Akwa Ibom Gov Tasks Nigerians To Shun Ethno-Religious Sentiments
…AS SGF/SSGs MEET IN UYO
By Ndifreke P. Akpan |
Nigerians have been charged to reason beyond political parties, partisanship and ethno-religious sentiments but look at the core value system that can build the country and the people.
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State gave the advice when he declared open the Second Quarter 2018 Forum of Secretary to the Government of the Federation with Secretaries to State Governments at Le Meridian Ibom Hotel, Uyo.
The Governor told the forum that what matters most for those in positions of authority is what they do for the benefit of the citizens and how they intend to see the country progress in the next ten to fifteen years.
Governor Emmanuel advised that a forum such as that of Secretaries to State Governments should engender a new conversation in the country while also urging citizens to begin to see themselves first as Nigerians and later as politicians.
According to the Governor, “politics and politicians will come and go but the soul, spirit, abiding tenets and values of the Nigerian enterprise will endure.”
He further made a case for the celebration of shared aspirations and common destiny by Nigerians and encouraged the politics of growth and development as opposed to politics of attrition and self destruction.
The Governor stated that the theme of the Conference, “Improving Access to Social Services at National and Sub-National levels” was apt as it summarised the philosophical under-pinnings of what he defined as the social contract theory of governance.
“Government exists to provide services to the people across national and sub-national levels. Failure to abide by this need and demand means a great abdication of a cardinal responsibility and the resultant effect will be deep apathy and a resort to self help approaches by the citizens and that will not be good enough for us as a country,” the Governor noted.
He asserted that if the basic needs of Nigerians were provided, a whole lot of security problems would have been solved.
The Governor reiterated his call for a review of the country’s education curriculum to train people on how to become entrepreneurs in every field instead of producing graduates who only come out to write applications for employment.
Governor Emmanuel argued that such entrepreneurial spirit will ginger economic growth as Nigeria already has the domestic market with about one hundred and seventy million people.
He warned against population being allowed to grow at a faster rate than the social services provided by government even as he reiterated the serious need for the provision of those services.
The State Chief Executive informed the gathering about some of the critical interventions which his government has made in the areas of health care, education and in all the basic social services and encouraged the Secretary to the Government of the Federation alongside Secretaries to State Government to take out time to look at what his administration was putting in place as a social contract.
In an address, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Mr Boss Mustapha thanked Governor Emmanuel for accepting to host the meeting and his immense support towards its actualization.
The SGF said the forum exists to give members the much needed avenue for sharing of ideas, comparing notes and assessing one another on the implementation of national and sub national policies and programmes of government.
He stated that the National Government is saddled with the responsibility of setting agenda for governance and socio economic development while the States and Local Governments remain invaluable partners.
He said the forum has provided the platform for members to create linkages that will drive the socio economic goals on national development.
Mr. Mustapha spoke about the last forum meeting at Yola in Adamawa State which focused on the National Socio Investment Programme, NSIP, and the Anchor Borrowers Programme, ABP, with recommendations to further advance the gains of the programmes presented to the Federal Exectuive Council and the country’s Governors’ Forum.
He identified the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs and the National Primary Health Care Programme, NPHCP as the two interventions of government for discussion in the Uyo meeting with experts invited from different fields to give informed positions on issues at stake.
Mr Mustapha noted that Nigeria has a lot of programmes and policies but the area of implementation has been a major challenge.
He expressed the hope that they would re-order the implementation of government policies and programmes at the end of the interface.
He told the gathering about a UNDP collaboration with the department of states and local government affairs in the SGF’s office aimed at strengthening the SDGs in selected Local Government Areas in Nigeria and called on states to get the two documents produced from the exercise to scale up their human and institutional capacities.
He said it was worthy of notes that Akwa Ibom State was able to train their officials in some local government areas using the training models which emanated from the UNDP collaboration and expressed the hope that the second quarter 2018 forum meeting would provide the opportunity to discuss the challenges of implementing government programmes in states with a view to profering solutions.
The SGF further said that the meeting was to provide recommendations that will promote National Development and deliver dividends of Democracy to the people.
The Secretary to Akwa Ibom State Government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem had earlier expressed joy to have members of the forum in the state assuring that with the ambience of creativity, industrialization, innovation and concerted efforts by Governor Emmanuel, they will leave the state satisfied and fulfilled.
The State Deputy Governor, Mr Moses Ekpo, The Speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Onofiok Luke, members of the National Assembly, Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs, Mrs Adejoke Adefulire, Secretaries to State Governments, Permanent Secretaries, Head of Akwa Ibom Civil Service, Mrs Ekereobong Akpan, Honourable Commissioners and members of the State Executive Council as well as other Stakeholders attended the event.