Governor of the State of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has said that true fiscal federalism remains the only panacea to the nation’s multi-faceted socio-political problems.
This was contained in his anniversary message as the nation celebrates its 52 years of independence.
Aregbesola, in the message signed by the Director, Bureau of Communications and Strategy, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, said the irreducible minimum is for the nation to operate a true federal structure, which is the long-lasting solution to the nation’s protracted problems.
He stated that a situation in which constitutional provisions are ignored in high administrative offices could only engender injustices and conflicts, which are unnecessary but occasioned by flagrant disrespect for the laws of the land.
Besides, Aregbesola observed that there is need for more powers to devolve from the centre; hence a review of some sections of the constitution to pave way for true federalism.
He cited section 7 (1) of 1999 constitution, which expressly states that it is the duty of the state government, subject to Section 8(3), (5) and (6)), to ensure the existence of the local government councils under the law, thus providing for the establishment, structure, composition, finance and functions of such councils.
He averred that this power to create is not an absolute one the moment it is subject to an Act of National Assembly amending Section 3 and Part 1 of the First Schedule of the Constitution, failing which any new local government area created by any state government remains inchoate and not properly constituted.
“This is a classic example of constitutional anomaly, where a provision confers rights on the one hand and a subsequent one takes it away with whim in another moment. The provisions thus vest the creation of new local governments in both state and Federal Government, where both are expected to exercise separate but complementary roles in order to bring a local government into existence.
“Such contradictions have made it impossible for states to singlehandedly create local more local governments. This is certainly incongruous and antithetical to the spirit and letter of federal constitution,” Aregbesola said.
The Governor noted that security challenges, infrastructure decay, weak national institutions are all products of what he described as a bogus system and concentration of power at the centre.
He advised that a comprehensive legal framework be put in place by the National Assembly so as to ensure political stability and uniformity in all tiers of government throughout the federation.
He noted that for the country to realize its full potential, there must be recourse to the practice of true federalism without which no meaningful progress could be made economically, socially or politically.