The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, has stated that the Exclusive Legislative List should be reviewed to give states more control over critical areas.
“I think we need to look back into what we call Exclusive List.
“There is so much concentration on the centre and renders the states not being able to operate very well.
“I’m serious about this and if we can be sincere, and leave politics aside, there is so much we can allow states to do so that those who are willing can go ahead and do them,” Emmanuel said on Thursday.
Currently, the Federal Government (FG) has control over 68 items on the Exclusive List, including aviation, currency, security, and customs, among others, whereas the Concurrent Legislative List includes items that both the federal government and state governments share control over. They include, among other things, revenue allocation, tax collection, and industrial, commercial, or agricultural development.
The governor stated that the constitution, like other federating units around the world, must be examined in order for states to function.
“I like reading about the economies of states and countries that are successful. During COVID, I was reading somewhere about New York and they were feeling so bad that the revenue they were getting during COVID dropped to over $16bn.
“I said my God, this is just a state. So, what makes them make that kind of revenue?
“I know we have a completely different economy but what principle gave rise to that (revenue)?” he asked.
“I still believe, in an economic eye, we need to look at certain things that are in our constitution which we can as well decentralise to make states work. I’ve talked about the Exclusive List.
“Something like this is a national issue and you don’t go to the minutest details because the understanding of everybody might not be the same. I try not to say all.
“A lot of these I keep promising Nigerians that PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) will look into it when we come in,” Emmanuel further stated.
“If we look at that, it will help states a whole lot to develop.
“Take, for example, power. Today, I cannot do anything on this shoreline, I must go back to NPA.
“There are no decisions I can take. For me to even bring a new aircraft, a whole lot of bottlenecks. I don’t even want to go into that. We are making it so difficult to do business.
“The Ease of Doing Business is not ‘easy’.
“In power, look at the number of regulatory agencies we have on power alone. Why do we need all that? We are the cause of our problem. We need electricity.
“The electricity is not even there. So, what are they regulating?” he asked.