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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

New fiscal formula, restructuring necessary for Nigeria ‘s development- South/Middle Belt leaders 

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*Advise states to outlaw open grazing
Leaders of Southern and Middle belt part of Nigeria have called on for a new fiscal formula that could move the nation from the current dependence on oil and gas revenue to a fully diversified economy.
This, they said would encourage the federation units to develop their abundant natural Human Resources for regional and national development with states and local governments remitting their revenue to the federation account.
Rising from a consultative summit on Saturday in Abuja, the group in a communique read by Afenifere spokesman, Yinka Odumakin expressed support for Nigeria as “one nation under God.”
The leaders restated their calls for restructuring of the nation in line with the recommendation of the 2014 National Conference and called on the Federal Government to place its recommendations before the National Assembly.
The summit also demanded devolution of powers and functions to the federations units so that each unit can effectively serve the development interests of the people.
The communique read in part, “As a logical derivative, we must work out a new fiscal formula that will move Nigeria away from the current over-dependence on oil and gas revenue to a diversified economy where all federating units are encouraged to develop their abundant natural human resources for regional and national development.
“The Federating Units shall remit agreed percentage of their revenue to the federation account.”
It drew the attention of the Federal Government to the fact that the Nigeria is a secular state, in which the governments cannot adopt any religion as a state religion.
“Therefore, we ask the Federal Government to immediately review the discriminatory appointments into key offices of government and the public service and comply with section 14 of the 1999 Constitution,” the group stated.
In addition, the regional leaders said the recent plans to adopt a combined syllabus of religious and moral education should  be immediately stopped, and a return to status quo be maintained so as to ensure the teaching of Christian Religious Knowledge and Islamic Religious Knowledge separately.
They admonished the FG  to immediately disarm all herdsmen in the country and bring an end to the terror being unleashed by the nomads.
“State governments are also called upon to outlaw open grazing in favour of organised ranching,” the group said just as it condemned the Arewa Youth quit order to the Igbo living in the North.
Those who attended the summit include, Chief Edwin Clark, Chief Olu Falae, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Prof. Banji Akintoye, Chief Albert Horsefall, Gen. Ike Nwachukwu, Chief Guy Ikoku, former Kogi State governor, Idris Wada, Mr. Basil Paul, Bala Takaya, Prof. Jerry Gana, former Information Minister, Labaran Maku and Senator Bassey Ewa Henshaw among others.

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