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Gov. Tambuwal gives condition under which the North will accept restructuring and it is problematic


Gov. Tambuwal gives condition under which the North will accept restructuring and it is problematic

Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto has disputed “patently false” reports that the North is collectively against the idea of restructuring.

Speaking at a conference in Kaduna on Tuesday, Tambuwal said “the north wants restructuring as much as anyone else. However, as a people, we do not easily jump unto the bandwagon because we are always there for the long haul. We believe that any decision we take must be inclusive, and respect procedures and processes so that the outcome is sustainable.”

Before moving forward on restructuring, Tambuwal said the following have to be considered:

  • A mutual definition of the term “restructuring.”
  • For Tambuwal, the acceptable definition of restructuring has to be one which ensures “that no state takes a disproportionate amount of the resources, or most of the available space in the education or job sector, or subjugate the others’ culture or religion, or lords it over the other so that the number of the poor and uneducated whose future is circumscribed by their circumstance is shared proportionately, then we are game.”

That’s where the problem lies: Tambuwal believes that the number of poor and educated across the regions or states need to be proportional. It’s the kind of thinking responsible for the lack of innovation and the backward policies of many states.

For instance:  A state like Kano whose officials go about destroying alcoholic drinks only does so because there are not repercussions. When the government earns taxes on these alcoholic beverages, Kano also gets a share despite its opposition. It’s a classic case of having your cake and eating it.

Akin Osuntokun described it as Northern hegemony in a recent piece: “I need to clarify that Northern hegemony does not equate a President of Northern origin, it only implies that the political pace of Nigeria, for good and bad is dictated by the region.”

To be clear, lazy state governments can be found in both the North and South. States ought to be allowed to compete by coming up with policies that attract the brightest and best – tax incentives, poaching huge employers from other states due to policies that ease the business environment, among others. The main reason this isn’t the case in Nigeria is because there’s a powerful federal government which ensures that both innovative and lazy states basically grow proportionately. And that is the problem with Tambuwal’s position.

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