The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu has stated that the resistance to restructuring by some parts of the country is due to the fear of survival without oil, the nation’s financial mainstay.
He noted that this has prompted the desperate search for crude oil in the Lake Chad, Sokoto and River Benue basins.
While the southern parts of the country have continued to call for a restructuring of the nation, the northern parts have revisited it.
This resistance, many analysts believe is borne out of fears that they would no longer have a share of the nation’s oil wealth, if a fiscal federalism is adopted as is being called for by the south, especially the south south geo political region.
Ekweremadu however lamented that ironically, oil is losing its value in the international market, as the world was exploring the use of electric cars.
Ekweremadu spoke at the third edition of the Adada Lecture Series, organised by the Association of Nsukka Professors, at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State.
His paper was titled ‘Restructuring and the Nigerian youth.’
He lamented that the states were comfortable with waiting to collect free money every month from Abuja, when they could earn much more, if they exploit the potentials inherent in their domains.
Ekweremadu also said that the North had more to gain by embracing fiscal federalism, and relinquishing its ‘supposed advantages’ in the current structure.
He said, “Some are afraid of survival under fiscal federalism. They feel they are better off with free monies from Abuja, which could actually be a pittance compared to what they could generate if they begin to access the bountiful wealth buried in their soils.
“I have also noticed a desperate search for oil in the Lake Chad, Sokoto, and Benue River basins in recent times, obviously spurred by the campaign for restructuring.
“But it is an unfounded fear. The days of oil are numbered. It is the least strategic wealth we have now. Many countries have found oil in large quantities, including those that used to patronise us for oil. Importantly, many nations are already phasing out petrol and diesel engines.
“In July 2017, the United Kingdom announced plans to stop the production of petrol- and gas-powered cars from 2040. France has also unveiled plans to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2040”.
The senator gave examples of countries that have put in place policies to phase out petrol and diesel powered cars.
“Norway has strong policy actions to ensure that zero fossil fuel cars are sold in the country by 2025. With the second highest concentration of electric cars in Europe, Netherlands is already targeting an emission-free environment by 2030, which automatically rules out petrol- and diesel-powered cars.
“In fact, Netherlands wants at least 200,000 electric cars on her roads by the year 2020, which is only two years from now.”
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