An induction programme for newly-elected and returning governors commences this morning in Abuja.
The event is organised by the secretariat of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF).
According to the organisers, the initiative is aimed at supporting incoming governors to develop key governance and management skills that will enable them transition from campaigning to managing the processes of governance.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and other Nigerian and global leaders are expected to speak Monday and Tuesday, the first two days of the three-day event.
A separate programme for the wives of the new governors on etiquette and protocol will hold on Wednesday, the final day of the event.
Governorship elections were held in 29 states.
There were no governorship elections in Edo, Ondo, Ekiti, Bayelsa, Kogi, Anambra and Osun because the tenures of their governors are yet to expire.
Organisers said the event presents the new governors an opportunity for creating peer learning, promotion of global best practices and networking with national and global leaders.
The event will formerly start with an opening remark by the Chairman of the NGF, Abdulaziz Yari, at 10:00 a.m.
The objectives of the event include exposing governors to relevant contemporary national priorities in critical sectors of the economy and driving consensus on opportunities to achieve desired outcomes.
PREMIUM TIMES will bring you live updates of the event.
New and returning governors have arrived at the Banquet hall, State House Abuja.
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has also arrived. He arrived in the company of governors Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State and Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State.
The arrival of the Bauchi State governor elect, Bala Mohammed, generated interest among the gathering.
Media reports had indicated that he would be arraigned in court today in respect to charges against him on accepting gratification.
The compère is now delivering introductions.
Present at event is the Secretary General of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, among others.
Excerpts from the welcome address by NGF chairman, Abdulaziz Yari, governor of Zamfara State.
– The NGF organised the induction programme to support new governors and help them develop special skills for their post campaign responsibilities.
– Former governors from developed democracy are invited to the induction to share their vast experience with new and returning governors.
– Nigerian governors have consistently been engaging with the vice president, as chairman of the National Economic Council. This is particularly to review the economy and adopt measures aimed at promoting growth.
– Governors have been having harmonious relationship with the federal government, which has helped in preventing hiccups.
– Special thanks to president, Muhammadu Buhari, for always intervening to help states economically, which has helped the nation exit recession.
– By 2014, 27 states were unable to meet their obligations through payment of salaries. The President intervened through bailout and refund of London and Paris clubs.
– States should work harder at improving their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
Mr Yari is now speaking on the state of Nigeria’s economy.
He says for the Nigerian economy to be back on the right track, the government should work earnestly towards diversifying the economy. He says this can be through Agric and mining.
Mr Yari says some agricultural products are more expensive than oil. Countries such as Malaysia are doing well with just palm oil, according to him.
The NGF chairman gave a warning to new governors. He said it may not totally be a smooth ride.
He highlighted that governors were lucky that price of oil rose to over $100 between 2011-2014, but it subsequently dropped to $75 per barrel and continued to go down to $38 by 2016, which made it difficult for some states to pay workers’ salaries.
“We are expecting another circle of recession by 2020 which will last up to the last quarter of 2021. States must therefore expand their revenue base without having to rely on allocations.”
A good will message is being delivered from a representative of Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.
-Mr Gates recently called the president and governors to congratulate them on their success at the election.
-Nothing can happen in Nigeria if governors do not implement policies and programmes.
-The foundation will continue to support the NGF.
-Last December, a document on Human Development Index was launched in this hall. The foundation is ready to support its implementation.
-One of the biggest achievements of NGF is in the fight against Polio. Nigeria will hopefully be Polio free early next year.
-However, there is a big challenge: there is an outbreak in 14 states.
-Governors must be involved in the next campaign coming up in May and June.
A representative of the Department for International Development (DFID), a United Kingdom government department responsible for administering overseas aid, is speaking.
The representative says after fighting hard to win in the elections, real work begins now.
“As governors, you will play a role in determining the fortunes of many people in the next four years. People will count on you to deliver on your campaign promises.”
He highlights that the Nigerian population has always been an asset.
“But today, out of 157 countries, Nigeria is six from bottom in the Human Development Index report. The country also has the highest number of children out of school in the world.
“Nourishing and educating the young population is what will determine the future of this country. Nigeria is the second largest investment for the British Government and the UK will continue to support you.
“I will leave you with two questions: What is the legacy you want to leave? How can we help and support you?”
US Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador W. Stuart Symington, is giving his speech.
He said almost everything he knows about Nigeria, he knows by talking to those present and travelling across Nigeria.
“I know security is on everyone’s mind and governance is also in everyone’s mind. Security is not the job of security forces alone. There must be cooperation between the security forces and the civil populace.”
He said every businessman is in it for profit. That should be the goal of governance as well.
“As governors, look for people in business in your states.
“How do we invest in human capital development?” he asks.
He said capital, which includes human beings, only goes where it is invited.
“Invest in people and earn trust. You do that at a speed of trust.”
Speaking now is Ibukun Awosika on the topic, “The Task of Nation Building”:
”Governors must earn the trust of the people. If you earn the trust of the people, they will pay taxes. When you see children that are hungry in your state, you have failed them in some way. We have the capacity’s to solve some of the problems. Your commitment to helping the people is what will help you achieve what you want to do,” she says.
She also said: ”For a nation to be truly great the integrity of every man in this table is critical. You have a chance to build a legacy. Live true to your values. When you think with that determination, you will achieve. Pick your priorities right, deliver on them because you cannot do everything and your people will understand. You will get much more than wealth after office if you so well for your people.
Mrs Awosika also said, ”You must know who you are. Don’t seek for knowledge without character. Seek to lead by example. Don’t seek for commerce without morality. There must be transparency and accountability. If mischief makers want to attack you, the citizens will rise up in your defence. We do not have politics of ideology but of people. It breaks my heart that we have everything to build a great nation but can’t.”
Speaking now is Ibukun Awosika on the topic, “The Task of Nation Building”.
Mrs Awosika is a Nigerian business woman, author and motivational speaker. She currently serves as Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria.
She says governors must earn the trust of the people.
“If you earn the trust of the people, they will pay taxes. When you see children that are hungry in your state, you have failed them in some way. We have the capacity’s to solve some of the problems. Your commitment to helping the people is what will help you achieve what you want to do.
“For a nation to be truly great, the integrity of every man in this table is critical. You have a chance to build a legacy. Live true to your values. When you think with that determination, you will achieve.
“Pick your priorities right. Deliver on them because you cannot do everything and your people will understand. You will get much more than wealth after office if you do well for your people.
Mrs Awosika also said, ”You must know who you are. Don’t seek for knowledge without character. Seek to lead by example. Don’t seek for commerce without morality. There must be transparency and accountability. If mischief makers want to attack you, the citizens will rise up in your defence.
“We do not have politics of ideology but of people. It breaks my heart that we have everything to build a great nation, but can’t.”
Mrs Awoshika said the governors and governors-elect are responsible to build the nations.
She said the governors are the reasons why there should be good health sectors and roads in the country.
Mrs Awoshika charged the governors to task themselves on the goals they have to deliver to their people.
According to her, the best governor is the governor from Lagos state. ” I am from Oyo State. To me, the best governor is the governor from Lagos State because I live there and my business is there everything that matters to me also comes from (there). ”
She also charged the governors to gain the trust of their citizens so as to be able to get more tax from them.
Mrs Awoshika also charged the governors to visualize on how they want their days in office to end.
According to her, if the children in the states are hungry and have poor health care facilities, it means the governors in those states have failed.
The vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, will now deliver an address on behalf of the president, Muhammadu Buhari who is away on a ‘private visit’ to the UK.
”There are people who are not in office, but they are in power and there are people who are in office but are not in power.”
Clergyman, Mathew Kukah, is also speaking on the same topic
He says: ”Nigeria is not the only country with problems. I was here in 1999 in a similar event and we all tried to chart a way forward. Also I was invited in 2007 and 2011 to speak. How did we get here? What is here?”
”We live in a country that some think loyalties are to institutions, parties and regimes. The challenges that this nation faces, none have been truly articulated. For those elected, what are you doing now? For those going, what are you doing now?
”Now is a very busy time for prayer warriors hoping that they will be in the governors’ (appointment) list. People hardly get into positions purely on the basis of their track record.”
He also says: ”What (book) are you reading now? Everybody taking over must focus on the beat and in the worst case scenario, read great biographies: Mandela, Lee Kwan, Gandi and the rest.
”I suggest these books: The rebels who brought Churchill to power and saved England and The jungle grows back. It helps to tell you that elections alone are not enough in democracy. Infrastructure is not just about railways, highways, else we don’t need democracy.
The fine ingredients of democracy which are important are always at bay. We must find a way to talk to the hearts of the people. There are people who are not in office, but they are in power and there are people who are in office but are not in power.”
Mr Kukah continues:
”Everything is politics but politics is not everything. There are people bringing glory to our country without being in power. It is too early in the day for Nigerians to become lethargic on our democracy
”When Everton defeated Man United, Solkjaer turned and apologized to the fans. Why? If the stadium is not full, we don’t have a team. Voter apathy is not good for our democracy. If ethnicity is a disability, America will not have been great today.
”Final book I recommend is “The end of power”. We need to find people willing to invest in our people. That has not happened. When people cannot see a reflection of themselves in government, they shut down. A leader must have the courage to take decisions.
”Many of you (governors) are young and have an idea of how the world is organised. You have an opportunity ahead of you.”
Nigeria’s vice president is giving an address on behalf the president, Muhammadu Buhari.
“Accept my heart felt congratulations on your elections. Heart felt, even to the PDP governors. We belong to an elite club of a nation of over 200 million people. Only 74 of us.
“We are special, privileged and enormously fortunate that our people chose is to lead them. This comes with great responsibilities multiplied by the fact that most of our people are poor.
Mr Osinbajo said the number of out of school children is embarrassingly high. He added that the country will soon be third most populous nation with the highest number of unemployed youth.
He said the burdens of poverty is what those who voted expect will be alleviated. He said history and providence ‘has put us in this position this time and we have the chance to work against these problems.
“All elected officials in Nigeria have always complained of inadequate funds. So we will not be saying anything new.
“There is an increase in minimum wage, there is nothing new under the sun. We just have to confront the problem. Already our deficit is close to 2 trillion.
“States must simply earn more IGR. We must work with the federal government to make broadband infrastructure available across Nigeria.
“We require broadband infrastructure across the country. It must be allowed to happen. We have agreed at NEC to allow that happen.”
Mr Osinbajo said Mr Buhari has made it clear that he will focus on human development in the next four years.
“We are implementing the basic healthcare provision fund. Budget alone is not enough. Health insurance remains the way out. We expect that by 2028 we will have complete coverage of National Health Insurance,” he said.
According to him, 30 states so far make up the 9.5 million children being fed daily across schools.
He also highlighted that Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) is collaborating with states to vastly improve the business environment in Nigeria.
A former governor of New Mexico State, US, Bill Richardson, will now be making a lead presentation on the topic “Making the most of your Transition”.
The presentation will subsequently be discussed by Brian Condit, a former Chief of Staff to governor Bill Richardson, former Katsina State governor Ibrahim Shema, and governors Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti and Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos state.
The session is being chaired by former Lagos state governor, Bola Tinubu.
Highlights from Mr Richardson’s presentation.
Mr Richardson has urged governors to show support to the departing governor of their state.
He also said they should request an emergency response briefing from heads of security. He says this is very important.
He said governors should get good lawyers to help them in the transition and that there should be a meeting between the departing governor and the new governor.
Mr Richardson urged the governors to always keep time for family and exercise. “The job is important, so is your family.”
“Your campaign people will want the best jobs. Bu,t you have to be careful. Go for the best people.
Always determine which decision needs to be made and choose which should be delegated.”
He said governors should make sure they start with a good transition because that will determine if they will get a good four year term. He urged them to make tour appointments quickly, including boards and commissions and the cabinet.
“You can have a single Chief of Staff but make a series of other appointments such as communications directors, budget (and) emergency. Once you are elected, in the transition period, take a little break and reconnect with your family.”
He urged the governors to respect the civil service. “Find the best personnel based on competence, character. Ask for advice from outgoing governor. All communication should go through the press secretary.”
Mr Richardson said governors should establish what they would consider executive privilege and confidentiality. “No leaks, if anyone leaks anything, fire him.”
Mr Richardson said governors should create opportunities for young people and those in the rural areas. “They produce food for those in the urban areas.”
“Make sure every request or call is responded to. Get a legal counsel and make sure legally you are on a firm ground. You also needs somebody who knows governance in your team,” he told the governors.
“Evolve quickly. Keep inaugural activity separate from policy. What are the key appointments at transition? Chief of Staff, with a strong policy team,” he said.
He advised the governors to get a legal adviser on their team, as well as budget and treasury heads. “This is a country with enormous resources,” he said.
On security issues, he urged the governors to get the public informed always.
“Solutions in Nigeria, should be made by Nigerians, you know best. We can only advise. Your best resource is former governors,” he said.
“In this era of technology, try and master one of the technologies. There should be people to people relationships. Don’t neglect going to the villages to talk to the people
“Set up at least three hours to see the people. Give everyone at least three minutes to talk to you
Appoint women. Give women an opportunity. It is happening everywhere, why not Nigeria?” he said.
Former Chief of Staff to Governor Bill Richardson, Brian Condit is now speaking:
”By now, you are looking for talent to populate public office. There is always potential talent within the civil service. Work hard and develop relationships with key civil service agencies. People will now be rushing to meet you, they want something.
”You will never have an opportunity to work on your own agenda. Maintain control of your schedule, it should not be just about meeting requests of the people,” he said.
A team will now discuss the presentation by Mr Richardson
First to speak is Bola Tinubu, who is chairing the session.
He begins by commending NGF chairman, Abdulaziz Yari, for leading the forum well.
What should be the priorities?
“We are blessed, we chose democracy, but among the systems of governance, democracy is the most difficult.”
Kayode Fayemi speaks
“You cannot deliver all your programme completely. It’s best to restrict yourself to your priorities My first advise is have a vision, but, cost it and access your absorptive capacity.
“See what you can do with expected income and measure what you can do within your term in office.
“When appointing, is it loyalty you go for or competence?
“In Nigeria, there is a regional dynamics to this. It is somewhat easier for Lagos governor to go for technocrats, Asiwaju did that.
“In my first term in office, I assembled technocrats and it burned my office, my people preferred local population.
“We need both.
“You should also go for character and you should come up with a code of value.
“Your work does not speak for you in politics. You must find a way to communicate what you are doing.
“Sub nationals are very important for the development of democracy in Nigeria.”
“Good governance is central in a democracy where human rights are expected. You must build bridges and reconcile.
“Setting out priorities is not enough. You have to organise them, to avoid mistakes and accentuate positive future and good governance.
“Security must get your attention.
“Often times campaign promises are not fulfilled due to realities. Governance ia a serious job and you must remain organises.
“Pay attention to the critical task ahead if you. Derive your power from the consent if the governed.
“Set up local government development committees. Before your 100 days in office, set up development committees along party lines. Let them go to the rural areas and get the true need of the people.
“You must get qualified personnel into cabinet positions. Take control of your schedule. Have constant update every week and on monthly basis. Create time for work, family, exercise and rest and time for religious exercise.
“You cannot finish it all in four years but give it your best. Carry the legislature and judiciary along.
As for bureaucracy, get a less cumbersome, reliable and trustworthy bureaucracy. Introduce strategy to improve the economy of the state.”
Governor Richardson responds:
”As a governor, you don’t want people around you, who tell you what you want to hear. Be accessible. Always feel that this is a job you can enjoy and make a positive impact on the people.
”Allow your chief of staff to run the cabinet, don’t do everything by yourself.”
Mr Shema says the health sector is also very important.
“Doctors are hard to come by. Get ambulances to serve rural areas. On security, there is need for special federal, state and local government plan. We can have a team from outside the government to help, especially in economy.
“You must avoid borrowing.
“There is a difference between doing what is right and what is popular. Do the right thing always.”
Mr Richardson advised the governors to hire their team by merit, not by religion and tribe.
He also said the governors should not hesitate from hiring from the private sector. He also said the governors should ”have an eye for team players in their cabinet”.
He added that governors should not always allow everyone to have access to their office. He advised them to make use of their chiefs of staff.
2:15 P.M. – Sub-session on “recruiting your team” commences.
Former New Mexico Governor, Mr Richardson takes stage to give a keynote presentation. He is leading this session. He stresses the need for the governors to recruit early, the people to serve in their cabinets.
“Get your chief of staff,” he says.
He tells the governors to pay attention to geographical, ethnic and gender diversity in “hiring your team.”
He says it pays to be ‘gender balanced’ in the selection of people to serve. “Always select by merit and not by sentiment. Ask your self if the person you are selecting has my agenda at heart or have his own personal agenda. Select people who understand the what the mission is.”
He says the governors should be very careful in selecting their Chief of staff because, “he will be the key to his success.”
He says the vetting process should be done effectively. “Make sure you know the background of people you are hiring. Do they have a clean history?”
The former governor further highlighted other prerequisites the incoming governors should put into consideration in recruiting his staff.
Meanwhile, Babatunde Fashola, minister of power, works and housing said the governors should ensure their is always a balance in every selection they are making.
He says they should even consider selecting those that campaigned against him in the elections.
Mr Fashola, a former governor of Lagos State is a panelist in this session.
Also, Donald Duke, a former governor of Cross River takes the microphone. He tells the governors not to tolerate ineptitude. “You have the right to hire and right to fire.”
He also urged the newly elected governors to ensure there is continuity in governance at all cost. “Don’t abandon the projects that were started by your predecessors. Don’t also let go of competent hands in the previous administration before you came in. Use every useful hand you can get without sentiment.”
Mr Duke and governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, are also panelists in this session.
Mr El-rufai is now speaking.
He says he is humbled to be in the panel because he is even supposed to be among those learning from the discussion as a returning governor.
The governor explains how he appointed a woman as his chief of staff. He says he likes the appointment of women ”but that particular selection was received with resentment in the state because of the regions and ethnic background of the region”.
“We have 54 ethnic groups in Kaduna and its a huge issue to pick someone out of this circle, who is even a woman. However, after a while my people started seeing what I saw in her and accepted her.
“I always like being gender balanced and particularly picking women to serve in my administration.”
His comment was received with an applause from the crowd.
He says “there are three appointments to make that will decide your success. One of them is the selection of your deputy. The main reason for choosing a running mate is because of mortality. The second appointment is the chief of staff.”
He then educates participants on the duties and powers of the chief of staff in Nigeria.
He says legally and constitutionally, ”the chief of staff is not more powerful than the commissioners”.
He also said the selection of secretary to the state government and commissioners are also key.
He further explains the criteria he used in hiring his cabinet.
Mr Fashola speaks again. He uses technicalities in football to explain the need for Nigerians to give those they elected into offices “time to gel.”
“We are also like a football team so after the whole selection process, we still need time to gel.”
Mr El-rufai takes the participants on a journey on how he was reelected.
“Many thought I will not be reelected but because me and my team got things done well, I won landslide victory.”
Mr Fashola closes the session by urging the newly elected governors to take the first few days of their administration in selecting the right people to work with
Mr Duke congratulated the governors-elect.
He said they would confront issues on increment of workers salaries that might later lead to strikes.
He also urged the governors to keep their eye on the ball and keep learning. “You cannot learn for four years.
Mr El-Rufai said he had the ‘fortune and the misfortune’ to have had two chiefs of staff.
According to him, his first chief of staff had the issue of ”being an indigene of Katsina State, not from Kaduna State.”
He said the second controversy he had was that ”he hired a woman”.
3:50 p.m. – Martin O’Malley, former Governor, State of Maryland (USA), will give a lead presentation in the next session which is about to commence.
The topic for the session is “Setting priorities, Managing programs and Performance Expectations”.
This is the final session for the day.
3:55 p.m. – Using slides for illustration, Mr O’Malley gives a lead presentation to kick-start the session.
He explains what he calls the “old style of leadership.”
He goes ahead to highlight seven strategic goals with public deadlines.
They include opportunity, security, sustainability, education, health and accountability.
He says ‘the most basic way’ to achieve goals is by putting a deadline to it and measuring progress.
Mr O’Malley is an American politician and attorney who served as the 61st Governor of Maryland from 2007 to 2015.
He previously served as Mayor of Baltimore from 1999 to 2007, and was a councilman from the Third Council District in the northeast section of the city on the Baltimore City Council from 1991 to 1999.
Other panelists in this session include Dana Thompson, former Director, Washington DC Office of Maryland Governor; Mr O’Malley; Aminu Tambuwal, Governor, Sokoto State; Ifeanyi Okowa and Udom Emmanuel, Governors of Delta and Akwa-Ibom states respectively.
Also among the panelists is Kola Aina, Founder, Ventures Platform.
“The difference between a goal and a dream is deadline,” Mr O’Malley says.
He explains further how he was able “to get things done” as mayor.
He takes participants through a topic in his slide presentation, “Repairing roads and bridges”.
He says openness and transparency will go a long way in amending broked bridges and relationships.
“Their should always be a transparent reconciliation process.”
The ex-governor urges the new and returning governors to have the courage to set public goals with deadlines. “Start and don’t stop,” he says.
Senate President Bukola Saraki, the chairman of this session, is now speaking.
Mr Saraka is a former governor of Kwara State. He said the panelists should share practical experiences on setting goals and achieving them.
Udom Emmanuel, Akwa-Ibom governor speaks. He said he learnt a hard lesson on having a sense of urgency in his first stint as governor.
“There are so many things that can make you lose focus. If you have a case in the tribunal it will make you not to concentrate. These are some of the things I experienced,” he said.
He said leaders should have short and long term goals ”but its always good to focus on short term goals with specific deadlines”.
Delta governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, explains the transition process. He stresses the need for governors to marry what the previous administration was doing right with any new plan.
He takes participants on a journey of how he maintained the maternal healthcare project and health insurance policies started by his predecessor.
4:30 p.m. – Dana Thompson, a former Director, Washington DC Office of Maryland Governor, Mr O’Malley speaks.
He said one of the giant strides of the former Governor of Maryland is making bold decisions. “He hired me, a black American, to head such a huge office in the DC and I want to commend him for that.”
He speaks on why there should be healthy competition among leaders. He said governors should have strong relationships among themselves.
“You should also think about building strong synergies with the local government.”
He tells the governors to hire good writers ”that can write speeches and quality press releases.”
“In priority setting, you need to hire quality hands to push your goals.”
Kola Aina, founder, Ventures Platform giving a presentation on harnessing the potentials of the youth.
He explains the opportunities of ‘digital economy’. He pleads with the governors to prioritise digital economy. He highlights the advantages of investing in the digital economy.
Digital economy refers to an economy that is based on digital computing technologies. It means conducting business through markets based on the internet and the World Wide Web.
Former Governor of New Mexico state, USA Bill Richardson speaking at NGF Forum
5:00pm. – Nasir El-Rufai, governor of Kaduna takes the stage again to chair a sub session.
Mr El-Rufai is on stage along with some representatives of foreign and local funders and development partners.
They include: African Development Bank (AFDB), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), DFID, GIZ, UNICEF, USAID, World Bank and Dangote Foundation.
The governor said his state has for the past four years received grants to the tune of 1.3 billion dollars from the aforementioned organisations.
“They have been providing technical and financial support for Kaduna state. I therefore urge my fellow governors to tap into this great opportunities partnering with these organisations presents.”
The representative of the World Bank simply introduced as Rachid takes stage.
He takes the governors through processes involved in partnering and getting funds from the world bank.
He stresses the need of timely and adequate release of counterpart funding. He also said the governors should build capacity of counterpart staff.
He said the governors should prioritise regular oversight if they want to access the grants periodically.
Another world bank representative explains various grants and how to access them.
She said the grants are free but the states have to meet eligibility criteria.
“In order for you to access these funds, we need you to meet with the ministry of finance to fast track the counter part funding.”
She said the states that will get the funds have to sign agreements with the World Bank.
She further explained how states can access funds for health.
Zulera Yusuf, a representative of the Dangote Foundation, speaks.
She says 70 per cent of the foundation’s intervention spending is in Nigeria. She lists states in Nigeria currently receiving funds from the organisation.
“We focus on health. education and empowerment and states with huge burdens of these will receive our attention the most.”
Baji Olayenka, the representative of the African Development Bank (AFDB), also speaks.
He highlights how the bank invested billions of dollars in African countries. He said Nigeria is one of the biggest beneficiaries.
He said the bank is planning to invest around $6.5 billion in the next couple of years. He said the bank will invest hugely in Agro-economical zones in Nigeria.
“We want to concentrate mainly on agro-economy.”
He urged the state governors to tap into this opportunity.
Daisy Palmer, representative of DFID, speaks.
She says her organisation invested about $500 million in states across the country last year.
She mentions states they are currently working with. “We invest in education, health and empowerment.
“We also work on conflict settlement and climate change. Our interventions can come in form of money, technical and academic support.”
A representative of the USAID also speaks.
He said USAID places premium on improving livelihoods by facilitating the provision of grant to those who need them by partnering with donor funders.
He encouraged all states to take, ‘very serious’ the funding opportunities the development partners present.
Paul Basinga, Coutry Director of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation:
He describes, as impressive the partnership the foundation have with the states.
He highlights the Organisation’s interventions towards the eradication of polio. He said they also work in the area of strengthening primary health care systems and agriculture.
He said their area of strength is also technical assistance. “If you want to know the best strategy to adopt in the primary health system, we are here to help.”
Mr Basinga also commends Gavi for interventions in Nigeria.
Thomas Kersh, representative of the German organisation, GIV, speaks
He said the organisation prioritis working with the private sector by improving their capacity. “We also work in the area of Agriculture and energy sector.”
Mr Thomas said the organisation’s door is open to all the states.
5:50 P.M. – Question and comments from the governors-elect.
Kayode Fayemi, the governor of Ekiti, speaks.
He preaches for ‘mutual accountability’ between governors and the development funders. He stresses the need for state governors to have coordination in accounting for funds recieves.
He tells his colleagues to have a defined agenda before venturing into partnerships with the donors. “We should know what we want and be able to put it to the donors to be accountable to us and to themselves.”
Mr El-Rufai, the moderator of the panel ends the session by thanking the development partners.
6.00 P.M. – Event ends.
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