A regional agency of the six Nigerian Southwest states has hailed President Muhammadu Buhari on the removal of the railway and electricity distribution from the exclusive control of the federal government.
The agency, Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission, said no legislation since 1999 has excited Nigerian development stakeholders as those.
DAWN said this through a statement signed by its Director-General, Seye Oyeleye, and made available to PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday.
On Friday, President Buhari signed 16 bills passed into law by the National Assembly last year and affirmed by state Houses of Assembly for the amendment of the 1999 Constitution.
Some of the bills have empowered state governments to take in railway operations as well as electricity distribution in their territories.
DAWN said by virtue of the amendments, Nigerian states,” are now empowered to function as true federating units and centres of production that can plan and develop at their own peculiar pace.”
The statement read in part, “It, therefore salutes the 9th National Assembly, the State Houses of Assembly and many lobby groups that worked to produce this near-miraculous feat that has gulped years of consistent socio-political advocacy.
“The Commission assures the people of Southwest region of the Governors’ readiness to take advantage of these amendments to demonstrate that the prosperity and political stability of Nigeria hinges on political reforms on fiscal federalism and unbundling of the Exclusive Legislative list.
“To attest to their readiness, DAWN Commission has partnered with stakeholders in the railway sector and a roadmap to the actualisation of Great Western Rail will soon be unveiled. Electricity will form the crux of the meeting of the Investment Promotion Agencies of the Southwest States in Akure next month.
“Exciting times are ahead and the Commission, with the backing of the Governors, is poised to ensure the latest constitutional amendments translate to evident and improved development in the region.”
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DAWN, however, added that though the amendments inch Nigeria towards a truly federal state, more reforms are still needed.
“The Commission, therefore calls for further constitutional amendments that guarantee state and community policing, amongst others. The Commission, in addition, calls for the amendment of the country’s revenue allocation formula, considering that many of the responsibilities that justify the Federal Government’s share of 52.68 per cent have either been privatised or decentralised.”
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