While speaking as the guest lecturer in an event in Owerri, Mr. Peter Obi called that Nigeria must restructure because the country is collapsing. The occasion was the Annual Law Week organized by the Nigeria Bar Association, Imo State Chapter and held at the Villa Garden Hotels, Owerri on 27 April, 2018. And the theme was The Restructuring Of Nigeria; a critical analysis.
In a response to return our democracy to the parliamentary system of governance as it involves less bogusness and more direct impact to the demands of the people, Mr. Obi acknowledged the valid call. However, the former governor of Anambra State stressed that the United States of America we borrowed her presidential system has been growing from strength to strength while dear country has continued to move backwards. He emphasized that we must restructure to make our country functional instead of continuing with the present rascality in governance.
He said that Nigerians will always compare their country with America in terms of states. ‘’They will always draw comparison that America has 50 states while we have 36,’’ he went characteristically practical.
‘’Yes, America has 50 states but one of the smallest states in America, Nabraska made a 2017 budget equivalent of 3.1 trillion naira. That is over the budget of the entire 11 Northeast and Southeast states of Nigeria put together. The state, Nabraska has 49 representatives in their equivalent of House of Assembly. Each of these representatives are there on part time and receive an annual salary of 12,000 dollars(N3.6 million)
‘’In the Northeast and Southeast states, there are almost 800 members of the House of Assembly and they are paid over ten times what their counterparts receive in Nabraska. So, how can we function like this? There’s no way it will work.
‘’California is the biggest state in America with a GDP of nearly 2.81 trillion dollars, which is over six times that of Nigeria. They have a GDP per capita of over $66,000 while we have just $2000. Yet it costs far more to keep and maintain a governor in any Nigerian state than that of California.
‘’We can’t continue like this. The cost of governance is totally unacceptable. We must restructure or soon completely collapse. We must leave behind a nation our children should be proud to inherit,’’ Obi continued to preach, while the audience watched with intermittent applauses in appreciation.