Nigeria’s former Vice President and chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Atiku Abubakar, on Sunday, advised that Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones serve as federating units instead of the present 36-states structure.
Abubakar said this in a paper titled “Building a nation that works: My Diary and Way Forward” in Lagos.
His words: We must be open to changing the nature of the federating units, such as using the existing geo-political zones as federating units rather than the current 36 states, of which only a few are financially viable.”
He said: “We need to diversify our economy away from the dependence on oil. We need to create opportunities for our people to engage in diverse economic activities which governments will then tax for revenues.
“But we can’t do that efficiently and effectively without accurate data. I have in the past called for an end to the self-defeating politics we play with census in the country.
“With all the data gathering and analytic tools in existence in the 21st century, we have no good reason not to have accurate data on our people, down to the smallest unit, the individual.
“Without data, we cannot plan properly and all of us will lose, including those who try to inflate their population figures and those who want to suppress those of others.
“Political decentralization will also help to deepen and strengthen our democracy as it will encourage more accountability. Citizens are more likely to demand accountability when governments spend their tax money rather than rent collected from an impersonal source.”
The former Nigeria’s vice-president who was also given the Hero of Nigeria Democracy Award, by Hall of Grace Magazine said: “There is a saying that if you want to get out of a hole you dug yourself in you first stop digging.”