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APC bows to restructuring, as committee Okays State police, others…..

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All Progressive Congress (APC) committee on True Federalism has finally presented its report on restructuring that would see that several items such as, police, judiciary, labour issues, food, drugs, poison, mines and minerals, oil field, mining, geological surveys, natural gas and prisons are placed in the concurrent list.

By this development the Chairman of the APC committee on restructuring, Governor El Rufai of Kaduna State said that states would now have power to legislate on the above mentioned items. He however said that states would now be in control of the land, minerals and hydrocarbon resources. Though, crude oil exploration in the continental shelf of Nigeria would be the exclusive preserve of the federal government, since it is the federal resources and security apparatus that are being used to protect the seas and borders.

On citizenship, he said that the issues of local government and state of origin, the committee are recommending state of residence in order to resolve the issue of residence. El Rufai advised that an arrangement has to be made to amend the Federal Character Commission Act.

Independent candidacy was also proposed, however it was stated that the candidate must not be a member of any political party or should have resigned his membership of a political party six months before running as an independent candidate.

One of the critical aspects of restructuring is the domestication of business with the registration of business name in the states where they are domiciled. This would give states the opportunity to earn more revenue from limited liability companies, while unlimited companies would register under the federal government.

The True Federalism committee is not disposed to the autonomy of Local Government. They believe that the states are better placed to pass laws for the third tier of government.

Some respondents spoken to question the rationale behind the APC committee on true federation, despite the 2015 confab reported addresses virtually all issues of restructuring and nation building. The belief is that they suspect the sincerity of the APC committee on True Federalism that this could be another political gimmick.  Others said that it may be a ploy by the ruling party to divert attention from the failings of the government, especially with the recent salvo fired by past President Olusegun Obasanjo asking President Buhari to “honourably dismount the horse” in view of the various problems besieging the nation.

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