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You are here:Home>>Strategic Research & Analysis>>Gideon Nyan>>New States Creation in Nigeria
Sunday, 05 September 2010 05:24

New States Creation in Nigeria

Written by Gideon Nyan
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Nigeria National Assembly Nigeria National Assembly NNA

Answer to the Institutional Inefficiency?

The critical factors in the failure of the modern African countries have been the inability of these nations to analyze institutional ills which maybe cultural, political, and economic. By locating contradictions in the solutions these problems have not been properly resolved because of the inefficiency of the ruling class. Most of these African nations operate systems and institutions that exist as a byproduct of colonial rule that were designed to create rivalries and distrust among groups. The structures in these countries do not encourage unity of purpose and allegiance to the native countries.

African countries including Nigeria have not successfully addressed these social ills and implemented a collective strategy that will identify and eradicate these contradictions and failed policies to benefit their countries. Nigeria still suffers from fundamental nation building issues such as wealth and resource distribution, poor infrastructure, ethnic and religious conflicts, and failed governing institutions.  How does a country like Nigeria that has one of the most educated citizens on the continent and in the world handle these institutional inefficiencies?  Is by creating more states? Already Nigeria has 36 poorly run states, therefore adding more states will not change anything. The creations of more states will not wash away our fundamental problems confronting our country.

The NationalAssembly has confirmed that ten new states will be created in Nigeria next year. Five states in the north, and five in the south. Some of the reasons for creating new states include religious conflict, dominant tribes oppressing weaker ones, and other groups wanting more control of the resources. All the 36 current states in Nigeria were created by military governments, and no state has been created under democracy due to the immense requirements. To create a new state in Nigeria requires massive consensus including:

*The state’s creation must be supported by at least two-thirds of members (representing the area demanding the state creation) in the Senate, House of Representatives, the House of Assembly and the local government councils.

*A referendum on the new state must be approved by two-thirds of the people in the area where the state is to be created.

*The result of the referendum is then approved by a majority of all the 36 states of Nigeria. And supported by majority of members of the House of Assembly.

* Finally the state is approved by a resolution passed by two-thirds majority of members of  the Senate and House of Representatives respectively.

But there is no guaranteed that the state creation will spell the end of conflicts among groups and tribes in Nigeria and overcome the African curse of ethnic problems.

From a good governance and fiscal responsibility point of view, there is no reason for Nigeria to create more states since all that will do is to increase the cost of administration, provide more outlets for further corruption. Even other minority groups may desire their own state and there is no end to state creations. At this rate every household will become a state the real issues are not addressed properly.

Money that should go towards rebuilding schools, improving healthcare and fighting disease, and building roads will go to paying  numerous and bloated government officials.

Since 1987 there have been 17 new states that have been created in Nigeria and there has been no study done by the National Assembly to find out if there has been more peace and better governance. The empirical evidence will show that the same problems are still manifesting in new forms.

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