Federal Government Cheating States with Deregulation

by Odimegwu Onwumere

The way the Federal Government, FG, is selling all that we read as infants
in school known as Public Corporations, is alarming. Instead of directly
accepting Confederalism, the FG is indirectly being treacherous with

It won’t continue to answer a Federal Government, when it has invariably
become a Confederation. The irony is that Confederalism, which is supposed
to be enjoyed by States, is now the benefit of some local and international
companies that are buying up Power Sector, Telephony, Refineries in
Nigeria. Just name them.

Nigeria may not get it right with a perfidious system. Somebody would say
that change is one thing that remains permanent. Yes, but only when it is
positive and does not habour underhanded tendencies, such as the country is
experiencing through deregulation.

Circuitously, deregulation is usurpation of the rights States are supposed
to enjoy, if the FG had gone direct to constituting a Confederation system,
instead of this disloyal to democracy christened deregulation.

Abuja, being the seat of power in Nigeria, wants to remain vibrant as ever
and does not want to decentralise power to the gains of States. It does not
want to be quite weak. But if we look at it properly with the way it is
selling everything that was known of Nigeria, it is becoming weak. Yet, it
continued to boast of federalism: a system of government where the central
government can be relatively stronger.

A contiguous look at this, the FG has metamorphosed from Federalism to
Confederalism; the latter being a system of government where the central
government is always quite weak. But instead of the States given this power
to control, for the weakness of the central power, the FG is re-channeling
that power to individuals and companies, in the shamefaced system it calls

Why the FG should be feeling-guilty of itself is that the United Nations,
UN, which it is a member state, has not sold its powers to individuals or
companies to manage as wont in Nigeria, but has leaned on the powers member
countries supply to it. This is a typical confederation, not deregulation,
as the Nigerian government is bent on practicing, in the name of democracy
or, is it reformation.

We may agree that the FG has magnanimous power to boast about and is
modeling governance through the United States. But the US spells out powers
and operates on the powers that are for the states and those that of the
central government, without any iota of infringement, as has become the
case in Nigeria, where Aso Rock is even in-charge of the issuance of
drivers license and most times, does not refer to the Constitution before
it takes action.

In India, where Federalism is also a concept, power of government is
divided between a central government and several regional governments. But
by the way the central government carries itself here; one may mistake it
that Nigeria is operating a unitary system of government, opposite of
federal system.

It is not in error if one has to think in this direction, because powers
that are supposed to be reserved to the state governments are the enjoyment
of those people and companies buying up everything Federal Government and
state governments have.

In a true federal system, things are rarely done this way, even though that
the central government has power over the citizenry. What this power has
turned out to become is the show of might by the FG that it has the
unilateral power to change division of power, which countries like US and
India that practice true federalism, cannot even nurse in their minds.

People could say that Confederalism is a practice of government known
between countries; but in earnest, it should be applicable to Nigeria,
because Nigeria is not a nation, but a country with subordination of
nations. It behooves Nigeria, therefore, to coordinate her policies within
the whims and caprices of the central power and state governments, without
bringing in individual or companies on top of the Constitution.

Much as every country wants to grow its economy, there should be
competences to common institutions, and not allowing direct powers to the
individuals and companies that are buying all the FG owned companies,
thereby externalising power which the States were better off to have been
the beneficiary. This is not a better way to go about Decentralism and
Self-Sustainability in a country.

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