NASS Urged to Give Restructuring Priority Consideration






By FRANCIS OGBONNA

A group of Legal practitioners, under the auspices of Project 45, a body of professionals dedicated to effecting positive changes in the country last Saturday urged the National Assembly (NASS) to give priority consideration to passing a bill for the restructuring the country.

The lawyers, who expressed their support while participating at the inaugural Memorial lecture of Dr. Bolaji Carew, with the theme: ‘Promoting Rule of Law in Nigeria-The Role of Institutions, insisted that until this is done, the nation would not make any kind of progress. 

The Executive Secretary of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Mr. Tony Uranta, who served as a member of the panel of discussants, who considered the speech by the Keynote Speaker, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun, VC of Lagos State University, Ojo, noted that instead of proposing a bill which desires that autonomy be granted to the over 774 Local Government Area councils in Nigeria, the National Assembly (NASS) should have leveraged their powers to see that a bill for total restructuring of the country is passed into law.  

The social activist shared "It would not be fair to grant autonomy when states like Lagos, which obviously has more population than Kano, is told they can't have more than 20 LGAs, while Kano has 44 LGAs backed by the constitution. Again, why will a state like Bayelsa, with all the oil reserve have only have 8 LGAs, while Kano keeps 44?

“This is not right and unless this is addressed, we wouldn't be solving the problem with LGA autonomy and the only way this could be addressed if a proper restructuring exercise in carried out."

Bar. Patrick Etim, a member of the group and panelist, on his part stressed that if Nigeria must be restructured, the citizens must be first ready to change their orientation.

“We are held back in this country by religion, traditions, political affiliations and other sentiments and until we change our orientation, the process will not be as effective as it should be.”

They lawyers concluded that when considering the bill in both chambers of NASS, care should be taken to ensure that the final draft is thoroughly done and that it reflects global standard, with the separation of powers being a sacrosanct feature in the bill.

The event which was held in Orchid Hotels, Lagos was the maiden edition of the lecture inaugurated to celebrate the life and achievements of Dr. Carew, an erudite and foremost scholar, who served as Provost at the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Ijanikin, and Lagos from June, 1991 to June, 1998. 

Eulogizing the late Provost, the National President of the Project 45, Chief Charles Okonkwo we are here to celebrate a man whose passion for youth development and empowerment was commendable.
Chief Okonkwo stated: “Dr. Carew throughout his lifetime fought tirelessly for equality, dignity and justice and he would continue our hearts and that of all those who were fortunate to have come in contact with him.

“We as his disciples will remain fully committed to his vision and all Dr. Carew espoused, starting from doing more to help in promoting the rule of law.”


Project 45 is a body of professionals worldwide who wants to make a difference in the society with the view of affecting fellow Nigerians in a positive way. Education is a necessary tool to the development of a Nation's economy and establishment of educational institutions support and commitment. 
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