Deputy senate president, Senator Ike Ekweremadu has said that opposition to restructuring agitation in the country was borne out of fear of survival in the absence of free oil money.
Delivering a paper entitled ‘Restructuring and the Nigerian Youth’ at an event organized by the Association of Nsukka Professors at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Ekweremadu argued that oil was fast losing its prime place in the global economy as many nations had begun to phase out petrol and diesel-powered vehicles.
He said restructuring had been greatly misunderstood and averred that state would be better off if people who oppose restructuring could begin to access the bountiful wealth such as solid minerals buried in their soils instead of going to Abuja for the monthly spoon-feeding programe.
“There is a gross misunderstanding of restructuring. There is the problem of political and ethno-sectional interests and sentiments. There is the fear of abuse of a decentralised police system. There is the fear of losing perceived advantages.
“Above all, there is the fear of survival under fiscal federalism. Some feel they are better off with free monies from Abuja, which could actually be pittances compared to what they could generate if they begin to access the bountiful wealth, such as solid minerals buried in their soils.
“Ironically, oil is fast going out of fashion. Many countries have found oil in large quantities, including those that used to patronise our oil.
“Importantly, it should worry us that many countries are already phasing out petrol and diesel engines. In July 2017, the United Kingdom announced plans to stop the production of petrol and gas-powered cars from 2040.
“As a champion of the efforts to preserve the earth, France has also unveiled plans to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2040. Norway has what its former minister of climate and environment, Vidar Helgeson, called strong policy actions to ensure that zero fossil fuel cars is sold in the Nordic country by 2025.
“With the second highest concentration of electric cars in Europe, Netherlands is already targeting an emissions-free environment by 2030, which automatically rules out petrol and diesel-powered cars. In fact, it wants at least 200,000 electric cars on her roads by year 2020, which is only two years from now,” he said.