Make Economy Better, Distribute Wealth Among All Nigerians – Falana tells FG

Human Rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has urged the Federal Government to urgently reform the Nigerian economy and ensure equity in the distribution of the nation’s wealth to the various ethnic nationalities.

He said such is key to finding a lasting solution to the myriads of problems facing the country.

Falana, who said the ongoing debate about restructuring in the country centred on devolution of powers without responsibilities and dire need to satisfy ethnic groups, maintained that the bottomline of restructuring, which the agitators had failed to address, was the economy.

He spoke on the theme 'The Nation Nigeria: Restructuring, Secession or Status Quo - the Way Forward' at the Obafemi Adewale Colloquium and Law Dinner to mark Adewale’s 60th birthday.

He said the type of restructuring Nigeria needed was economic restructuring.

“For us as lawyers, we must save our society. If we are going to join the struggle for restructuring, we should not join as politicians seeking transfer of power to the regions. Let it be for reduction of power at the centre, transfer of power to the states. Let us seek reduction of cost of governance. Let us seek right to education. Let us seek right to equitable distribution of wealth. Let us seek the need to fight the lopsided appointments in the country. Let us talk about economic restructuring.

“The bottom line of restructuring is economy. Majority of our people are poor and they are battling with survival. If you want more powers from Abuja, it is not relevant to them. Restructuring that has to do with job-creation for the youths. The resources of this country are enormous to accommodate the demands of the youths, women have to be factored into restructuring, the unemployed people, the masses, the peasant farmers, the workers. Nobody is talking about them.

“The economy of this country must be restructured. Restructuring is not about satisfying ethnic groups, it is about addressing the national question. When we address the national question, we are trying to find out who gets what and how. We have almost the worst income disparity in the world where a few people are dangerously rich while a vast majority are wallowing in poverty. It cannot continue,” Falana said.

He advised that the country’s marginal oil fields should be shared with a view to redistribute wealth instead of being sold, querying: “Why are we selling the oil fields to individuals when the states are suffering? Why don’t we sell or lease them to the states so that they can make money to run the business of governance?”