APC Reveals 12 Issues To Be Discussed At Public Hearing On Rrestructuring

The All Progressives Congress ​(APC) ​Committee on True Federalism has said it will consider 12 issues as it sets out on its assignment.

The committee​ is chaired by the Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai.

The committee said will also consult the report of the 2005 Political Reforms Conference, the 2014 National Conference and reports of previous national conferences in its assignment to determine the party’s position on restructuring.

Secretary of the Committee, Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi, ​revealed the 12-point agenda at a news conference in Abuja​.

​The briefing was also attended by​ the Director-General of the Progressives Governors Forum, Salihu Mohammed Lukman.

Public hearing on the assignment begins on Monday in Benin, Edo State; Enugu in Enugu State; and Ibadan, Oyo State​ and will end with a meeting with civil society organisations and professional groups in Abuja on October 9.

Adetunmbi said: “Accordingly, and pursuant to its mandate, the Committee met, deliberated and listed out the following issues and called for memoranda from members of the public.

“The 12 issues are: Creation/merger of states and the framework and guidelines for achieving that;

​“Derivation principle bordering on what percentage of federal collectible revenue should be given back;

​”​Devolution of powers on what item on the exclusive legislative list should be transferred to the recurrent list and federating units, especially state and community police, prisons;

“Federation Units: Should Nigeria be based on regions or zones or 36-state structure​;​

​”​Fiscal federalism and revenue allocation;

“Form of government (parliamentary or presidential);

“Independent candidacy;

“Land tenure system;

“Local government autonomy;

“Power sharing and rotation;

“Resource control; and

“Type of legislature.

“We are expecting inputs from the public on whether or not should Nigeria create more states; should states be merged?

“If so, what should be the framework and guidelines. “What percentage of Federal collectable resources should be given back to their sources, e.g. crude oil, solid minerals, Value Added Tax.”

Adetunmbi said contributions would not be limited to members of the party, but to all Nigerians who have something meaningful to say on the development of the country.

He said: “We must recognise that the work of nation building is an ongoing process in which every stakeholder has a role to play, by making his own contribution.

“In this case, the APC as a national political party is an institution and a stakeholder that has a role to play in making its own contribution.​ ​This exercise is its own way of making that contribution.

“The APC felt that it is not necessary to think alone among ourselves, but to also ask members of the public what they think.

“That is why everything this Committee is doing is not about its own opinion, but harvesting the opinion of the ordinary people in order to form an opinion.​ ​After all, no political party exists just by itself, but by the mandate of people.

“In this regard, we have put up an announcement calling on members of the public to submit memorandum and meet us at designated venues without any discrimination.

“So, it is an open invitation to all Nigerians to attend and make their views and voices to count.”

On whether the work of the committee will not clash with the public hearing on the same issue being planned by the Northern States Governors Forum, Adetunmbi said​ it won’t.

“The Northern Governors Forum members are stakeholders in the development of Nigeria and they have every right to consult people on the future of Nigeria.​ ​There is no monopoly of ideas.

“The party felt that in view of the ongoing discussion across the country on the state of federalism, it is good for the party to understand exactly what its role is and what its definition of the issues are and, in doing so, the party felt in its wisdom that public consultation is necessary and that is what we are doing.

“That does not foreclose any other body within the country to do its own work.​ That is why the South West just consulted and put something in the public domain.

“That is a body of information and knowledge from which ideas can be gathered in the best interest of the country.”

Adetunmbi also dismissed the possibility of the work of the committee clashing with the legislative functions of the National Assembly, which has constitutional mandate on restructuring.

“The issue of conflict with the National Assembly does not arise because this exercise is not trying to make laws but to understand what the popular demand of the people is which the party can use to advocate within its members in the National Assembly for necessary constitutional amendment. Constitutional amendment is not one in a life time opportunity, but once in every four years.

“So, the fact that the National Assembly is going through a process does not foreclose public discussion and debate on what should happen, what needs to change and there is always a time table and an opportunity in future to take such ideas and turn them into necessary laws by the National Assembly.

“If the issue of referendum comes out as responses from our consultations, it will surely be reported.​ ​This is a subject which the committee itself has no opinion. We are not canvassing any opinion as a committee.​”

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