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Asaba Accord: No restructuring if govs disallow LGs from working – FG

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The Federal Government has ruled out restructuring Nigeria, stating that its understanding of the idea is that the current structure, especially the tiers and arms of government, should be allowed to work..



The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), stated that the regime led by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), does not have plans to change the current structure, noting that it has begun to implement parts of the recommendations of the 2014 national conference through the issuance of Executive Orders.

Malami, who featured on Politics Today, a current affairs programme on Channels Television, on Wednesday, dismissed the recent resolutions by the Southern Governors Forum especially on the call for restructuring and ban on open grazing in the South.

The AGF said, “My view about restructuring as well cannot be divorced from the political undertone. Take for example, what we have existing as a structure – as tiers of government – we have federal, state and local governments. Now, coming down to the local government, what is happening to the local governments? Those that are clamouring for restructuring, what have they done in terms of ensuring functional efficiency of the local governments?

“Here we are having a governor clamouring for restructuring and denying a local government, which is a tier of government, the financial resources to function effectively.”

When asked if Nigeria needs restructuring, Malami asked, “When you talk about restructuring, what are you talking about precisely, so that I can answer you within the context of your understand of restructuring.”

When asked to define restructuring as the Buhari regime sees it, the minister said, “As far as this government is concerned, restructuring is allowing the functionality of the democratic structures. You cannot be clamouring for restructuring in a system whereby you have responsibility to allow the existing tiers of government to operate. You are denying them functional operation and you are shouting restructuring.




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“You cannot clamour for restructuring in a situation whereby three arms of government; you have the responsibility to allow them to flourish and operate optimally, (but) you are undermining their operations by denying them the autonomy granted constitutionally. Yet, you are clamouring for restructuring.

“So, within the context of restructuring, what matters most is allowing the democratic structures; allowing the federal structures to operate optimally. Until we now allow these structures to operate optimally, there is no way we can have the benefits associated with those structures.

“So, in a situation whereby the elite and political elements are denying these structures to operate optimally, I don’t think there is any justification for clamouring for restructuring that is not in any way well practiced.”

The AGF added, “As far as I am concerned, I do not understand what restructuring any political individual is talking about against the background of the fact that on the other hand, he is denying the existing constitutional structures to operate optimally.”

Malami stated that all powers are embedded in financial autonomy. He asked, “What have they done to allow the local government structures to operate optimally?”

Asked if he would not advise the President to listen to those calling restructuring, Malami said, “They should address it at their own level first and then let us see what happens, before coming to the President.” He added, “It is not about the President, it is about denial of the functionality of the structure at the lower level, and that it what restructuring is all about.”

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