Alibaba Advocates for Restructuring, Suggests Downgrading Some Nigerian States to Local Government Status

Atunyota Akpobome, popularly known as Alibaba, a prominent public affairs commentator and media entrepreneur, has ignited a debate by proposing the downgrade of certain Nigerian states to local government status.

During his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme, Alibaba argued that some states were originally created to appease military officers and lack the capacity to sustain themselves financially. He pointed out that these states rely heavily on federal allocations and fail to generate sufficient revenue independently.

Alibaba highlighted the historical context of Nigeria’s administrative divisions, noting the transition from regional governance to the creation of 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory by the military between 1967 and 1996. He criticized the arbitrary nature of state creation during this period, suggesting that some entities should have remained as local government areas.

Citing examples of states with significant natural resources but ongoing fiscal challenges, Alibaba emphasized the need for restructuring to address the root causes of Nigeria’s multifaceted problems. He criticized the centralized fiscal system established by the federal government, which redistributes revenue through the Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), leading to dependency and inefficiency.

Moreover, Alibaba questioned the efficacy of the 1999 Constitution, inherited from the military regime of General Abdulsalami Abubakar, in addressing the country’s governance issues. He called for a fundamental overhaul of the constitutional framework to reflect the diverse needs and aspirations of Nigeria’s populace.

Alibaba’s remarks have sparked conversations about the viability of Nigeria’s current administrative structure and the urgency of implementing reforms to foster sustainable development and equitable distribution of resources.

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