Udom Emmanuel, Governor of Akwa Ibom emphasises the necessity of fiscal federalism and the devolution of power

Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has reiterated his administration’s position that true, fiscal federalism and significant devolution of powers from the central government to other federating units was in the best interest of the country.

Emmanuel spoke through his deputy, Mr. Moses Ekpo at the Stakeholders meeting on the transmitted constitution (Fifth Alteration) Bills, 2022, organised by Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Ad-hoc committee.

He commended the leadership of the state House of Assembly for convening the public hearing, on alteration of the 1999 constitution, stressing that Akwa Ibom ust play a key role in the cardinal task of nation building.

His words: “Because the Constitution can be said to be the most consequential document in a constitutional democracy, the making or remaking of the document is inevitably a solemn act.

“There was and I believe there continues to be a consensus of opinion that the Nigerian project is a great project; that we have the human and natural resources to be greater and that the multi-level diversities in our nation can be a source of strength rather than weakness.

“There is still a consensus of opinion that to grow as a nation we must let go of parochial interests and embrace goals bigger than ourselves and most importantly, learn from the mistakes of our distant and recent past.

“It is still our position that true, fiscal federalism and significant devolution of powers from the central government to the other federating units is in the best interest of Nigeria.

“We believe that the control of natural resources states bearing them will trigger a healthy competition among federating units to discover their potentials and become more productive, thereby driving our economic indices in the right direction”

The governor also reiterated that the time has come for the decentralization of the Police force, to enable states to establish a well-equipped and well-motivated police force, to effectively complement the Federal police and begin to put an end to the growing insecurity in many parts of the country.

“Finally, we cannot as a nation afford to toy with the Education of our young and productive population nor with the empowerment of our women.

“Education from the Primary to Secondary School level should be a right in every State of Nigeria, and it should be free. Equally no nation prospers greatly where the female gender is not enabled to prospers”, the governor added.

Earlier in his remarks, Chairman of the Ad-hoc committee on fifth Alteration of Bills, 2022 Rt. Hon Udo Kerian Akpan assured that the outcome of the meeting would be collated and shall form the basis of recommendations to the House in plenary as a guide on how to vote on each of the bills.

“As you may be aware, the National Assembly began the process of amending the 1999 constitution (as amended) for the fifth time sometime in 2020. This action stemmed from the consistent and steady clamuor by the Nigerian public for an amendment and/or review of several sections of the constitution as currently being used in the country.

“To some people in the country, the agitation was for a total replacement of the present constitution with a new one while others advocated for the amendment review of some sections and introduction of new sections.

“The fact that the Nigerian Constitution has undergone five (5) attempts of alteration within its 23 years of existence is a manifestation of the dissatisfaction of the Nigerian people with the document that was decreed into existence and foisted on us by the military class”

At the end of the public hearing on Thursday, 43 out 44 Bills for consideration were adopted by participants comprising Labour Unions, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), and the political class.
Chima Ugo is a patriotic Nigerian, a journalist, blogger and singer who is so much interested in the internet, journalism, and blogging and have been for half a decade.