The programme aimed at preparing newly-elected and returning governors for the task of governance opens for the second day this morning at the State House 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 to transition from campaigning to managing the processes of governance.
Today’s event will open by 9:30 a.m. with a recap of yesterday’s event.
Yesterday, various sessions were held on how governors can chart their roadmap into leadership and governance.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, in his speech, urged states to earn more internally generated revenue (IGR) to support the efforts of the federal government.
Mr Osinbajo spoke on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari. He also spoke in his personal capacity.
Mr Osinbajo said Mr Buhari has made it clear that he will focus on human development in the next four years.
The highpoint of yesterday’s event, however, was when some development partners, during the final session, took turns to intimate the incoming governors on various grants worth millions of dollars that they can access if they meet certain criteria.
The development partners are African Development Bank (AFDB), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), DFID, GIZ, UNICEF, USAID, World Bank and Dangote Foundation.
They said these grants are mostly free if the counterpart demands are met.
A separate programme for the wives of the new governors on etiquette and protocol will hold on Wednesday, the final day of the event.
PREMIUM TIMES will bring you live coverage of today’s programme.
Activities are about to commence on Day 2 of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) induction for new and returning governors.
Today’s discussion will focus on the economy and anti-corruption battles.
An official, Thor Ibrahim, is currently doing a recap of yesterday ‘s event.
The first session will be on managing the process of governance.
Meanwhile, the session has received a video message from the Deputy Secretary General of the UN, Nigeria’s Amina Mohammed.
The first session will be chaired by the Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi.
A former governor of the State of Maryland, USA, Martin O’Malley, is the lead speaker.
The panel to discuss the presentation include Dana Thomson, former Director, Washington DC office of Maryland governor and governors Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State, Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State and Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State.
Martin O’Malley, former governor State of Maryland, USA
“One of the most difficult job for governors is to manage the creative tensions that abound.Getting things done and communicating to the people that one is getting things done. There is also the tension between achieving goals and merely responding to the whirlwind that (is) always outside the door.”
He told the governors that there is always crisis, scandal and agenda of others trying to get you off your game.
“If you are not on top of your game, it will derail you as a leader. Every week ask whether you are riding the horse or the horse is riding you. Some weeks the answer will be different. You need to ask yourself whether you are driving your agenda or that of others,” he said
He urged the governors to set strategic goals with deadlines and make sure they meet the deadlines
“You have to keep your time committee to the governance process. Try and attend most meetings and let the people know that you know and (that) you care.”
Dana Thomson, former director, Washington DC office of Maryland governor, said the best way to help a governor achieve his goals is to calibrate the office.
“Map out meetings that the governor will want to hold as well as incoming meeting requests. Always expect the unexpected. Your calendar will surely be disrupted. So get a system that is nimble, a good system to help, that will be a governors delivery unit, that keeps the internal process going well.
“You should also embrace the digital way of doing things. Instead of carrying too much documents, you can use an iPad. It can make you more efficient.”
Abiola Ajimobi, governor of Oyo State
“I will speak on theory and the principle of process of governance. Governance is an the exercise of power and authority, for the benefit of your citizenry,” he said.
According to Mr Ajimobi, the basic characteristics of being an effective governor is that one must be modular, adaptive and assertive.
“You must be visionary. You must also have the courage to implement your vision. You must be disciplined, persuasive and creative. You have to look at your own style, do an assessment based on the peculiarities of your state.”
Mr Ajimobi said governance is always a balancing act- the good and bad, loyalty and competence, sentiments and doing the right thing.
He urged the governors to ‘design what is their own methodology of administering in their respective state.’
“You should always do a hierarchy of needs pyramid,” he said.
Atiku Bagudu, governor of Kebbi State, said there is enough work for everyone, if structured well.
“Everyone must quickly come to terms with the uniqueness of their states. Look at the potentials and constraints, it is a good starting point to know what is possible and what is not.
“It should be clear to all what the governor will do, what the deputy will do, the Chief of Staff and others. You can’t get cabinet positions 100% right but there should be ability to make amends.”
According to him, a cabinet will function more effectively with proper communication and getting the buy-in of the populace.
“We are one of the few states that have achieved 24 hour electricity. There will be challenges but communicate them ab initio. We need to know how we cannot operate like others. (The) uniqueness of our states will help us in defining those arras that we can concentrate on,” he said.
“We should recognise that as a country we are challenged with a number of issues,” Kwara State governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, said.
According to him, this includes military hangover, civil service driven environment and a patronage system.
“In most states everything is left to the government to deliver. Many also expect to be patronised. We are also heavily reliant on federation allocation.
He however, highlighted that “within one year we moved IGR from N7 billion to N17 billion.”
The Oyo State governor-elect, Seyi Makinde, asked Martin O’Malley about the existence of an official organogram and sometimes, unofficial organogram and how to balance it.
An organogram is an organisational chart that shows the structure of an organisation.
Mr O’Malley said “You have to do both. It’s important to have a plan. At the end of the day it is about getting things done.”
Mr Fayemi added that governors always have a go to person who may not necessarily have a position. “It is a reality we have to live with.”
The next panel will discuss Economic Management and it will be chaired by the governor of Jigawa state, Badaru Abubakar
The lead speaker is Bismarck Rewane, Managing Director, Financial Derivatives.
The discussants are DG, Budget office, Ben Akabueze, Chairman Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Babatude Fowler, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), Yewande Sadiku, Director General, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Chidi Izuwa and the DG, Debt Management Office (DMO), Patience Oniha.
Excerpts from Bismarck Rewane
“We all know many states were in arrears? Many had bail out and many barely survive. There is a level of reliance and lack of versatility in states. Some states are not ready for shock.
“The states with the highest revenue are also those with the highest unemployment rate,” he said.
According to him, the wage bill of some states are 10.7 per cent of total budget for Lagos, 8.2 per cent for Akwa Ibom, 15.2 per cent for Bayelsa, 24 per cent for Kano, 21.2 per cent for Edo and 23.2 per cent for Delta States.
On minimum wage, he said both the federal and state governments can meet their obligations “but certain adjustments have to be made”.
Ben Akabueze, DG, Budget office
Mr Akabueze said the truth is that every government in Nigeria faces fairly significant fiscal constraint.
“That means there is a need, more than ever before, to plan. Planning is an absolute imperative. The budget is not an end in itself but critical for public finance management. If a government does not get its budgetary process right, the chances of that government succeeding is slim,” he said.
According to him, the starting point if a realistic budget is the realistic estimation of the resources that you have.
“In our country, it is reduced to planning for expenditures. There is always a chance revenue will fall short but expenditure will remain. When casting revenue, it is best to be conservative. You can underestimate projected revenues, especially from FAAC.
“You also have to have a philosophy. What do you want to achieve? How do you want to go about achieving it?”
Mr Akabueze said in 2007, expenditure for Lagos was 35 per cent capital, 65 recurrent. “We switched to 60 per cent capital and 40 per cent recurrent. That wasn’t an easy decision.”
Badaru Abubakar, governor of Jigawa State, said to have a realistic budget, you need to have the buy in of legislators. “There is a need for a discussion on this,” he said.
Babatunde Fowler, Executive Chairman, FIRS, said the governors have plans and vision for the next four years, but without funding, that vision will remain a dream.
“Taxes remain a greater enabler of revenue,” he said.
According to him, 1.108 trillion VAT was collected in 2018 by the FIRS. He said 35 million people operate bank accounts, but only 20 million pay taxes.
“There is a direct relationship between your IGR and budget. Even without federal allocation Lagos State can take care of (its) recurrent expenditure.”
DG Nigeria Investment Promotion Council,( NIPC), Yewande Sadiku
She said to attract investors, governors should remember that capital goes where it is welcomed and not threatened.
“Governors should behave in a way that will attract investors to their states. Investors will always come to Nigeria because it is a large market and have resources that they want. It is only with proactive investment promotion that investors will come. They don’t listen to what we say but watch what we do,” she said.
Ms Sadiku said Nigeria has competitive advantage, which differs from state to state.
The Director General of Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, Chidi Izuwa
“You should prioritise maternal and child health. 59 women die everyday in Nigeria due to pregnancy related issues,” he said.
He opined that there should be a dedicated sub national infrastructure delivery workshop for governors.
“As a governor, you can’t achieve everything from the budget. You require private capital to move,” he said.
The NGF Chairman, Abdulaziz Yari is asking how the nation can adjust the VAT, considering that fact that “we need more money in the system.”
“Is it correct that in the African sub region, Nigeria is the least in VAT collection with 5 per cent?”
Mr Fowler says Nigeria is lowest in the world with 5 per cent VAT. “If you do not consume, you don’t pay VAT. It does not affect the needy,” he said.
The IMF had earlier opined that the percentage be increased.
The next session is on development financing and it will be chaired by Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki
The lead presenter is the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Godwin Emefiele.
He is being represented by the deputy governor for economic policy, Dr Nanna.
Panel members include MD, Nigerian Export-Import Bank, represented by Mr Hope, MD, Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), Aliyu Abdulhameed, Uche Orji, CEO, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and a representative of the Tony Elumelu Foundation.
Joseph Nnanna representing CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele
The Nigerian economy, which is dependent on a singular product for foreign exchange, is prone to sickness
Three challenges are facing governors:
- Rising population in states. It is rising on an hourly basis. “With the rising population, we are living on a ticking timebomb if nothing is done”
- The second is the issue of poverty as a result of unemployment and underemployment.
- You should look at your comparative advantage. Crude oil does not add to Nigeria as does agriculture.
In the northern hemisphere of Nigeria, there are crops which are indigenous.
In the past, it is pursued by peasant farmers. Since five years ago, mechanised farming has been encouraged.
The CBN has brought the interest rate on Agriculture down to single digit.
All required as collateral from governors is the Cof O of land donated.
States like Kebbi and Ebonyi have already taken advantage of facilities at the CBN.
A new initiative was also launched to retrace step to pre-1973 before oil.
Groundnut pyramids to return in the north and cocoa in the south.
With Agriculture, no state can go wrong. Employment can be provided. With employment in place, the problem of restlessness will go down.
Palm oil is deserted in the south-east, ironically, the price of palm oil is higher than of crude oil
CBN has secured cotton from Cameroun for plantation in north-west
Let us stop chasing oil. It is a diminishing wealth which will go away with time, but agriculture will remain.
On development financing, Abubakar Bello, Managing Director, Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) said they are working to develop the capacity of some ports and river basins.
Tony Elumelu, Founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation said governors should develop strategies of investing in agriculture.
Mr Nnanna, representing CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele wraps up the session by urging the governors to look for ways to generate Internally Generated Revenue.
2:05 P.M. – Session on Human Capital Development commences.
Yosola Akinbi, Senior Technical Adviser to the Vice President & Co-ordinator, Human Capital Development, leads the presentation.
She decried Nigeria’s poor performance in human capital development. She said a core working group was set up to move the country from the bottom position in human capital.
American billionaire and philanthropist, Bill Gates, had at the special and expanded National Economic Council last year said the present economic template being used by the Muhammadu Buhari government does not address human capital development.
The philanthropist and founder of Microsoft Corporation said the Nigerian government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) identifies “investing in our people” as one of three “strategic objectives” but the “execution priorities” do not fully reflect people’s needs, “prioritising physical capital over human capital.”
Mr Gates said the most important choice Nigerian leaders can make is “to maximise the country’s greatest resource, which is the people.”
The investor also advised the Nigerian government to shift its attention from oil to the agricultural sector.
Meanwhile, Mrs Akinbi said the group is working on six areas to “push the nation out of the bottom of the human capital development”. They are: health, nutrition, labour, education, agriculture and capacity building.
She uses slides to illustrate the ‘six critical outcomes’ the government’s investment on human capital.
Mrs Akinbi said the major focus is on health, education and labor force. She said the average literacy rate is currently appalling. She also reeled out the country’s poor health indices.
The official said the unemployment rate is also on the rise.
She said it is important to have healthy, educated, employed Nigeriens that will be productive and blend with the global world.
For education, she said, it is vital to promote double primary school enrollment from 42 to 90. “For the secondary school, we want to double enrolment.”
For the labour force, she said the organisation, through schemes such as N-power is gradually attempting to bridge “that gap.”
On health, she said, ”we are working on reducing mortality rate by year 2030. We are also working on reducing malnutrition and stunted growth.
Maryam Uwais, Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment Programme, speaks on Social Investment and Youth Empowerment.
She said through the programme, ”a tracker has been developed the poorest people in the nation.”
“We want to know what our poor people need. We want to know water, health, education and labour force needs.”
She said the tracker helps to categorise poor people according to their needs. She said the process of vetting and enrolling people to assist them is open and transparent.
Those enrolled, she said will be assisted mostly in the areas of health, nutrition, education and employment.
She said the enrolment will last for a period of three years, ”after which new households will be enrolled for assistance”.
Mrs Uwais speaks on the government’s school feeding programme.
She said the plan was meant to tackle malnutrition by providing balanced diet for the children. She also said 750 cattle are slaughtered and hundreds of crates of eggs are used weekly.
She said those cooking the foods are selected transparently.
“We need to work with commissioners of health and education in the states to improve our social investment.”
She equally speaks on the government’s N-power programme.
The N-Power Volunteer Corps is part of the federal government’s Social Investment Programmes, (SIP), under which it hired 300,000 unemployed graduates in 2017.
She said through the programme, about 5000 youths have been empowered.
She also spoke on GEEP. The programme, she said, includes the TraderMoni.
TraderMoni is one of the government’s initiatives under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), a programme targeted at awarding collateral-free loans to two million petty traders across the country.
The Executive Secretary, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, Teju Abisoye, is speaking on human capital development and youth empowerment.
She said Lagos was able to curb unemployment rate by 18 per cent.
She said the nation’s commercial hub supports SME’s by capacity development. It also helps strengthen their access to marketing ”so as to help grow their businesses”
Ms Abisoye said the Lagos Employment Trust Fund also helps small businesses bridge their skills gap.
According to her, the agency has been able to train 3,600 people within 12 months and help secure 98, 000 jobs for others within 24 months.
The agency also helps to provide small businesses with office space and broadband connection’s so as to expand their network, she added.
She highlighted the things the agency had learnt over the years. The executive secretary said the agency needs to be self sufficient and sustainable.
She, however, said the agency is open to ideas from other states.
Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director/CEO, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), speaks on health.
He explains President Buhari’s vision towards achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
He defines UHC as “providing access to healthcare to individuals without them suffering financial hardship.”
Achieving UHC by 2030 is the central target of SDG 3.8.
Targets of SDG 3 include ending preventable deaths of newborns and children under five years of age by 2030.
However, five children under five years of age are still dying from preventable causes every five minutes in Africa, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Eleven million Africans are pushed into poverty every year by medical expenses, according to the WHO.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, health services are mostly paid for out-of-pocket and those gravely affected already live far below the poverty line.
“Universal health coverage is about equity, not equality,” Mr Shuaib said.
He said healthcare services must first be built for the poor and vulnerable.
Poverty and ill health are intimately linked in many developing countries, particularly in Africa where public health services are severely strained. A report by the UK Institute of Development Studies suggests that public healthcare services often provide limited benefits to the poor.
The NPHCDA official explains the government’s plans towards achieving UHC.
He explains how the government plans to disburse the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF).
He said the government has already approved N55 billion for the BHCPF in the 2018 budget.
The official explains the various sectors and areas in which the fund was meant to be channeled to as proposed by the National Health Act.
The BHCPF is the fundamental funding provision under the National Health Act but was only appropriated last year for the first time since the Act was signed in 2014.
It provides for not less than one per cent of the Consolidated Revenue for health funding.
When passing the 2018 budget last May, the National Assembly earmarked N55 billion for the BHCPF, as stipulated by the Act.
But to date, only 25 per cent of the fund has been released.
Although, the plan for rolling out the BHCPF has been developed, it is yet to be disbursed to the states.
Also, the BHCPF has not yet been made a Statutory Transfer, meaning there is no guarantee of its continuity.
Mr Shuaib explains the criteria states will meet to access the fund.
Umar Garba Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, is now speaking on Digitising Government Processes.
Mr Danbatta explains what the commission is doing to expand the capacity of the broad brand industry in Nigeria.
He said the commission is issuing various licences for digital advertising to states and zones.
He urged states to make their states “fibre friendly”.
He said over 60 million Nigerian have access to broad band data but noted that penetration is not equally distributed especially in the rural areas.
He said the rural areas are lagging behind. “We need to be able to find the link between broad band penetration and GDP per capital,” the official said.
He also said the contribution of digital economy to the GDP runs in trillions.
In 2017, the Nigerian government said financial services within Nigeria’s digital economy will create US$88 billion wealth and add over three million new jobs over the next 10 years.
The government also said the job figures are in line with the estimates of a study carried out by McKinsey Global Institute (MGI).
The mobile communication industry created nearly half a million jobs in Nigeria in 2017 and contributed $21 billion to the country’s GDP, or 5.5 per cent of the total GDP, according to a report by the Global System of Mobile Communications Association (GSMA).
According to the report, the digital economy also contributed $1.8 billion in tax, equivalent to 16 per cent of the Nigerian government tax revenue.
“We want to be digitally, socially and economically transformed,” Mr Danbatta, a professor noted.
He urged governors to put in place strategies of deploying broad brand infrastructure to the hinter lands.
“The challenge is how to move this infrastructure to the rural areas. There is need for equal penetration.
”The only way to achieve this is by having transformational leaders that will be friendly to fibre and will expand broad band transformation.”
At 3:30, the Chairman, Zenth Bank, Jim Ovia, chaired the segment on the imperative for a digital Nigeria and broadband market, technology, connectivity and development.
Mr Ovia kicked off with a documentary themed: “Inside Singapore Airport Lifestyle Hub”.
He said ”a third world country like Singapore in the 1960’s currently has a 64,000 GDP worth more than Nigeria that has more natural resources”.
He said Singapore used technology to build an airport, which has earned them ”World best airport seven times in a row”.
He mentioned countries in Africa that are leading in ICT;: Rwanda and South Africa.
He emphasised on the need for broadband. He said it can create jobs and make citizens self-employed.
He said the governors need to embrace the digital economy. Mr Ovia also mentioned states that are leading in ICT projects: Kaduna, Lagos, Delta, and Akwa Ibom.
He urged the new and returning governors to use broadband technology to empower their citizens and create employment.
“Some states do not care about Federal Government Allocation (FAAC), but solemnly depend on their own IGR,” he said.
Jim Ovia, Chairman, Zenith Bank Plc, who is also chairing this session invites some reps of digital organisations to speak on the topic: “capacity development: Internet governance, infrastructure and technical standards, cybersecurity, IT in schools curriculum”.
Bayo Sanni, Country Head, Oracle is now speaking.
He explains how his platform (Oracle) is driving development in security, education, employment and revenue generation through technology.
He said his group is training teachers on technology.
“We train students to be employable in the digital space. We are encouraging girls to key into science in secondary schools because we found there is a gender in-balance in professionals in the digital space.”
He urged governors to key into their programmes.
He said these are low hanging fruits the governors should investing on.
He said these can be achieved if the governors can embrace technology to drive and transform the investments of the states.
Yusuf Kazaure, Managing Director, Galaxy Backbone is also speaking on the same topic.
Mr Kazaure defines technology as the underlying fabric that can expand delivery in all other sectors. He also reaffirmed the need for leaders to be transformative.
“Over 50 per cent of our population are youth and we have issue of unemployment.”
He said the area to make a difference is in ICT. He said through ICT, the youth will be able to develop capacity and be self employed.
He describes as important, the digitization of government processes.
“Citizens are more and more expecting to be served through their phones just as they no longer go to banks often for services but now depend on mobile banking.
“That is the challenge of transforming government processes. That will be the key.
“The government is investing in ICT platform that will connect every government sector programme and processes so as to ease the processes of doing things,” he said.
Olutosin Oni, Principal, EchoVC Pan-Africa Investment Fund, starts by explaining what the organisation is investing on in terms of digital economy.
He said they invest on “Life bank” which deals on supplying health services such as blood and oxygen through digital platforms.
He urged the governors to create an enabling environment to support business through digital economy.
4: 50 P.M. – Mr Ovia wraps up the session.
Sunday Dare, Federal Executive Commissioner, Nigerian Communications Commission is now speaking.
He hinged his speech on digital media. He reads a survey which found out that social media outweighs the conventional media in terms of speed and spread of news.
With social media, he said everybody is now a journalist.
“There are no gatekeepers in the social media.”
He urged the governors to pay keen attention to trends on social media.
He advised governors to check for possible “fake accounts” on social media.
Yemi Ogunbiyi, a panelist, is using slides to illustrate how to deal with disasters and ‘negative press’.
With the use of infographics, Mr Ogunbiyi shows the link between internet users and their various constituencies.
He urged governors to key into the statistics to know the people they are serving.
The media expert recommended that the governors develop a social media response strategy.
“You should build people following you; build your accountability and post them on social media; set benchmarks to major impacts; build a narrative on how to respond to negative developments.”
Segun Osoba, former Governor, Ogun State wraps up the session.
The publisher, THISDAY Newspapers, Nduka Obaigbena spoke on the need for strategic communication and press/public relations.
He also spoke on the rudiments of good governance in the country. He said technology has changed the media landscape.
He advised the governors to define their vision and their mission while ruling their states.
He said governors should ensure that ”their ministries have vision.”
The publisher said security should be paramount while transperency and accountability would ensure there resources are well managed.
Mr Obaigbena also said the governors should ensure a smooth communication relationship with their citizens.
He noted that the governors should see journalists as friends, not the enemy.
Yemi Ogunbiyi from DailyTimes Nigeria advised that governors should know how to use the social media.
He further advised the governors to make themselves accessable to their citizens.
He advised the governors to set up their own media platform ”so as to be able to reach out to their citizens and tell their story to the people.”
5:50 P.M. – Dual session on Managing Security in the states and Imperative of fighting Corruption/ Terrorist Financing in Nigeria.
Yusuf Magaji Bichi, Director General, Department Security Services, gave a lead presentation.
He started by explain the security challenges the country has been facing.
He said the problem in managing security in Nigeria is partly that of empowerment.
He also said the use of intelligence is another problem. “Some people say the reason for uprisings in the North-east was because there is no intelligence but that is not true.”
The DSS boss said the agency provides enough intelligence and has lived up to its expectation but “the problem is that the sister agencies does not make use of it as at when due and properly.
“Yes, we have a problem but it is not due to lack of intelligence.”
He said the governors are expected to look at the security architecture of the state and develop strategies.
“Assess the situation, if there is crisis what you should do is to assemble a team, a think-thank that will give you solutions to the problems.
“You have to tell the stories. You do not have to shy away from telling the stories if, for instance, there is violence outbreak.”
“You don’t need to fan the flames by using insensitive utterances. You should exploit the media. You need the media to manage security situations.”
He said “because nobody is ready to ask question, people who incite violence on social media insight violence because they capitalism on our ignorance.
Representative of the Inspector General of Police , Mohammed Adamu, said the governors are the chief security officers of the states and should invest on intelligence gathering and community policing.
He urged the governors to bring up strategies to collaborate with the police.
Also, Kashim Shettima, Governor, Borno State shared experiences of managing security challenges.
He described as key and essential, the need for communication in enhancing security management.
“We have to reach out and get vital information that will enhance peace in our societies.”
He said governors need to partner with security agencies.
He said deputy governors, who are notoriously ambitious and “can be pain in the neck but can also help in putting in place mechanism of addressing security situations.”
He said governors have to be cautious in addressing conspiracy theories.
Plateau governor, Simon Lalong spoke on managing violence and crisis. He said he liked how the session combines security and corruption.
He explained how he was able to douse crisis in Plataeu. He said he was once a victim.
“It didn’t take us three months to stop crisis that lasted 15 years in the state. We drafted a crisis management process. You don’t see crisesof herdsman and religious again in the state.
He warned the governors to be ready to inherit security crisis and challenges.
He advised them to be fair and not take sides. He also advised them to pay salaries so as to prevent crisis. “I inherited unpaid salaries which I have paid.”
6:00 P.M. – Imperative of fighting Corruption/ Terrorist Financing in Nigeria
Ibrahim Magu, acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) makes a lead presentation on the fight against corruption.
He described governors as corruption hunters after congratulating them on their electoral victory. He said corruption is a disaster that needs to be fought collaboratively.
He said the EFCC intercepted about N47 million from an NGO recently. He said if corruption is to be fought “we need to put torch on these NGOs because they are the arm that strengthens these bandits.”
He urged governors to focus attention on NGOs.
He said it may be difficult to put a figure on how much was lost in the hands of corrupt officials.
He reeled out figures of looted funds that have been recovered from corrupt officials. He also said several convictions have been recorded.
He said the climate of insecurity and terrorism promotes corruption in Nigeria. He said there is a link between corruption and terrorism financing.
The EFCC boss said corruption promotes insecurity. He said the insurgency in the North-east is a byproduct of corruption. He also said the problem of militancy in the Niger Delta is caused by corruption.
The official revealed how billions of naira were lost through the Niger Delta commission.
He said insecurity has offered the ‘right oxygen ‘ for corruption to thrive. He said this is evident in the celebrated arms deal scandal
He accused some state governors of inflating the insecurity figures in their states to get more security votes.
He stressed the need of monitoring the trend of terrorism financing especially through the banking services.
He also spoke on ways to curb money laundering. He said illicit financial flow is a major problem not just in Nigeria but in the whole of Africa.
The official accused some leaders of using government money to fund their lavish lifestyles in foreign climes.
He said properties and monies stashed away overseas by Nigerian officials are most times lost.
“There is no more time for lip services but time to act.”
Nuhu Ribadu, a former Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission advised the newly elected and incoming governors on how to avoid being trapped in the “circle of corruption”.
Mr Ribadu told the governors to ask for less security votes.
“You should avoid your family members in getting into government processes especially when it has to do with money.
“Avoid business partners; declare your assets; put your bussiness aside and get accountable people around you.
“Learn from the president, Muhammadu Buhari. He does not have business partners and new properties. He is not creating new billionaires in Nigeria.
Emeka Ihedioha, the newly elected governor of Imo wraps up the day’s event by giving vote of thanks to the president, the panelists and the organisers of the event.
6:51 P.M. – Event ends with the reciting of the first stanza of the national anthem.
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