Nigerians Need Attitude Change, Not Restructuring –David-West

A former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Professor Tam David-West, has said that Nigerians need a change of attitude for the country to overcome its numerous challenges.
David-West disagreed with the belief that the solution to Nigeria’s problem was restructuring, adding that no matter the level of restructuring of the country, nothing would change.
He noted that even a tinkering with the Constitution would not solve the nation’s myriad of problems if there was no change of attitude.
David-West, who spoke in a telephone interview with our correspondent, described as ‘nonsensical’ the call for states to be scrapped.
He also took a swipe at those who believed that more states should be created, insisting that nothing would change, even if every village in Nigeria was made a state.
He said, “Nigerians are always looking for alibi. Nigeria’s problem is not restructuring the country or amending the constitution; Nigeria’s problem is Nigerians themselves. If they are saying restructuring, what is good is true federalism
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“But some of them (Nigerians) will tell you, let’s go back to the regional structure and scrap all the states. This is absolutely ridiculous, impossible and nonsensical.
“We had three regions before, then Midwest was added, we had 12 states and later, we eventually got to 36 states. Yet some people are agitating for more states.
“Even if you make every village a state, Nigeria will still have problems because our problem is not the number of states or regions we have; the problem of Nigeria is Nigerians themselves. Nigerians’ problem is attitude; we need a change of attitude and stop looking for a scapegoat.”
On the argument about the presidential system of government, David-West said, “Nigerians are saying the presidential system is too expensive, but that is not true.

“The truth is that we are reckless in our spending. Without a change of attitude, no system will work in the country.”
On the call by some Nigerians for a regional system of government, he said going back to such a system was like saying Nigerians should go back to colonial days.
“The independent states (in terms of resources) will not agree to the practice of regional government. States like Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Cross River States will not agree to come under the regional government,” David-West added.

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