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BREXIT: Any Lesson for Nigeria?

As mixed reactions continue to trail the historic voting by the United Kingdom to exit the European Union (EU) last Thursday, the import of the outcome of the referendum has continued to reverberate across the globe.

In Nigeria, the development in the former Colonial Master hasreverberated so deep that some scholars and most stakeholders are already debating itsinherent lessonsand implications in resolving the country’s constitutional quagmire

Although the issue remains a referendum, the most important fallout of why the Queen’s subjects rejected to continue as a member state of the EU revolves around economy and security.

No doubt the British economy has nose dived in the last two decades with its attendant high unemployment rate among Britons.

The relaxed EU immigration policy within the period also saw the influx of immigrants that has leverage security alert in Margret Thatcher’s own country.


The  British people’s support for the exit from EU also provided some Nigerians a veritable pedestal to examine critically the relationship between nation states within Nigeria.

After more than five decades of forced union in Nigeria, the British referendum reminded most discerning Nigerians of the salient point, that while we have resolved to remain as one nation, it is equally time for the various nation states to demand for fiscal federalism.

A cross section of the elites are of the opinion that, like the British people, Nigerians should be allowed through a referendum to state categorically on how the nations wealth should be managed.

Fiscal federalism as against the subsisting operation of unitary system will allow the constituent states to be competitive and develop at there own pace.

The implementation of fiscal federalism will curtailed the reoccurringand wide spreadingagitation for self-actualization , separatists struggles, militancy and arms struggle.

British Government’s acceptance to subject the debate on whether to stay or exit EU through a referendumemains a direct challenge for the ruling elite in Nigeria to allow the citizens greater access and effective participate in deciding the future and governance of the country.

Unlike in the past where policies are from top to bottom, the lesson from our former colonial masters remains also that Nigerians are querying the continued relevance of Africa as the center piece of the nations foreign policy.

The underlining economic plank of the British referendum also provided Nigerians the impetus to subtly review the nations benefit for spearheading the Economic Community for West Africa (ECOWAS).

The dynamism of the global economic challenges and the peculiar character of the emerging economies no doubt has reconfigured political perception and compelled political leaders to focus more internally.

Like the Americans, political and economic leadership at continental level and regional level must be at a cost beneficial to Nigeria.

Nigeria’s continued implementation of open boarders policy in the face of the multifaceted challenges remains a serious antithesis to sustained development and growth of the nation.

Unlike the Brexit referendum, Nigeria does not need to toe the extreme line of pulling out of the continental and regional body but overhaul our approach.

Nigeria’sapproach must be moderated by the impact of our actions and inactions on the economy and security of lives and properties.


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