Federalism made North redundant, unproductive, says Shehu Sani
The senator representing Kaduna Central District at the National Assembly, Shehu Sani said federalism has made the northern part of the country redundant and unproductive, relying on allocation from the central government to survive.
He said this situation is responsible for the continued agitation by states in the Niger Delta who are seeking equity in sharing the nation’s common wealth. Sani explained that: “Until we amend the constitution to force all regions in the country to make equal contribution to the national purse, the agitation by indigenes of the Niger Delta may not stop and this would affect the growth and development of the nation.”
Senator Sani spoke yesterday while receiving the leaders of Women Connect Initiatives (WCI) in his office. He urged states in the region to improve their revenue generating drive, which would make them less-dependent on federal allocation.
He said: “Nigeria is moving into a new phase in its history as a country and as a people. The era of oil money is almost over. The federal system we have today is one in which people go to Abuja to collect money. This should not be the case.
“All parts of Nigeria must be involved in generating revenue for the country. This would make everyone have a sense of belonging. We cannot live in a society where one part contributes and the other does not. That is injustice. The agitation by people of the Niger Delta is right. Even if there is oil in the northern part of Nigeria, other people have the right to demand for justice in the same country.”
The senator added that: “The poverty and degradation in the Niger Delta is a colossal injustice to the people of that part of the country. But, unfortunately, the poor people in the north have also not benefited from the oil revenue.
“Northerners who have oil wells use the money for themselves and keep the poor impoverished. The only people who have benefited from the structure we have today are the elites, both in the north and south.”