4th May, 2012
Former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, has called for the restructuring of the present federal structure to the 1963 regional system of government.
He made the call on Thursday in an opening remark at the 2012 Annual Faculty of Arts Conference, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Anyaoku, who was the chairman of the occasion, argued that federalism along the old regions would save cost of governance and improve efficiency in administration.
Speaking on the challenges of good governance in Nigeria, Anyaoku said that established institutions and good leadership were the basic prerequisite for good governance.
He emphasised transparency as the key to good leadership, blaming corruption as an impediment to good governance.
“Apart from fuelling the mismanagement of our national resources, corruption detracts from our character as a people, as well as impugns the integrity of our leadership at all levels of governance.
“Corruption has so seriously eaten deep into the fabric of our society that it has virtually swallowed up our collective values,” he said.
He suggested that the attack on corruption should begin from the education sector “by remodeling our schools’ curricular and encouraging our teachers to teach civic and virtues of service.”
The former Commonwealth scribe further called for improvement of the current state of civil service at all the three tiers of government by rebuilding and motivating workers.
He urged the five South-East states to develop more seriously a regional economic cooperation, noting that if its human resources were developed, the region would create one of the fastest growing economies in the country and West Africa.
In a lecture entitled: “Nigeria: Towards the creation of Incentives and Structures for Good Governance,” former CBN Governor, Prof. Charles Soludo, argued that the discovery of oil had done more curse than blessing to the country.
According to him, the discovery of oil has created a pervasive incentive system of corruption and has rather deteriorated our society.
He also called for the re-examination of the federal structure to a regional structure to encourage competition and less dependence on the government at the centre for allocation.
“There is need for a competitive federalism where the six geo-political zones become federating units and the present states become provinces to reduce cost of governance and frequent calls for state creation.
“We must also redefine what we do with our oil money. It should be used for building capacities for the future.
“You don’t measure good governance with the number of roads or projects you have done, but with the type of change at the level of unemployment, provision of pipe borne water, efficient railways, among others,” he said.
In a brief remark, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Boniface Egboka, noted that the institution was fast becoming classic because of the regular exposure of both the academic and non-academic staff as well as students by eminent scholars.
Egboka added that the conference was a tribute to the first Nigerian President, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, for his contribution to the development of the country and good governance.