Peoples Democratic Party leading presidential aspirant and Governor of Sokoto state, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has pledged to devolve more powers to states and local governments if elected president come February 2019.
He also promised to facilitate a robust debate on the quest for restructuring of the country by Nigerians because according to him, a president should always listen to the yearnings and aspirations of the people he leads.
Addressing PDP delegates in Makurdi Benue state on Saturday, Tambuwal said Nigeria operates a federal system of government which gives independence and autonomy to the federating units to enact laws by the state houses of assembly.
The presidential aspirant assured that when elected president, “Nigerians will have a leader that will make them proud in the comity of nations, a leader that has the credential of a tested bridge-builder and one that will not take decisions shrouded in ethnic and religious bigotry.
“From my experience and exposure and broad world view, and having visited and interacted with people in all the 360 federal constituencies, as Speaker, I have full understanding of the complexity of Nigeria’s unique diversity. And I know that our strength is in this our diversity. That is why we need a leader with the ability, understanding and willingness to unify this great nation and bring her to the path of peace and progress. Nigeria has never been this polarized along ethnic and religious lines and the time to end this polarization is now. This country belongs to all of us and everyone has the right to live and prosper in any part of the country without fear.We must say no to clannishness and reclaim our collective dignity once again..” Tambuwal said.
Governor Tambuwal, who was in the National Assembly for 12 years, also promised that he will propose amendments to the constitution to remove power generation, railway and others from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent list so as to allow states to generate and distribute electricity, build regional rail networks among others and said: “There is no reason why states should not facilitate power investments within their territories. To enable them do this, we shall move power generation ,transmission and distribution from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent legislative lists.”
He also pledged to devolve more powers to states and local governments in addition to reviewing the revenue allocation formular free more funds from the centre to the federating units saying, “when I talk of restructuring, it doesn’t necessarily mean physical restructuring our land mass, but fiscal restructuring and the making of fundamental changes in other areas, aimed at devolving more powers to the states and make them more effective in actualizing the aspirations of the citizenry.”
Tambuwal, disclosed that as part of the power devolution, states would be allowed to appoint commissioners that will represent them in some statutory commissions such as the Revenue Allocation & Fiscal Commission, National Population Commission and Federal Character Commission among others.
“For there to be transparency, fiscal discipline and professionalism, the office of the accountant general of the federation must be separated from that of the accountant general of the federal government. This, we have to do, as one of the first key exercise of my government, if I receive the mandate to be president of this great nation. A serious nation desirous of making progress should have an accountant general for the federation different from the accountant general of the federal government.
“The accountant general of the federation should be a pure professional, whose loyalty must be to the federation, not the the federal government alone. In the same manner the Attorney General mustn’t necessarily be the minister of justice. And mustn’t be a card-carrying member of any political party. The idea, for instance, of making a card carrying member of a political party an attorney general of the federation already compromises that office. Attorney general ought not to be an agent of the government in power, rather the office should at all times serve the interest of the nation and the totality of the citizenry.
To achieve a restructuring of these two critical offices of the federation, the former Speaker, House of Representatives, promised that his administration, “shall initiate an amendment of the requirement of the constitution that says that every minister appointed by the federal government must be a card carrying member of a party in order to correct this .This is to ensure that the attorney general to be appointed is a core professional that will work for the entire nation and deliver to the best of his ability, without prejudice” he said.
He accused the federal government of paying lip service to the issue of minimum wage, pointing out that when government proposes an increase in the national minimum wage it should also send a corresponding bill to the Natinal Assembly for a review of the federal allocation that would ensure that the states can bear the cost of the increased wage bill. “