Former President Goodluck Jonathan has canvassed fiscal federalism and implementation of the recommendations of the 2014 national conference.
Jonathan said the implementation of the recommendations remains a panacea to socio-economic and security challenges plaguing the country.
He stated this on the occasion of Rivers State golden jubilee celebration’s public lecture in Port Harcourt yesterday.
The former president explained that he convened the national conference in response to the yearning of Nigerians, who felt that, though, in immense areas of the nation, the country was doing well, but there still abound some other areas that agitate the minds of the people, and retarding national development.
“I am quite pleased with the outcome of the conference. There was nothing like voting. Every decision was by consensus. And I believe sincerely that if government is able to implement most of those recommendations, some of the things that agitate our mind today, some of the social issues we are having today, including security and otherwise, will be addressed,” he said.
On the issue of fiscal federalism, the former President noted that if properly implemented in Nigeria, it will encourage every part of the country to generate revenue for the development of the nation. He pointed out that every part of Nigeria was viable and can be self-sustaining.
Jonathan stressed that most of the states in the Niger Delta have witnessed significant infrastructural development since the year 2000 when the National Assembly approved the implementation of the 13 per cent derivation.
He said result of the funds spent by the Federal Government on infrastructural development in Niger Delta could not match infrastructural milestones achieved by the respective states by virtue of 13 per cent derivation.
Also, Prof. Godini Darah, who delivered a paper on “Democracy and development in Nigeria: The case of Rivers State,’’ said Nigeria had continued to lag behind in all human development indices because of the inherent contradictions of the quasi federal structure of the country.