Lagos State deputy governor, Idiat Adebule, has declared that the wealth of five rich Nigerians can end poverty in the country, if the law of income redistribution is given adequate priority.
Adebule said, at the 14th Lagos State Zakaat Distribution Ceremony of the Zakat & Sadaqat Foundation, in Lagos yesterday, that the combined wealth estimated at $29.9 billion by Oxfam report “is capable of ending extreme poverty, if the wealth is allowed to circulate and not concentrated among few Nigerians.”
The deputy governor, who was represented by Prof. Fatimah Abdulkareem of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), said that zakaat gives rise to relative equality among mankind and fosters the feeling of love and harmony as well as cohesion within the society.
She said: “When we take from the wealthy to distribute to the appropriate beneficiaries, there is constant circulation of wealth, such that it is not concentrated in the hands of a few. It was reported in Premium Times (online medium) of January 22, 2018 in a report entitled ‘Reward Work, Not Wealth’ that ‘Billionaire wealth has risen by an annual average of 13 per cent since 2010; six times faster than the wages of ordinary workers, which have risen by a yearly average of just two per cent.”
However, the Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, has urged the federal government to consider the view of the people on restructuring the country.
He maintained that devolution of powers would, no doubt, restore the dignity of Nigeria and bring about rapid development.
Obasa spoke in his opening address at the ongoing consultative meeting on the Review and Harmonisation of the Standing Orders and Rules of Business of the Houses of Assembly in the South West, at Park Inn Hotel, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
He said: “While the oneness of Nigeria is non-negotiable, one thing we need to urgently consider is the issue of devolution of power vis-à-vis fiscal federalism. Centralisation of power at the federal level as it exists currently in Nigeria is not the most ideal approach to accomplish genuinely necessary rapid development. Devolution of power from the federal government to state and local governments is the way to go.
“It is obvious to all and sundry that the federal government is too far away from the masses and cannot cover the whole country in an effective manner. There is limitation to what a government so far away from the people can achieve. Representatives in each council know their area far much better than a federal minister or president located in Abuja.”
Obasa added that restructuring would bring an end to the country’s numerous challenges.