Nigeria must restructure its federalism, establish unified law enforcement instruments and a two party system in order to strengthen the country’s institutions, former Vice President and presidential aspirant Atiku Abubakar has said.
Abubakar said this while outlining his vision for a “new Nigeria” in Abuja on Tuesday in what appeared to be a justification for his 2015 presidential bid.
He argued that the existing governance system rendered the federal states too weak in terms of resources and politically.
“There is need, therefore, to review the structure of the Nigerian federation, preferably along the basis of the current six geo-political zones as regions and the states as provinces,” Abubakar said.
“In the same vein I see nothing wrong with the establishment of state police by the states that want it, as long as it can be insulated from and is independent of the state or regional government.”
He said the country also needed to build strong institutions to safeguard against the abuse of power.
“We have a chance now to put many of those safeguards in a new constitution,” Abubakar said.
He also argued that it was unreasonable for all parts of the country to have a uniform wage structure for civil servants as the states had different income levels.
“It is misguided for labour leaders to think that a uniform wage structure across the country is in the best interest of workers,” Abubakar said.
“Employers, including state governments and agencies, that have the capacity to pay more should be able to do so.
“This can spur competition for the best talent, which may indeed raise overall wage levels (and standard of living) in the country.
“Minimum wage standards should, therefore, be established by state/regional governments.”
He claimed Nigeria can grow its economy without oil revenue.
“We should all be thinking more about production rather than distribution or sharing,” the politician said.
“I do not know of any country in the world that has developed just by its leaders gathering in their capital city every month to share revenues from rent.”
Abubakar called on the National Assembly to pass a law limiting the number of political parties to two.
“The National assembly does not have to decree their ideologies or platforms,” he said.
“This, in my view, will produce two political parties that will cut across our various divides, and be viable alternatives capable of forming government after elections.”
Abubakar argued that there is too much concentration of power and resources at the federal government stifling efforts