Imagine the duplicity of bureaucracy and the cost of developing respective state infrastructures and needed manpower to run every new state. In 1979 Jim Nwobodo, governor of then Anambra State ran a wonderful government administering the area now balkanized into Enugu State, Anambra State and Ebonyi State which now, will require three Jim Nwobodos with three of his bureaucracies and manpower to still run the same area? Whether much changes in development has been recorded as a result of this new delineation is yet to be determined. Is this sub-divisions really necessary after-all?
What manner of development does Nigerians really want, spending scarce resources to pay for unnecessary bureaucracy when they could have been dispensed with? This blogger remembers fist-hand, the dislocation of families occasioned by useless state creations whereby a wife is forced out of the civil service of her state of birth because she was married to a man previously of the same state but who has been forced into another state. What is the use, one may ask? Icheoku would rather these non-viable states are merged and instead, additional local government areas created for administrative convenience only. Nigeria is a small country to have as many states as thirty-five talk-less of additional states. When one travels up to the desert northern part of the country, it becomes easily manifest that empty expanse of wretched earth and few donkeys are constituted into states with a few human-beings running them. It is apparent that no state in Nigeria is truly self-sustaining and this defeats whatever rationality bandied around for creating more. Why then create more of these pan-handling states to scramble for the withering Federal 'oil' purse? Icheoku says that it is merely for selfish reasons wherein anyone who feels marginalized from an existing state starts clamouring for his own area of influence; and like a big fish in a small pond continues this noisy agitation until some private acres of land are carved out for him as his own state where he plays the emperor who can do no wrong.
What Nigerians need is a consolidation of regional states into mega-cities just like Lagos State wherein majority of Nigerians live and call home. So if the Lagos experiment is working, Icheoku asks, why not replicate same in the east and in the north? Maybe an additional mega city Kano and a mega-city Enugu will suffice and then who needs a state? Japan, Canada and France are some of the advanced economies that do not have states but mere administrative prefectures. If only Nigeria can bring together all these independent resources being piece-mealed to each mushroom state into one huge purse and invest same in these mega-cities. With about twenty (20) million people each in these cities (Mexico-city has about 25million people) Nigeria will become a more viable place to invest as these consolidated populations can sustain industries, markets, companies and other related investments and truly become dependent on Internally Generated Revenue. Also the logistics of building an industry in Nnewi and trucking the finished product to Sokoto on non-existent roads will be a thing of the past as the product market and its manufacture will be within the same proximity. When 25million people pay their taxes including sales-taxes, the government revenue will be sufficient. Also it will make for easier management and accountability.
Icheoku calls on Nigerians to resist this proliferation of unnecessary states because they are not viable, they are wasteful and does not in any way speed up development. They are duplicitous and creates a chasm between families, friends and colleagues. Majority of these mushroom states do not have any stable, predictable and sustainable source of revenue. To this effect therefore Icheoku commends the remarks made by Umaru Yar'Adua that states and local governments should intensify their drives for Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and de-emphasize their current over dependence on allocations from the monthly Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC).
This clarion call by Abuja, that States and Local Governments should hence forth depend less on the monthly FAAC allocations and intensify their IGR drives, will only be meaningful where the states are viable or endowed with resources they can harness or tap into? Where can a state like Yobe or Jigawa derive their viability from where they constitute mere parched desert wastelands?
In summation therefore, Icheoku calls on the people of Nigeria to please stop this madness of states creation. It is not the answer to the myriad of problems facing Nigerians, majority of whom already have been living together in Lagos since Independence in 1960. What Nigeria needs now are few additional mega-states with enough population and well developed infrastructures that will be self-sustaining. Therefore, SAY NO TO FURTHER STATES CREATION IN NIGERIA!