He said this on Tuesday while delivering a paper at the Freedom Online third annual lecture with the theme: “Nigeria: Foundation, Fundamentals and Future”.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Babafemi Hamzat, believes that the “flawed federalist ideals enshrined in the 1999 Constitution have continuously limited the power of the states to pursue individual development at their own pace”.
He, therefore, stressed that Nigeria must holistically address the “fundamental question” of federalism if the political class is serious about lifting the country out of its current quagmire.
The governor further stressed that provision of security must be “highly” decentralised, as states must play significant roles in providing internal security, while the Federal Government must face the issue of defence, foreign policy, border controls, currency, and customs among others.
Sanwo-Olu also called for a review of the terms of fiscal federalism between the centre and state governments, saying that the Federal Government must consciously devolve more responsibilities and resources to states and local governments as those entities are the closest to the people.
“Today, the revenue sharing formula is 52.6 per cent for the Federal Government, 26.7 per cent to the States and 20.6 per cent to local governments. The Federal Government takes the lion share, out-muscling the State and Local Governments, which are the closest tiers to the populace. State and local governments ordinarily should be drivers of development. As it is today, it is common knowledge that most states depend on monthly allowance from Abuja to survive,” he said.