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Revenue, Federalism and Development of Nigeria: Harmonia Declaration (June 2012)

June 3, 2012
  • COMMUNIQUE ISSUED BY VOICES FOR NIGERIAN DEVELOPMENT AT A NATIONAL ROUNDTABLE ON REVENUE, FEDERALISM AND DEVELOPMENT OF NIGERIA HELD AT HARMONIA HOTEL, ABUJA FROM 1ST-2ND JUNE, 2012
    HARMONIA DECLARATION
    The Voices for Nigerian Development (V4ND) organized a national roundtable on revenue, federalism and development of Nigeria at Harmonia Hotel in Abuja from 1st-2nd June, 2012.
    The roundtable was attended by delegates from 26 states of the federation including Lagos, Ondo, Osun, Ekiti, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, Yobe, Katsina, Jigawa, Kebbi, Zamfara, Delta, Cross Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Anambra, Abia, Ebonyi, Imo, Enugu, Plateau, Kogi, Nasarawa, and Kwara States.
    The lead paper was presented by Mr. Mike Igini, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner for Cross River State on Election, Leadership and Development.
    The representative of each state made a presentation on the resources available in the state and what the state will benefit if Nigeria practices “true federalism” with appropriate fiscal federalism.

    OBSERVATIONS
    The presentations and discussion brought out the following observations:
    1. The challenges facing the development of Nigeria include among other things poor leadership; bad followership; poor strategy for development; lack of capable and effective state and bureaucracy; lack of focus on sectors that will improve the condition of living of citizens such as education, health, agriculture and the building of infrastructure; corruption; undeveloped, irresponsible and parasitic private sector; weak civil society; emasculated labour and student movement and poor execution of policies and programmes.
    2. The strategy for the development of nations is dependent to a large extent on the ideas and knowledge available and the issues that people focus upon. Unfortunately in Nigeria, production and development has not been on the agenda. The focus of the political elite and bureaucracy has been on revenue sharing with scant regard for production. Meanwhile, it has been proven that trade and production is necessary for the development of nations.
    3. All the states of the federation have enormous resources (human and natural resources) that can be properly harnessed for the benefit of the citizens. The resources include oil and gas, limestone, bitumen, gum Arabic, various agricultural crops, marble, salt, zinc, iron ore, granite, bentonite, gypsum, gold, diamond, kaolin, national parks, etc
    4. Development is about people and it can be accelerated by a capable state pursuing the right policies with display of political will in a way and manner that will combat the processes that impoverish people or underpin oppression and structural injustice hence the principles of equity, sustainability and empowerment are very important.
    5. The development of nations requires maintenance of stability, constructive economic change and overall social cohesion.

    DECLARATION
    After exhaustive deliberation, the round table declared as follows:
    1. The political elite and indeed all Nigerians should shift emphasis from sharing of revenue to the exploration, exploitation and utilization of the vast array of resources available in the country and generation of more revenue.
    2. The delegates agreed to continue the advocacy and campaigns for a shift from revenue sharing to revenue generation and production through publications, documentaries and media advocacy.
    3. Production of goods and services is one sure way to deal with the challenges of unemployment and poverty.
    4. There are sufficient human and natural resources in all the states of the federation that can make them viable economic and political entities if the enabling environment for exploration, exploitation and utilization of the resources is created.
    5. The 1999 Constitution should be amended to devolve more powers to States and local governments; and in particular create the enabling environment for states for explore and exploit the natural resources in their states.
    The participants declared their commitment to the unity and progress of Nigeria based on the principles of co-operative fiscal federalism, harmonious relationships, tolerance, mutual respect and support.

    Denzil Kentebe Charles Ndukwe
    Ijaw Professionals Association Legal Practitioner
    South South South East

    Dotun Atilade Ibrahim Abdullahi
    Media Capacity Centre Texashoma International South West North West

    Aruwa Ismaila Balutu Danladi Balutu Jnr
    Kogi Youth Progressive Initiative Women and Youth Empowerment Strategy
    North Central North East

    Otive Igbuzor
    Convener

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Ajuzie Arthur permalink
    June 3, 2012 12:21

    Dear Steve, this is a good one but the problem as has always been the case will be continuity/followup. Most of the delegates i can guess are people outside the confines of Government. Will they continue if for instance they are given a Government appointment? Ofcourse Government will do all within it’s powers to frustrate anything that will pose as a hindrance/threat to their SHARE THE MONEY stand. I pray God to give you delegates wisdom to discern between a genuine and a deceitful offer of appointment.

  2. EJOVWOKE ESIKE permalink
    June 6, 2012 07:56

    IF ONLY OUR SHARED IDEAS CAN BE MADE RELISTIC, NIGERIA WILL SURE BE A BETTER PLACE.

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