MR Femi Falana, on Saturday, described the Federal system of government operational in the country as most prodigal in all the nations of the world.
The constitutional lawyer said this while delivering a lecture titled ‘Whither Nigerian Nation’ to commemorate the 65th birthday of a former member of the National Assembly, Senator Adegbenga Kaka, held at Adebambo Court, Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun State.
The legal luminary noted that the country needed both political and economic restructuring to salvage all the challenges confronting it.
He advocated that states of the nation should be allowed to manage their resources for all round development as against what is being practised from Independence till date.
Falana said that the federal system of Nigeria is a “peculiar” one because of how her resources are being managed.
“Nigeria federal system is the most prodigal in the world; our system is peculiar and cannot be compared to any nation in the world. In the 1963 Constitution, derivation was 50 per cent for any state with resources, but today, the federal government keeps 52 per cent of the revenue and 48 per cent is shared by the states and the local governments.
“This is the reason governors go to Abuja every month to collect rent from the Niger Delta, instead of them to be allowed to manage their resources. This is not federalism in real sense, but a skewed arrangement by few Nigerians to corner our common wealth”. Falana said.
The Human Rights lawyer told the audience which had in attendance the State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, who was represented by his deputy, Mrs. Yetunde Onanuga, one of the disciples Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Pa. Ayo Adebanjo, the state commissioner for Health, Dr. Babatunde Ipaye, former Minister of Youths and Sports, Senator Olasunkanmi Akinlabi, that the country would remain backward if the cost of governance and capital expenditure take larger percentage of the budget against human capital development.
He faulted the medical trip of President Muhammadu Buhari to London, describing such step as shameful, saying the country could boast of well over 30,000 doctors overseas as a result of poor medical facilities.
He said further, “It is a shame for a president of the most populous black nations in the world to travel abroad for medical treatment. Nigeria boasts of over 30,000 medical doctors abroad as a result of our poor medical facilities. Cuba which has only sugarcane and tobacco as means of foreign exchange has one of the best doctors and medical facilities in the world.
“Fidelis Castro who was a former president of the country, was sick for about a decade and had major surgeries performed on him, yet, he never left Cuba. While the tiny country has conquered malaria, typhoid fever, meningitis cholera and other tropical diseases, Nigeria loses nothing less than N2b annually to medical tourism”.
Falana described the former deputy governor of Ogun State as a true defender of the masses, a man of honour and integrity.
Adebanjo, who was the chairman of the occasion said Kaka never disrespect what he called the concept of seniority while he held sway as deputy governor in the administration of Chief Olusegun Osoba.