Can Stronger Regions Help Reverse Current Recession?

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Some analysts blame the present economic recession in Nigeria on dwindling allocations from the federal purse to the states, caused by the global fall in oil prices. As States stagger under the burdens of unpaid wages and scarce resources, others call for return to six strong regions with a weaker centre, where comparative advantages can be employed to revive the regional and national economies and create new jobs for youths. To you, can stronger regions (and a weaker centre) help successfully tackle the present recession in the country?

ABIMBOLA AKOSILE

* Yes, strong regions can reliably reverse our current grotesque recession which is alarmingly ravaging Nigeria today. Local government autonomy is long overdue to break into the world market on the long run. Absolute power at the centre is causing both total corruption and rebellion by a lawless but powerful few. PMB has backed patriotic moves to separate local government accounts from state. Six strong regions is the solution. They pay homage to the central government faithfully and that is it. A stitch in time saves nine, if not the whole ten.
– Mr. Apeji Onesi, Lagos State

* If the States cannot manage their resources effectively what guarantee do we have that the proposed regions will do better? I believe it’s more of a leadership issue on one hand and the roles of the States in Nigeria’s peculiar federal structure which concentrates a lot of economic power to the centre; leadership, in the sense that political leaders are self-centred and so far largely irresponsible. Governor Willy Obiano of Anambra State recently abolished certain taxes to minimise the effect of the recession on the disposal income of residents of Anambra State, quite commendable and innovative. Other State Governors should think along such lines.
– Mr. Utibe Uko, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State

* I think the moment of reality is staring us in the face.
– Mrs. Mary Adeola Ayeni Tehinse, Lagos State

* The need to revert to the old six regional arrangement, where every region is encouraged to harness their potentials where they have comparative advantage over others, cannot be over-emphasised. The present economic reality demands that the various regions should look inwards and maximise their potentials and only pay tax to the central government. This will certainly encourage creativity and spirit of competition instead of the present situation where indolent states go cap in hand to receive their share of the so-called national cake which they never contributed in baking.
– Mr. Jideofor Paul, FCOE, Zuba, Abuja

* What may seem as a rhetorical question is: how did we find ourselves in this economic mess, and, why the brouhaha to return to regional system at this moment, simply because our economy is going down every day? In fact the regional system is good but it is not the solution to our multiple plights. Our given problems are predicated on the failures of our past leaders to project into the future so as to address such challenges when they emerged. I think our problem is inability to know what we stand for as a nation because of our various political, economic, regional, tribal, religious affiliations. We must identify what we stand for and be committed to it regardless of our interests, hence the recession will turn into depression and the-much-talked-about regionalism will not make any difference.
– Mr. Acha Moses, Lagos State

* This question is a way of asking if restructuring will benefit Nigeria. I think the country will prosper but a great deal of Nigerians will disagree. So how do we convince the nay-sayers to see reason? It also means some regions will have much more wealth to flaunt than others.
– Mr. E. Iheanyi Chukwudi, B.A.R., Apo, Abuja

* Yes, stronger regions will eventually reverse the current recession through micro financing of micro-businesses using the economic laws of comparative advantage across board and especially agriculture. Our hope is in cheap small-scale farming at the grassroots level. Local silos will complement storage. Too much power at the centre breeds high profile corruption. We must change all that for good.
– Miss Apeji Patience Eneyeme, Badagry, Lagos State

* I don’t believe in stronger regions, but believe in stronger states. More resources should be made available to the states from federal allocations and the fear of marginalisation, agitations, and restiveness would die down. We need to go back to the first republic, where there were only between 10 and 16 ministers in the cabinet. If ministries are reduced to that level or lower, it would make way for more responsibilities and resources to be made available to the states. The same fear of domination that has plagued us since independence will still be there in a regional or six geopolitical zones’ structure.
– Mr. Buga Dunj, Jos, Plateau State

* Recession is a seed planted by PDP government is now growing and having branches spreading all over because of corruption in their government. Until this present government uproots the plant with diversification of the economy into other sectors, the problem will still continue in economic crisis. Nigerians should back the government policies to get out of this recession before it turns to depression which will be dangerous to our economy.
– Mrs. Ijeoma Nnorom, Lagos State

* My answer is capital Yes! It has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that no state in the country has less than two or more natural mineral resources in its state. In this wise I can see all regions viable and strong enough to maintain and take care of the need of its citizens without the interference of the parasitic centre, the federal. I can see heavy competitions within these regions as they are trying to outsmart one another. Stronger regions would help reverse current recession and the centre pull and rent collectors.
– Hon. Babale Maiungwa, U/Romi, Kaduna

* I am not in support of six strong regions with weaker centre. Rather, I am in support of strong states with a weaker centre. Going back to the past has its own disadvantages. I believe that every state has enough resources to take care of her people. It will encourage creativity, competition, industrialisation and inter-dependence among states. It will surely go a long way in reviving the national and state economies as well as provide employments for millions of people.
– Mr. Pacer Aderinkomi, Surulere, Lagos State

* Stronger regions will spur comparative advantages and states under each region will be encouraged to develop and harness their various unique natural and human resources to generate employment and contribute to the GDP at the state and national levels. Furthermore, emphasis will shift to greater patronage of quality local goods, which can also go for export once local demand is met for millions of citizens. Thus, healthier and economically buoyant states will surely help reverse recession.
– Mr. Olumuyiwa Olorunsomo, Lagos

THE RESPONSE
Yes, it will help reverse recession: 5
No, it will not: 0
Others: 7
Radical tip: Create stronger States!
Total no of respondents: 12
Male: 9
Female: 3
Highest location: Lagos (7)

Next Week: To Help Rescue Nigeria, What Tips for PMB?
Although many citizens have described President Muhammadu Buhari as a principled leader of integrity, which is what Nigeria needs, the present severe economic situation and harsh impact on the same citizens has hugely affected his popularity rating and public acceptance. To help rescue Nigeria from a general precarious situation and restore positive development, what advice would you give the president as action points?

Please make your response direct, short and simple, and state your full name, title, organisation, and location. Responses should be sent between today (Sept 29 & Monday, Oct 3) to abimbolayi@yahoo.com, greatbimbo@gmail.com, AND abimbola.akosile@thisdaylive.com. Respondents can also send a short text message to 08023117639 and/or 08188361766 and/or 08114495306. Collated responses will be published on Thursday, October 6