Federal govt cheating states with deregulation
By Odimegwu Onwumere
By Odimegwu Onwumere
The way the Federal Government, FG, is selling all that we read as infants in school known as Public Corporations, is alarming. Instead of directly accepting Confederalism, the FG is indirectly being treacherous with deregulation.
It won't continue to answer a Federal Government, when it has invariably become a Confederation. The irony is that Confederalism, which is supposed to be enjoyed by States, is now the benefit of some local and international companies that are buying up Power Sector, Telephony, Refineries in Nigeria. Just name them.
Nigeria may not get it right with a perfidious system. Somebody would say that change is one thing that remains permanent. Yes, but only when it is positive and does not habour underhanded tendencies, such as the country is experiencing through deregulation.
Circuitously, deregulation is usurpation of the rights States are supposed to enjoy, if the FG had gone direct to constituting a Confederation system, instead of this disloyal to democracy christened deregulation.
Abuja, being the seat of power in Nigeria, wants to remain vibrant as ever and does not want to decentralise power to the gains of States. It does not want to be quite weak. But if we look at it properly with the way it is selling everything that was known of Nigeria, it is becoming weak. Yet, it continued to boast of federalism: a system of government where the central government can be relatively stronger.
A contiguous look at this, the FG has metamorphosed from Federalism to Confederalism; the latter being a system of government where the central government is always quite weak. But instead of the States given this power to control, for the weakness of the central power, the FG is re-channeling that power to individuals and companies, in the shamefaced system it calls deregulation.
Why the FG should be feeling-guilty of itself is that the United Nations, UN, which it is a member state, has not sold its powers to individuals or companies to manage as wont in Nigeria, but has leaned on the powers member countries supply to it. This is a typical confederation, not deregulation, as the Nigerian government is bent on practicing, in the name of democracy or, is it reformation.
We may agree that the FG has magnanimous power to boast about and is modeling governance through the United States. But the US spells out powers and operates on the powers that are for the states and those that of the central government, without any iota of infringement, as has become the case in Nigeria, where Aso Rock is even in-charge of the issuance of drivers license and most times, does not refer to the Constitution before it takes action.
In India, where Federalism is also a concept, power of government is divided between a central government and several regional governments. But by the way the central government carries itself here; one may mistake it that Nigeria is operating a unitary system of government, opposite of federal system.
It is not in error if one has to think in this direction, because powers that are supposed to be reserved to the state governments are the enjoyment of those people and companies buying up everything Federal Government and state governments have.
In a true federal system, things are rarely done this way, even though that the central government has power over the citizenry. What this power has turned out to become is the show of might by the FG that it has the unilateral power to change division of power, which countries like US and India that practice true federalism, cannot even nurse in their minds.
People could say that Confederalism is a practice of government known between countries; but in earnest, it should be applicable to Nigeria, because Nigeria is not a nation, but a country with subordination of nations. It behooves Nigeria, therefore, to coordinate her policies within the whims and caprices of the central power and state governments, without bringing in individual or companies on top of the Constitution.
Much as every country wants to grow its economy, there should be competences to common institutions, and not allowing direct powers to the individuals and companies that are buying all the FG owned companies, thereby externalising power which the States were better off to have been the beneficiary. This is not a better way to go about Decentralism and Self-Sustainability in a country.