governors who have made it a point of duty to subjugate the local governments. A strong, virile and active local government will reduce the clamour for more states.
Senate President Ahmed Lawan had said security challenges in the country can be attributed to the absence of a functional local government system.
According to him, while the nation’s leaders seek solutions to the security crisis confronting the nation, the Local Government system should not be neglected. I completely agree with him
The most important factor in all this is the lack of good leadership. This again brings to the fore the need for the electorates to vote leaders who are God fearing, accountable and capable.
There is a nexus between good leadership and development, no doubt, with the right kind of leadership and the building of strong institutions, the agitations for more states and secession will definitely fizzle out.