Former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth,
Dr. Emeka Anyaoku
Akinpelu Dada and Friday Olokor
A former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief
Emeka Anyaoku, and a former Governor of the
Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Charles Soludo,
declared that the current political arrangements in
Nigeria will not kick-start the desired development
of the country.
Anyaoku, who spoke in Abuja on Saturday, argued
that only the restructuring of the federation would
ensure the rapid growth of the country.
The elder statesman spoke in an interview with
journalists during the public presentation of a
book, ‘Nigeria: The Forsaken Road to Nationhood
and Development’, written by a retired diplomat
and Nigeria’s former Ambassador to Switzerland,
Dr. Humphrey Orjiako.
Soludo said the present structure of the country
was outdated and would not enhance its
development, describing the Federal Government
as a major constraint to the states.
Soludo, who spoke to some Nigerian journalists on
the sidelines of the annual meetings of the World
Bank/International Monetary Fund in Washington
DC, United States of America, said the present
structure had outlived its usefulness.
The ex-CBN governor added, “The Federal
Government in Nigeria is a major constraint to the
states and that is why some of us believe that the
current structure that we have is for a time we no
longer live in.
“The current structure was designed to share and
consume the oil rent, and I have argued that the
structure that is designed for consumption cannot
be efficient for production. So, we know that it will
have its own ripple effects.”
The book presentation, where Anyaoku spoke, also
featured a colloquium organised by an
international research and advocacy organisation
on peace-building process in Nigeria and Africa,
Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and
The SCDDD, founded by Nigeria’s former United
Nations Under-Secretary General, Prof. Ibrahim
Gambari, according to its promoters, is committed
to policy analysis in the areas of conflict
prevention, management, democratisation and
sustainable development in Africa.
While observing that Nigeria had underperformed
due to its current 36-states structure, where all the
states were dependent on the central government
for survival, Anyaoku believed it was time the
country reverted to regional governments.
He stated, “I think the Nigeria we have, of 36
federating units now, is not working. The country
continues to underperform because of the 36
states we have now. About 27 of the states cannot
pay the salaries of their workers.”