By Musa Adamu
Indication emerged that Nigerian federation may return to twelve provinces following the receipt of about fifty memoranda, including that proposing division of the country into twelve independent provinces autonomous from the central government, which was submitted by the Middle Belt Congress (MBC) to the Senate committee on 1999 Constitution review.
The MBC, like other forty nine different pressure groups representing different interests, in its memorandum sighted in Abuja Tuesday, seeks for creation of additional 19 states in the country to make the total number of states to be 55.
It however stressed that the 55 states will not function as federating units but serve as development areas under the 12 Provinces that will emerge as new federating units. The group also seeks for abolition of the 774 local government councils as third tier of government.
The local government councils, it argued, should be relegated to municipalities under total control of respective states.
The memorandum reads in part: “ That there shall be only two tiers of government in Nigeria – the Federal Government and the federating units as sub-national Governments.
“That Local Governments councils should no no longer function as third tier of government but as administrative units of the sub-national governments.
“The former LGs should be renamed„Councils or „Municipalities or „Development Areas or „Burroughs or any other names Nigerians might prefer.
“That there shall be twelve (12) federating units in Nigeria to be called Provinces comprising of the States written against their name as follows ÷ (1) North-West Province shall comprise Sokoto, Kebbi, and the Zamfara States.
“(2) North-Central Province shall comprise Kaduna and Katsina States. (3) North-North Province shall comprise Kano, Jigawa and Ghari States.
(4) North-East Province shall comprise Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Bauchi, Amana, Savannah, and Katagum States.
(5) Middle-Belt West Province shall comprise Niger, Kwara, Kogi, Edu and Kainji States.
(6) Middle-Belt East Province shall comprise Plateau, Benue, Nasarawa, Adamawa, Taraba, Gurara and Apa States.
(7) Western Province shall comprise Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, Ose, Okun and New Oyo States.
(8) South-West Province shall comprise Lagos, Ogun, and Ijebu States.
“Others are (9) Mid-West Province shall comprise Delta, Edo and Anioma States. (10) Niger Delta Province shall comprise Rivers, Bayelsa and Oil River States.
(11) South-East Province shall comprise Anambra, Abia, Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo, Aba, Adada, Njaba and Etiti States. (12) South-South Province shall comprise Akwa Ibom, Cross River, and Ogoja States”.
Specifically, the 19 new states proposed by the group are ÷1. Aba State from Abia State 2. Adada State from Enugu State
3. Amana State from Adamawa State
4. Anioma State from Delta State
5. Apa State from Benue State
6. Edu State from Niger State
7. Etiti State from South East Geopolitical Zone, 8. Ghari State from Kano State and
(9.) Gurara State from Kaduna State.
Others are (10. Ijebu State from Ogun State 11. Kainji State from Kebbi and Niger States 12. Katagum State from Jigawa State 13. New Oyo State from the Oyo State State 14. Njaba-Anim State from Anambra and Imo States 15. Ogoja State from Cross River State 16. Oil River State from Rivers State 17. Okun State from Ekiti, Ondo, Kwara and Kogi States and (18) Ose State from Edo State”.
One of the other groups that submitted memorandum to the committee on Tuesday, is the Coalition of Federalists for Good Governance in Nigeria (CFGG).
CFGG in its own memorandum jointly signed by the National Co-ordinator, Taiye Odewale and Secretary, Aisha Jibrin, seeks for removal of mining and Policing from exclusive list to concurrent list in paving way for creation of State Police.
It also seeks for collapse of all the 35,000 kilometres Trunk A roads with exception to those linking Nigeria to another country, into Trunk B roads to be managed by affected state governments.
It consequently seeks for review of revenue sharing formula from 52.68% being taken by the federal government to 40%, in creating the required financial muscle for the 36 states to carry out the new constitutional responsibilities proposed for them.
The 36 States in the present revenue sharing formula collect 26.72% while the 774 local government councils share the remaining 20.60%.