By Stellamaris Ashinze
Chief Joseph Oke, immediate past Chairman, Leventis Group, on Tuesday said that Nigeria was overdue for restructuring.
Oke spoke during the annual Discovery Lecture series at the Lagos State University (LASU) titled“Can Nigeria survive another century as a corporate entity?’’
He said that the union could continue for the next one thousand years, but the actions or inactions of the government, as well as restructuring, have roles to play in determining this.
According to him, necessary steps must be taken to prevent it from going the other way.
Oke said that the present arrangement is lopsided with too much power given to both the Federal and State governments.
“The Local Government Council, which is the third tier and closest to the grassroots, is a marginalised government.
“The interest of all minority groups and the issue of derivation must also be addressed.
“The federation must be restructured to devolve more powers to the states, which must include policing, education, health, road network and security,” he said.
According to him, if all these are in place, the country will remain as a corporate entity because the grassroots will feel the impact of governance.
Oke also emphasised the need to diversify from petroleum to areas such as agriculture and agro-based industries, mining, among others.
He said that government should be consistent in their policies, which should be geared toward improving the lives of the people, while corruption must be eliminated.
The guest speaker also urged the leaders to be close to the people because it would help to douse the apprehension of the latter.
He said that the future of the country was in the hands of the people and it has the potential of being great.
Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State commended the institution for the intellectual activity.
Ambode, represented by the Special Adviser on Education, Mr Obafela Bank-Olemoh, said the country was at a cross road where issues that separate people in the country should be addressed.
The governor said that no one was interested in the disintegration of the country and such lectures were timely and necessary.