The Kaduna state governor Nasir El-Rufai has proposed that all mineral resources in the country should be under the countrol of the states.
El-Rufai said this known at the public hearing of the Senate committee on the review of the 1999 constitution on Wednesday.
The governor said a Committee on True Federalism set up by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), which he headed, had identified legislative interventions that the National Assembly can easily do to achieve a balanced and fair federal structure.
He spoke about how “we also drafted bills to alter the constitution and amend or repeal existing legislation to achieve the overall objective of true federalism”.
Regarding the control of resources, El-Rufai said “mineral resources, including oil and gas and solid minerals,” should be managed by states, “which will, in turn, pay royalties and taxes to the Federation Account.’’
“States already control land within their territories, courtesy of the Land Use Act, which is incorporated into the Constitution by reference,” he added.
“One of the reasons why mining has not quite taken off in our country is because of the dichotomy and total disconnect between the federal institution that issues licenses for mining and the state agencies that ultimately control not only the land and title thereto but any approval to undertake any development on the land.”
According to him, devolution of powers is necessary because the current structure overburdens the federal government with too many responsibilities which it cannot efficiently handle.
The governor also proposed 10 items that should be shared responsibilities between the state and federal governments.
“We need to have federal, state and community police, with each granted sufficient powers to make them effective in securing the areas assigned to them and cooperating closely with each other’’, he said, arguing for the decentralisation of policing.
He noted that anyway, “most of the operational and capital costs of the Nigeria Police are borne by state and local governments,” countering the argument made by some people that state and local governments may not be able to fund their police system.
Regarding fears that state police can be abused governors and others, he said a constitutional or statutory framework can be enacted to ensure federal intervention in cases of such abuses.