El-Rufai explains stance on restructuring debate

Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has explained his stance on restructuring Nigeria’s Federal system.

El-Rufai, in a statement by his spokesperson Samuel Aruwan, said his stance on restructuring has been consistent even before he emerged governor.

Making reference to an interview he granted on Channels Television, the Kaduna governor also explained his opposition to the implementation of the report of the 2014 National Conference, adding that the Muhammadu Buhari administration was already gradually restructuring the federation.

“While appearing on Sunrise Daily on Thursday, 29 June 2017, Malam Nasir El-Rufai clearly explained his position on restructuring. This is consistent with the views on restructuring that he has articulated in the past, including in newspaper interviews (for instance in ThisDay, August 2010) and articles like “Federation without Federalism,” syndicated in print and online media in 2012.

As he developed his arguments on the matter, he stressed how the balance between federal and state power is being redressed in favour of sub-national entities by the Buhari administration. While more ought to be done to ensure that more powers and responsibilities are devolved to the states, El-Rufai pointed out that in areas like mining in collaboration with state governments, transfer of federal roads to states, coordinated land reforms and unprecedented participation of the state governments in the National Economic Council, there is already clear evidence of such recognition in practical terms beyond rhetoric by the APC federal government.

He cited at various times during the Sunrise Daily interview, the re-designation of two federal roads in Kaduna as state roads, at the request of the Kaduna State Government. He also mentioned instances the closer engagement between state and federal authorities on mining matters, a relationship that acknowledges state rights on the matter. On these matters, it is clear that the Buhari government has done more in practice to devolve powers to states than the latter-day converts who did not follow a similar direction when they had the power to do so.

Going further, Malam El-Rufai said that states also need to devolve responsibilities to the local government councils on matters like primary education and healthcare, as soon as it is clear that their structures are capable of taking charge of such functions.

 

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