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Is there an ‘Economic Restructuring Bill’ to bring Nigerian states to 42?

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Claim: A viral WhatsApp post entitled “Below is the purported kite being flown by the Federal Government – Nigerian Economic Restructuring Bill 2021” outlines that Nigeria will be made up of 42 states with seven per each of her constituent geo-political zone.

Checks and confirmation by Dubawa showed there is no such ‘bill’ from the Federal Government as widely circulated. It was only a ‘proposal’ from an author, Ayo Akinfe in one of his columns. 

Full text

A viral WhatsApp post which has been forwarded/shared many times as indicated by the instant messaging application, entitled “Below is the purported kite being flown by the Federal Government – Nigerian Economic Restructuring Bill 2021”, claims that Nigeria will be made up of 42 states with seven per each of her constituent geo-political zone.

The post which bears the author as ‘Ayo Akinfe’ on his website, said: [1] Nigeria will be made up of 42 states, with seven per each of her constituent geo-political zone. These shall be:

South-south

[1] Bayelsa State – Yenagoa

[2] Western Ijaw State – Patani

[3] Rivers State – Port Harcourt

[4] Cross River State – Calabar

[5] Akwa Ibom State – Uyo

[6] Edo State – Benin

[7] Delta State – Warri

Northeast

[1] Mambilla State – Gashaka

[2] Taraba State – Jalingo

[3] Adamawa State – Yola

[4] Borno State – Maiduguri

[5] Yobe State – Damaturu

[6] Bauchi State – Bauchi

[7] Gombe State – Gombe

Southeast

[1] Anioma State – Asaba

[2] Orashi State – Omoku

[3] Anambra State – Awka

[4] Imo State – Owerri

[5] Enugu State – Enugu

[6] Abia State – Umuahia

[7] Ebonyi State – Abakaliki 

North-Central

[1] Abuja State – Abuja

[2] Gurara State – Kafanchan

[3] Benue State – Makurdi

[4] Plateau State – Jos

[5] Nasarawa State – Lafia

[6] Kogi State – Lokoja

[7] Niger State – Minna

Southwest

[1] Kwara State – Ilorin

[2] Oyo State – Ibadan

[3] Ogun State – Abeokuta

[4] Lagos State – Ikeja

[5] Ondo – Akure

[6] Ekiti – Ado-Ekiti

[7] Osun – Oshogbo

Northwest

[1] Sokoto State – Sokoto

[2] Kebbi State – Birnin Kebbi

[3] Kaduna State – Kaduna

[4] Katsina State – Katsina

[5] Kano State – Kano

[6] Jigawa State – Dutse

[7] Zamfara State – Gusua

The post which has also been shared on other social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, has generated mixed reactions.  Many have debated and deliberated over the post but yet there is nothing as such. 

Meanwhile, one @shawnfendi on Twitter shared the post and it had over 100 engagements. Also, @JustSociety4all with over 13,000 followers, shared the post on her timeline. 

According to afrobarometer.org, Nigeria is a federation of 36 states and 1 Federal Capital Territory. Each of the 36 states is a semi-autonomous political unit that shares powers with the Federal Government as enumerated under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

From 1960 to 1966, Nigeria operated on the basis of Northern region, Western region, Eastern region, and the Mid-Western region.

The creation of states began in 1967 with General Yakubu Gowon coming to power via a coup d’état. He dissolved the regions and created twelve states out of them.

Map of Nigeria 

Verification

In verifying the authenticity of the post, our correspondent searched through the internet to find a traceable background link to the post, but no credible media outlet has reported any news about the purported bill.

A twitter account owned by Ayo Akinfe (@AyoAkinfe), where the story was shared after it was posted on its website, created more clarification about the post. 

While responding to enquiries from our correspondent via his Twitter Direct message, on the purported bill which bears his name, he said, it was “Just a proposal from me.” 

“I intend to publish a collection of all my thoughts in a book,” he added.  

Akinfe who authored the piece said he writes 10-point columns every day on his website. 

However, the London-based journalist said “Ignore all those wayo people attributing it to the government.” 

Dubawa also reached out to the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu. In Garba’s reaction, he described the report as ‘unknown’ and asked that the presidency be left out of it since it was not a draft bill from the presidency. 

Conclusion

The trending piece which has been attributed to the federal government is FALSE. 

The author, Ayo Akinfe, clarified to Dubawa that he wrote the piece as a proposal in his column; hence, the ‘Nigerian Economic Restructuring Bill 2021’ is not a purported kite being flown by the Federal Government as widely circulated on WhatsApp and other social media platforms. 

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