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Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Saraki: What the north must do before talking about restructuring

Saraki: What the north must do before talking about restructuring

Senate President Bukola Saraki says the north must emerge economically strong to be better placed to talk about restructuring.

Saraki said this on Tuesday during the annual retreat of northern lawmakers which held in Katsina state.

He said the profitable development of the north’s assets poses answers to the question as to what the region would bring to the table regarding the debate on restructuring.

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“A north led by visionary leadership knows, surely, that it has leverage; and that it ought to renegotiate from a position of strength rather than weakness,” he said.

“Few will disagree with me when I say, therefore, that a north that is economically strong and vibrant is better placed to negotiate on restructuring or whatever else.”

The senate president, however, said the discussion about restructuring is not being framed properly – “and certain precepts are missing”.

“I have said, and it is my firm conviction, that we must give precedence to the unity of Nigeria at all times, and put the interests of the country first. We must not be afraid to think outside the box. We must not be afraid of reform,” he said.

Saraki said his own definition of restructuring is “when we work towards economic development in every part of the country, so we can all take pride of place in the Nigerian project, and no region is seen as a weak link”.

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“My own restructuring is when we oversee the budget process to ensure equitable spread of critical infrastructure in every corner of the country, so that no region is left out of the gains of economic recovery,” he said.

“My own restructuring is when we create jobs and enhance food production so our people do not go hungry. My own restructuring is when we educate our children so that they can realise their full potential and partake in the promise of the future.

“My own restructuring is when we place a premium on delivering good governance, fight against corruption, valourise honesty and live to serve the people – without betraying the trust reposed in us.”

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