Akeredolu spoke on Wednesday at the zonal public hearing on the review of the 2008 remuneration package for political, public, and judicial office holders organised by the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMFAC) in Akure, Ondo capital.
He said the logic of mopping up revenues accruable to states and local governments into a general pool for the purpose of sharing, in accordance with some federal government formulas, is “retrogressive”.
Represented by Lucky Aiyedatiwa, his deputy, Akeredolu said power must devolve to the federating units for the country to lay claims to being a federal state.
Akeredolu said the autonomy of the states has been eroded, adding that houses of assembly have been relegated to the fringe in the affairs of their respective states.
The governor, who identified revenue generation as the bedrock of fiscal policies, urged the federal government to allow local economies to flourish.
“The appropriation of the sources of wealth of various states by agencies of the federal government is the fundamental reason for retardation.
“Our recent pre-independence history, and immediately after it, depicts the immense potentialities present in the various regions and the manner through which the political leaders availed themselves of them.
“The level of development attained in all these semi-autonomous political entities points to the possibilities of attaining greatness if the current structure is tinkered with to reflect true federalism.
“Each region determined, to a very great extent, issues bordering on effective governance. Development was, therefore, achievable within a short period. The challenges encountered by the nascent republic led to crises in different parts of the country, especially the south-west and the middle belt.
“The incursion of the military into the political affairs of the country engendered a devastating effect on the country. The promulgation of decree No. 34 of 1966, which abolished the regions and replaced them with the so-called provinces, laid the foundation for the erosion of values and determination to excel through healthy rivalries which existed among them.”
Akeredolu said oil discovery became a curse in Nigeria and that “only those who benefit from this current dysfunction will want it to continue”.
“The country continues to pretend that all is well when it is dithering on the brink of collapse. All patriots must be resolute in challenging the present structural defects which stifle growth,” he added.
“The system which allows a very strong central government and weak dependencies is not capable of development. It will be much more profitable for the federal government to dissipate less energy in its pursuit of the misnomer touted as local government autonomy.”