KATSINA STATE SUBMISSION TO THE ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS COMMITTEE ON TRUE FEDERALISM, SUB-COMMITTEE ON ZONAL PUBLIC HEARING FOR KANO, JIGAWA, KATSINA & KADUNA STATES ON 28TH SEPTEMBER, 2017
1. CREATION/MERGER OF STATES
Should Nigeria create more states or not?
Although the agitation for the creation of additional states by some groups representing ethnic/sectional/regional interests is legitimate and can be viewed as aquest for development, the current economic reality in the country does not favor pursuing creation of states and local governments.
2. DERIVATION PRINCIPLE
What percentage of federal collectable resources should be given back to their sources e.g. crude oil, solid minerals, VAT?
Katsina state believes that the derivation principle as enshrined in the Nigerian 1999 constitution as amended, should be maintained.
3. DEVOLUTION OF POWERS
What items on the exclusive legislative list should be transferred to the concurrent list to enable states have direct responsibility e.g. state & community police, prisons, e.t.c?
In order to encourage rapid development, powers should be devolved to states in the following sectors. This will allow each state apply resources in line with its priorities and grow/develop at its own pace. Additionally, the resources hitherto allocated to the federal government for these sectors should be allocated to states in line with the devolved responsibilities.
Furthermore, in order to promote national unity and cohesion among the federating states, the status-quo should be maintained in respect of the Police. However, the act establishing the Nigerian Civil Defense should be amended to allow states have the power to set up State Civil Defense Corps.
There is also need to streamline the functions/role of federal structures such as Revenue Mobilization, Allocation& Fiscal Commission, National Salaries & Wages Commission, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Nomadic Education etc. with a view to mitigating the negative impact their activities have on states and local governments. For instance, the imposition of a national minimum wage and political office holder’s remuneration across the board has defeated the objective of creating states and local government, as some states are strangulated by high wage bill thus unable to channel resources into real developmental projects and programs.
4. FEDERATING UNITS
Should the Nigeria federation be based on regions or zones as units or maintain the current 36 state structure?
The current 36 state structure should be maintained.
5. FISCAL FEDERAL & REVENUE ALLOCATION
What are the proposed changes in the current revenue allocation formula? What should be the new sharing formula? What should be the new sharing formula between the federal, state, and local governments that will reflect their share of constitutional responsibilities?
Currently, states provide critical support to federal security agencies; Police, Prisons, FRSC NDLEA etc. In view of this, and the proposal to devolve power in some sectors, the revenue allocation formula must be reviewed in favor of states and local governments.
6. FORM OF GOVERNMENT
Should Nigeria continue with the current presidential system or return to the parliamentary system as practiced in the first republic or develop a hybrid of the two systems?
Katsina state espouses the continuation of the presidential system, as it accommodates our diversity.
7. INDEPENDENT CANDIDACY
Should there be a constitutional provision for eligible citizens to contest elections without being members of a political party?
Katsina state lends its support to independent candidacy. It serves as a political shock-absorber and provides a window of respite to political acrimony. It will also facilitate the strengthening of internal democracy in political parties.
8. LAND TENURE SYSTEM
Should the land use act be part of the constitution or not? And what should be the right of states in the ownership and control of mineral and natural resources on and under the ground?
The status quo should be maintained, owing to the intricate relationship between land and its associated economic resources.
9. LOCAL GOVERNMENT AUTONOMY
Should LGAs be independent of states and have direct revenue sourcing from the federal government as the third-tier of the federation or should they be administrative units of states?
The state supports full autonomy for local governments. However, the State Assembly should continue to legislate on the structure, power and functions of local governments.
10. POWER SHARING & ROTATION
Should Nigeria have a policy of rotation of key elected political positions on regional or zonal basis for national offices and by the senatorial districts for state offices?
Katsina state’s position is that power sharing and rotation should not be a constitutional issue, rather political parties should be left to handle it.
11. RESOURCE CONTROL
Should states, regions or zones be allowed to exclusively or partially own, exploit and tap the financial benefits of natural resources in their domain and just pay taxes to the federal.
Katsina State is not in support of meddling with the existing arrangement on resource control.
12. TYPE OF LEGISLATURE
Does Nigeria need a bi-cameral or uni-cameral, part-time or full-time parliament?
Considering the diversity and size of Nigeria vis-à-vis the imperative for participatory democracy, Katsina state is of the view that bi-cameral legislature should be maintained on full-time basis.