Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President on Wednesday in Enugu reiterated his support for restructuring of Nigeria, saying that it would remove economic power from a few elite and return to Nigerians, the real owners of power.
Atiku warned Nigerians to stop being afraid of restructuring, saying that states controlling their resources would solve the problem of marginalisation.
Delivering 4th lecture series of University of Nigeria Nsukka Senior Staff Club, titled “Restructuring Nigeria,” the former Vice President said restructuring would make states or region to be creative and tap the resources in their area without waiting for crude oil money from the centre.
He maintained that restructuring guarantees a brighter future for Nigeria as it would ensure equity and justice in the management of the country’s resources.
“Let us not be afraid of states controlling their resources since every state has one resource or the other and they will pay tax to the federal government.
“Restructuring will make states to harness resources in their area.
“With restructuring, states would be allowed to create local government areas it can manage based on the resources available,” Atiku said.
The former number two man recalled that he started advocating for restructuring since 2006 when he was the vice president because he knows restructuring would remove economic power from few elites and give it to the people where the power belongs.
“Restructuring will guarantee equity and justice in the control and management of people’s resources,” he said
He regretted that sharing of oil money has made the country leaders not be creative and not to give diversifying of economy the required attention it deserves.
“What we have forgotten is that the era of oil economy is gradually phasing out as major investment in world economy is on alternative energy. For instance the government of France says selling of oil in the country will be illegal by 2040,” Alhaji Atiku said.
He expressed appreciation to UNN Senior Staff Club for finding him worthy to deliver the lecture.
Making remarks, Chief Nnia Nwodo, the President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo and Chairman of the occasion said that restructuring would enable people to negotiate on how to live as Nigerians.
“Restructuring will help the country move forward as it will make people to be creative and manage resources in their area judiciously.
“I commend staff Club for inviting Atiku who has been for a long time advocating for restructuring of the country because of the gains in it,” he said.
Prof Benjamin Ozumba, the Vice Chancellor of UNN who was represented by Deputy Vice -Chancellor Administration, Prof Charles Lowe thanked the former Vice President for coming as well as choosing a topic that is current and of vital importance to the country now.
Making remarks earlier, Professor Anselm Onyimonyi, the President of UNN Senior Staff Club explained that the club with about 400 professors deemed it necessary to invite the former VP who had been one of those who believed in restructuring of the country to move the country forward.
“As intellectuals we invite distinguished personalities to give their opinions on issues of national and international importance,” he said.