Not Enough: Yoruba Elders Rubbish Restructuring As Solution To Nigeria Problem
The Yoruba Council of Elders, YCE, on Monday submits that restructuring alone could not effectively tackle the country’s problems.
The Council says time has come for the various ethnic groups in the country to have a round table talk on how to live together.
The Secretary-General of YCE, Dr Kunle Olajide, who spoke on the state of affairs in the country, said: “They should get a new constitution for this country. It’s not anything difficult. We are in a democracy. Let the executive send bills to the national assembly for imputing referendum into our constitution. A referendum is not in the constitution we are operating.”
His words: “There should be a referendum in any democratic dispensation. They should establish constituents’ assembly commission. We cannot run Nigeria as a unitary system. Reforming a country is a process, you cannot decree a nation into existence.
“Restructuring cannot effectively tackle Nigeria’s problem. Restructuring is one of the byproducts of a new constitution. The power in the exclusive list should not be more than twenty. In the 1963 constitution, we had sixteen items on the exclusive federal list.
“Emphasis must be placed more on getting a people’s constitution. This is a heterogeneous country. We are made up of different people with different histories, different backgrounds, different cultures and different priorities.
“Therefore, we must sit down together. We have several nations in Nigeria. We have the Yoruba nation, we have Igbo nation, Fulani nation, Hausa nation, Kanuri nation, Ijaw nation and so on with different priorities. Let us sit down and agree on how to live together.
“I am not particularly happy with the happenings in this country. We started this dispensation in 1999 and it appears as if we take three steps forward and take about ten backwards.
“In my humble opinion, the simple reason is that we were not part of writing the constitution we are operating. If you recall, there are several contradictions even in the constitution that we are running.
“The land belongs to the state; the minerals on the land belong to the Federal Government. Everything is controlled from the centre. The states are not even empowered to explore and exploit their resources and deploy them according to their priorities.
“They go cap in hand every month to Abuja for allocation and about 85 percent of the revenue of the country is from oil and gas which is dangerous for the country’s economy. The prices of these products are controlled from abroad, whereas we have enough land for agriculture
SANWO-OLU URGES STATE GOVTS TO CUT DOWN ON WASTE, EXCESS FOR ECONOMIC STABILITY
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has advised state governments to cut down on waste and excess, and ensure that every unit of surviving expenditure delivers maximum value and impact, for the benefit of the populace.
He said the ultimate goals must be value for money, and the enhancement of the quality and timeliness of service delivery.
Speaking on Monday at the National Council on Finance and Economic Development (NACOFED) Conference held at Marriott Hotel in Ikeja, Lagos, Sanwo-Olu said a robust Public Finance Management system is the critical pathway for the efficient and effective delivery of the dividends of democracy to the citizens, which according to him must be carried out in a manner that is transparent and accountable to all.
Governor Sanwo-Olu in his keynote address during the conference entitled “Public Sector Finance Management in the New Normal, (Post Covid-19)” said the gathering would provide an opportunity to share thoughts, exchange views and forge a common front in addressing some of the fiscal and socio-economic challenges foisted on the country by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said: “What the pandemic (COVID-19) has done is to compel us all, whether in the public or private sectors, to focus more attention on exploring ways ‘to do more with less.’ We have been forced to find ways of optimising spending, to ensure that, one, we are cutting down on waste excesses and things that we do not need, and two, that every unit of surviving expenditure delivers maximum value and impact, for the benefit of our populace.
“This is the time for Commissioners for Finance and Commissioners for Economic Planning to be sincere with their principals, who may have asked you to do the impossible. But indeed, we know this is the time for you to be frank and sincere to your principal that we have to think out of the box. You have to be very creative and do away with what will not be considered as important this time.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu also commended the Federal Government for faithfully implementing various initiatives aimed at improving the quality of Public Financial Management in Nigeria.
He said initiatives like the Treasury Single Account (TSA), the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA), the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS), among others, including the States’ Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Programme for Results (SFTAS) Programme, have provided support to States to help them achieve desired fiscal reforms underlined by prudence, openness, transparency and accountability.
The Governor said the programme has also highlighted to States the need to redouble efforts aimed at increasing Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
He said: “We must rapidly embrace technology as a tool for increasing transparency and accountability, as well as expanding citizens’ access to public services in a manner that is cost-effective and solution oriented. Every opportunity to reduce non-essential spending must equally be seized with both hands. And, very importantly, we must invest in building the human capacity required to adapt seamlessly to the social, legal, technological and policy demands of the new normal.
“Here in Lagos State, we are doing a lot in that regard, from cleaSANWO-OLUning up our public payroll system, to embracing automation and technology in the management of land and property records and processes, to restructuring loans and bonds to ensure a productive lowering of our debt service costs, and also to exploring innovative ways of mobilising capital to deliver on our vision of a truly 21st Century Megacity.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu also reiterated Lagos State’s commitment and continuous support to the Federal Government’s policies and programmes.
“The Lagos State Government, under our watch, will continue to collaborate with all stakeholders, public and private, on this journey to the attainment of a peaceful and prosperous Nigeria.
The time is now, for all hands to be on deck to rebuild from the disruptions occasioned by the pandemic. The goal of this rebuilding must not be to restore the old economy that COVID disrupted, but instead to build a new one that is fit-for-purpose for the 21st century and fit for the new reality of a post-COVID planet,” he said.
Speaking earlier, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. (Mrs) Zainab Ahmed, said the Federal Government remains committed to the reforms the Muhammadu Buhari administration has started, which according to her are aimed at enabling the business environment, creating the right fiscal space for investment and diversification of the revenue base of the economy.
She said: “The last couple of years presented series of challenges to us as a nation and the entire globe. From the decline in revenue to slow growth and recovery largely due to the fall in crude oil prices on account of falling global demand and the containment measures to fight the spread of COVID-19, which affected virtually every sector of the economy.
“The good news, however, is that our recovery rate from the pandemic has been sustainably good and encouraging. Fortunately, things are now looking up for us and our economy is bouncing back to normal. Based on the current economic outlook, our economy is projected to grow by 1.5 per cent this year and 2.9 per cent in 2022. Therefore, as we move to the reset opportunities, our focus should be on growing and consolidating the recovery efforts.”
In his goodwill message, the Chairman of Senate Committee on Finance and Senator representing Lagos West Senatorial District, Senator Adeola Solomon, said the government should develop and push for appropriate measures that suit the country’s situation, especially in dealing with post-COVID 19 issues.
Also speaking, Kogi State Commissioner of Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Asiwaju Ashiru Idris, said Lagos State deserves special attention and therefore called on the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), to consider special status for Lagos State anytime they are going to review the revenue formula.
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
Adebayo Faleti, Dele Cocker, Gloria Young, Others Dazzle At Pat Eleto’s Lagos Empowerment Foundation Conference
Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation (InclusiveSWEF), a non-governmental organisation held a conference on October 26, 2021 to commemorate the World Mental Health Day.
The conference was used to create awareness on disability, mental health and domestic violence, had in attendance, professionals from different fields from Nigeria and United Kingdom.
The event had several guest speakers, representatives of the Nigeria Police Force, government parastatals, representatives of various NGOs, as well as persons living with disabilities.
Convener of the conference and CEO of Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation, Chief (Mrs.) Pat Eleto, reiterated the objectives of the foundation as well as her empathy and passion in seeking justice/help for the abused and vulnerables in the society.
She said, it was the need to assist the less privileged, that necessitated her establishing the foundation, that has now become a source of succor to many persons with different forms of
In her words, “our goal to enlighten the public on domestic violence and how it affects people with physical and learning disabilities, how they should be treated in order to minimize risks, how to response and seek help and access justice in case of abuse and also enlighten people on inclusiveness of persons with special needs”.
One of the guest speakers, Mr. Elizer Isaac Anuoluwayinka, a volunteer with Inclusive Social Welfare posited that, if people who are not living with any disability can be abused, disrespected or sidelined, then those living with disability are vulnerable and are bound to experience all forms of abuse especially in a country like Nigeria where the rights of citizens are trampled upon daily.
Also, Chief Adebayo Faleti, a specialist on mental health issues, explained the difference between mental health and mental illness.
He also expatiated on how to relate with people suffering from these challenges which include bipolar disorder, psychotic disorder, trauma and other related issues.
Ms. Theresa Okeda also gave a presentation on different types and symptoms of abuse and mental illness, while Mrs. Ronke Adeyemi explained the risks and impacts of not accessing a counselor for proper solution.
Mrs. Adeyemi further elaborated on the need for people with mental disorders to always seek counseling/therapy as this helps in alleviating symptoms and promote mental well being.
Mr. Abayomi Adeoye, a dementia specialist, talked about how to handle cases of dementia.
He emphasized the need for those supporting persons with dementia to understand the illness because it has implications on family members and friends.
Ms. Audrey Ojiaku, a specialist on Elderly Care in the United Kingdom, pointed out that, the issue of abuse on the elderly, is an important public health problem that is mostly overlooked or under reported. The speaker said that available and reliable statistics showed that the elderly also faces different kinds of abuse ranging from physical, sexual, financial abuses and exploitation, neglect and abandonment e.g. and these abuses are mostly carried out by persons known to the abused.
On her part, Barrister Josephine Ijekhuemen Odikpo, a Principal Partner at Odikpo Okpe & Associates, gave a legal framework that guides persons with disabilities.
She explained the legal rights which persons living with disability have in order to live freely in the society without stigma. She also listed their rights and several ways they can access justice and inclusiveness.
In his vote of thanks, Chief (Engr.) Dele Coker, patron of Include Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation, also used the opportunity to encourage other NGOs, as they are the pillar of the society outside the government.
The well attended event had drama presentations by Inclusive Social Welfare staff, to the delight of all participants, while Mrs. Gloria Young served as moderator.
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