Nigeria: Amid Worsening Insecurity, Investment Firm Backs Agitation for Restructuring

In its macroeconomic note, an investment firm says the central policing system in Nigeria has failed given the country’s landmass and population.

Investment experts at Cowry Asset Management are of the view that Nigeria’s deteriorating situation provides enough grounds for the country to be restructured.

This is coming as a Committee of the Red Chamber of the National Assembly on Constitution Review holds public hearings amid calls for restructuring.

For Cowry Asset, the undying agitation for restructuring, creation of state police, devolution of power to states, and fiscal federalism were on the front burner at the two-day zonal public hearings organised in 12 venues nationwide by the Senate committee on constitution review.

Under the exercise, each of the six geopolitical zones was assigned two venues each for individuals and groups to present their demands.

Local government workers under the platform of the Nigeria Union of Local Government (NULGE) are specifically requesting that local governments be made autonomous.

Top on the agenda also for the people of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, is that the local government should have more share of power since they are closer to the people at the grassroots as this would lead to effective administration.

From the other quarters, the call for devolution of powers was against the current structure which places more responsibilities on the Federal Government to deal with; and so, making Federal Government ineffective in delivering its major responsibilities.

Many stakeholders have consistently cited worsening insecurity in the country, as one of the core government responsibilities where the central government has failed to be efficient; hence, the clamouring for state-controlled police.

In what appears as an obvious fact, all facets of Nigerian economic segments as well as its policies strategies have failed to delivered anything meaningful for Nigerians other than massive ramping up of foreign loans.

Some government policies have worsened Nigerians misery index amidst steep unemployment condition, jumping prices and scarcity of basic amenities despite populists’ tendency.

In the political space, things are no difference. Corruption still thrive years after the All Progressives Congress anti-corruption campaign that led the incumbent leader into power in 2015.

In the last five years, the local currency, naira, has suffered under the Buhari administration while total public debt stands at about N33 trillion as the growth-starved Nigerian economy expend more than a quarter of annual budget servicing the nation’s debt.

When the global oil prices drop, Nigeria, a petrol-dollar dependent economy performance feels the effect amidst weak drive for non-oil revenue.

In the commentary, Cowry Asset says the worsening insecurity in the Southern part of the country may soon ease as the governors adopted the ban on open grazing as a strategy to resolving the prolonged herders-farmers conflict – a situation that is fast degenerating into ethnic conflict.

It said the governors who appeared to be comfortable with modern-day ranching system for rearing cattle, stated that they were ready to allocate land to all herders that were willing to register with the states and wished to embrace ranching – the modern method of cattle rearing.

According to the investment company, ”we feel that the current situation in Nigeria involving worsening insecurity, division along ethnic lines and the absence of effective governance, even at the local community level, is enough grounds for the country to be restructured to give more control to state governments that are closer to the people.”

Cowry Asset also notes that the present central policing system has failed given the country’s land mass and population. Hence, the need for a robust community policing architecture that would ensure the protection of lives and properties of citizens irrespective of their location.

 

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