Abuja — The Speaker of the House of Representatives yesterday declared that President Muhammadu Buhari lacked the power to restructure the country. Speaking when the Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai-led All Progressives Congress (APC) Committee on True Federalism paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja, Dogara wondered at those who think the President could rejig the nation by fiat.
Arguing that there was no way the country could be restructured without constitutional amendments, the speaker insisted that the National Assembly remains the organ vested with the power to tinker with the nation's lawbook.
He said: "When the President talked about the National Assembly being the proper forum for this discussion, so many people objected to that. Some even suggested, incredibly, among them some senior advocates, that the President could just sit and restructure the country."
Dogara acknowledged that the agitation for restructuring of the country is indicative that something was fundamentally "wrong" with the nation, adding that the spate of agitations was in line with the tenets of democracy.
Meanwhile, the speaker said he is backing the establishment of two maritime universities in the Niger Delta due to the benefits they would usher to the region.
Dogara, who spoke at the public hearing on two separate bills establishing two institutions at Oron and Okerenkoko in Akwa Ibom in and Delta states, he asserted that the spate of youth restiveness in the area would reduce considerably when they are eventually raised.
Represented by the Chief Whip, Ado Alhassan Doguwa, he said that the institutions would cater for the manpower needs of the country's maritime sector. He regretted that the many laws to boost local content in the shipping and other sub-sectors had yielded very little result.
Underlining the need for the universities, he noted: "The global maritime economy has become increasingly knowledge-driven, necessitating the production of local high-level professionals to meet the challenges."
"Nigeria is a potential maritime power considering our access to limitless maritime resources and waterways, with about 850-kilometre coastline on the Atlantic Ocean that connects some of the world's richest economies and over 3000-kilometre inland navigable waterways."