A technocrat and research expert Prof Ayodele Isreal Adeleye has said that for Nigeria to experience significant change and meaningful development under the current democratic dispensation, it must imbibe the Western idea of 50 states and above, and ensure that 70 percent of her resources were devolved to states and local governments.
Speaking to Nigerian Pilot in Kano in an exclusive interview, the former lecturer at Ahnadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria, also said that for the nation to achieve a large scale development as envisaged, Nigeria needed an average of about 52 states to bring government closer to the people and simulate development in virtually every segment across the country.
Ayodele said Nigeria was a large country with very high population of about 200million, but stressed that its towns and cities were few and over concentrated to provide more job opportunity for the teaming unemployed youths.
“A situation where there is too much money lining down in the federation account without immediate corresponding commitment and budgeting for development in various states and local governments breeds corruption, temptation, reckless spending and embezzlement,” he noted.
The scientist said the West was not insensitive to come up with creation of many states, knowing the potentiality of states to grass root development in a less corrupt society.
According to him, creating more states to accommodate the diverse ethnicity and various interest groups curtails the current challenges being faced in prosecuting or conducting a ranchour-free general election in Nigeria.
Currently the director of Yaro Medicare and Laboratory Research Centre, the expert also said more states and devolution of financial power to states did not in any way inhibit maintenance, function and administration of the third tier system of government, which even required to be given autonomy under the prevailing circumstances.
“All these can only be achieved under the present government with a system of stringent anti-graft agency put in place to check abuses by corrupt leaders and ensure accountability.
“The anti-graft body too must be headed by a person with proven integrity and good track record, possibly judges, for the country to achieve successful growth.
“The county’s president must also be one with strong political will and commitment to fighting corruption to the letter in all its ramifications,” he said.
Adeleye said the concept, as understudied in the West, allowed almost all different ethnic groupings with language and cultural affinity, that are large and understand themselves to have their states where peace, understanding and commitment would lead to development evolving naturally, as most Nigerian families and communities would envisage the best for themselves.
Late Obafemi Awolowo of blessed memory, according to Prince Ayodele, had a template of this planned development, adding: “I would like to use him as reference point and urge Nigerian leaders to revisit Awo’s development plan, not minding the pride and ego, to help Nigeria achieve its development quest.”

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