Restructuring is the politician’s game; Here’s the layman’s concern

by Alexander O. Onukwue

How many persons pay attention to the radio when OAP’s use words like restructuring, misappropriation and diversification?

It does feel, sometimes, that these big words make such matters exclusively reserved for the more intellectual members of the society. In such circumstances, regular people get turned off from the media and just focus on fetching firewood to feed their children and dependants.

But, like those other fancy words, Restructuring is so much about giving ordinary Nigerians in every part of the country the means to be able to put food on their table.

The doctrine of Nigerian restructuring is about giving every state the right to manage the proceeds from what it produces while contributing a certain percentage to the Federal Government to run such necessary functions as maintaining the Civil Service, the Military and International Trade. Part of the restructuring agenda is to give greater financial authority to States for the collection of certain revenues such as Value Added Taxes.

For the layman, restructuring is about reversing the current trend where the Federal Government collects, from rich states, all it can, and, from not so productive states, what it finds. From the central purse of this imbalanced collection of revenue from highly productive and less productive states, the Government redistributes, through FAAC, to all states on a relatively equal measure. You don’t really need a degree in Economics to know that everyone does not benefit from this sharing, considering the contributions each makes.

This does not make sense to the man who sweats off the seat of his pants in mines and oil fields to produce for his family, only to realise that his children would not have good roads on which to go to school, as the money he made has been used to ‘support’ another part of the country. Heck, even his child would have to study harder to be admitted to the school a stone throw from the man’s mine because another child, with lesser grades, from a less advantaged part of the country, needs to be considered.

Every Nigerian in every part of the country deserve to have as much opportunity to derive the full fruits of their labour. Every region should be able to develop within its means and compete healthily with other regions. It should also be advised that this process will lead to the greater good of Nigeria as a country.

One analogy could work for the mildly educated layman. Like the 1920s breakup of the Standard Oil monopoly, the restructuring will not impoverish this ‘Rockerfeller’ of a country. Rather, the new Nigeria will that will emerge will have shares in the new Exxons and Chevrons, making it even stronger.

Hope that’s the restructuring they are talking about on TV and radio?

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