How do you want a restructured Nigeria to look like? How should responsibilities be shared between the federal and state governments?
Find below twenty rules that I consider as fundamental to a two-tier system of federal government and which I think is best suitable for a country like Nigeria. These twenty rules highlight the basic principles of true federalism.
1. There should be two tiers of government; a federal and state government. Each of them should have a separate constitution.
2.The federal constitution should create not more than six states
3.The federal constitution should limit the federal government responsibilities to only national defense, finance, foreign policy, immigration, etc
4.The federal constitution should be written by the people (indigenes and residents) of Nigeriawhile the state constitution should be written by only the people (indigenes and residents) of the states
5.The federal constitution should state clearly that all responsibilities not covered by the federal constitution should be the exclusive duties of the state
6.Ownership of all federal owned assets and institutions that are no longer under federal duties should be transferred to the states where they are geographically located.
7.The federal government will no longer build roads, hospitals, universities, rail lines, refineries, power states, etc. These shall become exclusive duties of the state governments
8.The federal constitution shall guarantee the autonomy of the states in all ramifications and shall ensure that whatever tier is created by the state (be it community government, LGA, Provinces, Divisions, etc) shall have the same autonomy as the state in its areas of duties
9.The federal constitution shall forbid both the federal and state governments from embarking on business ventures and shall limit their sources of revenue to only taxation and royalties.
10.The federal constitution should recognize the right of ownership of landand natural resources as belonging to communities and should therefore forbid both the state and federal governments from upturning this right
11.The state and federal governments should have two independent judiciary with each having its own Supreme court
12.Right to secession should be enshrined in the federal constitution. Communities/towns should have the right to secede from a state and seek membership of another state within Nigeria while states should have the right to secede from Nigeria and seek membership of another country or form an independent country of their choice. The process of doing this must be by referendum.
13.States should be entitled to receive irregular annual grants from the federal government in the same way communities/towns should be entitled to receive irregular grants from their state governments upon meeting certain conditions. There shall be no monthly allocation.
14.Parliamentary democracy could be adopted to replace the present presidential executive system. The House of tribes (House of Reps) should be abolished and a single parliament retained comprising of tribesmen, professionals, and town/city/state representatives.
15.The federal constitution shall guarantee the decentralization of the civil service
16.The federal constitution shall recognize indigeneship and residency as qualification for occupying public offices in both state and federal offices.
17.Taxation shall be the major source of revenue for both the federal and state governments. Federal taxes shall be limited and deducted from the state governments while state taxes shall be unlimited and deducted at source
18.Both basic and tertiary education shall be the exclusive rights of the state governments, power generation and distribution shall also be the exclusive rights of the state governments. The federal constitution shall guarantee the need for federal, state, community and institutional police system.
19.Federal regulations should be unlimited on matters of security, environment, power, economy, etc., while state regulations should be limited
20.Issuance of licenses (whatever kind be it exploration or social license) should be the exclusive right of the state governments while regulations of such licenses should be jointly done both the state federal governments.
The above twenty rules are what I consider as fundamental principles of true federalism as may be applicable to the Nigerian society. Once we are able to these rules become law in Nigeria, Nigeria has become a true federal state.