Restructuring: Reps To Act On APC Panel Report

By Andrew Essien, Abuja

The House of Representatives has assured that it will act on the report of the committee set up by the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) to articulate the party’s position on the contentious issue of restructuring.

This is even as the House reechoed the clamour by Nigerians for devolution of power at the centre as a panacea to some of the teething problems currently faced by the states.

House spokesperson, Hon Abdulrazak Namdas, who disclosed this in Abuja on the sidelines of a public hearing by the APC Committee on True Federalism, added that the lawmakers would not discard the report.

Namdas said, “So, when these views are collated and sent to us, I can assure you that we are going to work on it. I told you that I am a member of the National Assembly committee on agitations. We call it agitations but it is restructuring.

“We realised after we voted that Nigerians are more interested in the devolution of powers and certainly, some of these states are not viable because they cannot get revenue on their own. If you devolve the powers to the states and probably restructure the revenue allocation (template), these states will be viable and they can generate revenue and pay their salaries.

“We are products of this party. Every lawmaker came to the National Assembly on the platform of various political parties and our own party put this committee together. So, naturally we (APC Committee) will collate views of the people here and send it to the party and the reason why we are part of it is that no view can be said to be independent. It has to come through legislation.

“Even the president said in his speech that the only recognised group that can talk about this is the National Assembly but the National Assembly too is a product of the people. You cannot on your own amend things to suit the people. You have to collate views.

At the session, which was a consultation with women groups, Namdas hailed Nigerian women for coming of age, advising them to organise and translate their numerical strength into tangible political gains.

Chairman of the committee, Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State who was represented by a committee member and former governor of Edo State, Prof Oserheimen Osunbor, restated the commitment of the committee to be fair in compiling its final report, as all shades of opinion expressed at its public hearings would be reflected.

APC had earlier disclosed its resolve to forward the report to the lawmakers as well as forward a framework of its implementation to President Buhari.

A cross section of women groups at the hearing advocated greater inclusion of women in Nigeria’s restricted and patriarchal political space, saying for every position occupied by a man, a woman must be made to deputise and vice versa.

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