Buhari To New Govs: Deliver On Mandates Or Shown The Exit Door
President Muhammadu Buhari has given marching orders to returning and newly elected governors, to deliver on their campaign promises or be ready to be voted out of office in the next four years.
Buhari at the induction of the incoming state chief executives, noted that the nation’s democracy is evolving, “and people are increasingly finding their voices.
“Any public officer who fails to either meet up with the expectations of the people or deliver on his campaign promises would be voted out in the next election. That is what democracy is about.”
The president who was represented by his Chief of Staff Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, called on the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), organisers of the event, to promote ideals that wouldu address the challenges of democracy and governance in the country.
“The role of the sub-nationals is critical in our socio-economic development as a nation.
“Your proximity to the people, gives you the privilege to have an instant pulse on their needs and challenges and yours is to device creative and judicious means of addressing the myriad of issues that confront them daily,” he said.
Buhari advised the incoming state executives to be cognizant of the comparative advantages inherent in each of their states, and how they can form partnerships with each other, by leveraging on their various strengths “while recognising that there is no one size fits all solutions.”
He told them to always put the country first, adding, “Nigerians desire peace, progress and security; a country where they have access to quality education, health and social services.
“Your ability to champion these values significantly impacts the atmosphere where in the delivery of social goods and services will be conducted efficiently and harmoniously.”
But stated that the country had made progress since he took office in 2015, but said that the road has been bumpy due to a challenging fiscal climate.
The president added that as he leaves office in about two weeks he has built a firm foundation for a prosperous Nigeria.
“We could not have done everything, but we focused on a number of areas: infrastructure, agriculture and strengthening our Armed Forces.
“Despite the difficult fiscal conditions, we remained committed to our promises. These key areas were strategically targeted.
“Our focus on infrastructure was to improve access to markets, improved linkages and to reduce overall supply chain costs.
“This singular commitment to infrastructure development for roads, rails, airports, ports and affordable housing were designed to create better means of livelihood for our people and facilitate access to jobs.
“I am happy that we are succeeding in investing the nation’s wealth in every state of the federation and a clear path for sustainable development has been set.
“Our various interventions in agriculture ensured that we reduced our food import bill while increasing domestic production and even expansion of critical export crops.
“This deliberate policy was especially necessary as Covid-forced shutdown led to increase in global food prices, and whilst we experienced some spike, we nonetheless were better able to contend with the food crises.
“Our men and women of the Armed Forces have through their gallant actions and sacrifices ensured that our territorial integrity remains intact; and they continue with laser focus to combat what remains of a significantly degraded enemies of state, and there shall be no letting on until peace and stability returns to our nation,” he added.
He expressed hope that the incoming federal government would build on the legacies of his administration.
Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Amina Mohammed, in her keynote address, warned that when leaders fail to deliver for people on their rights and their futures, they erode their faith in power, in politics and in the state.
According to her, “that results in a loss of trust, in resentment between generations and towards elites; and in greater tensions between groups, cultures, ethnicities, and religions.”
Mohammed who was Nigeria’s former Minister of Environment, stated that the only way to build a more cohesive nation and a more harmonious world is to deliver better services, better opportunities, better safety, better government, and a healthier environment, for the people.
She called for massive investment and political attention in a number of areas could such as energy.
“In Nigeria, we face a situation where 36 per cent of households do not have access to the electricity grid and where we remain almost entirely dependent on fossil fuels for electricity generation.
“Nigeria has a well defined energy transition plan. Our energy mix must change and the international community must meet its investment pledges to support countries in this transition,” she said.
She also called for expansion on food and agriculture; education and skills; digital connectivity; social and environmental protection.
“In each of these areas, we face great challenges but if we can find the tools to breakthrough, the opportunities for Nigeria and indeed the world are immense. So we need to make sure that Nigeria does not get left behind,” Mohammed further advised.
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