Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has called on the Nigerian government to grant autonomy of resources to states and local governments in the country.
El-Rufai made the plea while speaking on theme “Nigeria: Achieving National Unity Through Peaceful Restructuring” at the birthday celebration of a former governor of Osun state and a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Bisi Akande.
The governor opined that “Many of the challenges that confront our country are best resolved at the sub-national level. How well our children are educated in the first nine years of schooling is down to the states and local governments.”
El-Rufai explained that “Improving health outcomes for our people, easing and widening access to primary health care, providing routine immunisation to protect children against vaccine-preventable diseases, guaranteeing ante-natal care and safe delivery for pregnant women are all public services that are within the powers of states and local governments.”
The governor said devolution of powers to local and state governments would enable states and local governments to be self-sufficient and sustaining.
“The provision of extension services to farmers, construction of federal roads and aggregation centres for farm produce, are all state and local level functions, that the Federal Government can never do very well.”
“Without any doubt, the Federal Government needs to devolve more powers to the states, and the states to the local governments,” El-Rufai said.
El-Rufai stated that “The total revenue allocation to all Local Governments from the Federation Account should, therefore, be determined and fixed, leaving it to the State House of Assembly to legislate on the vertical and horizontal sharing arrangement”.
He used the occasion to support the establishment of state policing as part of the restructuring of the country’s system of government.
“As a state governor, I can testify that we simply do not have enough police officers in this country. That is why the military is involved in internal security operations in most of our states.”
“During the most recent outbreak of the violent crisis in Kaduna, the determined efforts of civilian volunteers to secure their communities helped us considerably to stabilize and normalize the situation,”