Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has listed five possible ways the National Assembly can successfully restructure Nigeria.
Speaking while declaring open a retreat organised by the Northern Senators’ Forum (NSF), in Katsina on Tuesday, Saraki harped on the need to keep the country united while working to ensure that all regions get their rightful share of developmental programmes and projects.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu, Saraki urged the NSF to commit to providing worthy leadership that would help decrease the pains inflicted by insurgency, especially in ensuring that the estimated 12 – 15 million out of school children in the north, return to the classrooms.
The Senate president noted that although restructuring is at the front burner at the present time, the one problem is that the discussion is not properly framed – and certain precepts are missing.
On the five ways the National Assembly can help bring about equitable restructuring of the country, Saraki said, among others: “My own restructuring is when we work towards economic development in every part of the country, so we can all take pride of place in the Nigerian project, and no region is seen as a weak link. My own restructuring is when we oversee the budget process to ensure equitable spread of critical infrastructure in every corner of the country so that no region is left out of the gains of economic recovery. My own restructuring is when we create jobs and enhance food production so our people do not go hungry.”
He stated that these were his own idea of a restructuring “that is not merely cosmetic, but has the power to truly transform lives” and that since many Nigerian have their own perspective of what restructuring entails, he hoped that the retreat will help the NSF crystallise ideas, and shine a light on the road ahead.
“It is my hope that in the quieter atmosphere of this retreat, such issues can get the clear-eyed consideration they deserve. In terms of security, our region has suffered the most, due to the insurgency and other crises. It is in our interest, therefore, to strengthen and reform the security architecture of the North. The onus is on us to provide worthy leadership. We must be focused. We must be prepared to correct the mistakes of the past. We must always be conscious of the need to weigh sentiment against value. More importantly, we should not be afraid of change,” he said adding that leadership is also the ability to carry out those constitutional reviews that are needed to bring the North, and Nigeria, firmly into the modern age. “Let us always remember that our positions are held in trust for future generations. History will not be kind to us if we fail. This is a time for courageous leadership, strong enough to change the narrative of Northern Nigeria,” the Senate president said.