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Published On: Mon, Mar 5th, 2018

Kano-Lagos partnership initiative

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L-R: Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje with his Lagos state counterpart, Mr. Akunwunmi Ambode, exchanging the MOU document signed on areas of collaboration, during the closing of the Lagos-Kano Economic and Investment Summit, under the theme: “States Partnership as a tool for Sustainable Economic Development”, at Jubilee Chalets, Epe, yesterday in Lagos.

Kano and Lagos state governments, over the weekend in Lagos, concluded a successful joint economic summit with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), outlining their intrerest in economic partnership to “facilitate growth and development”. The governors of the two states (Abdullahi Umar Ganduje for Kano and Akinwunmi Ambode for Lagos) personally signed the document to underscore their earnestness.

The MoU “seeks to create a common platform for exploring, expanding and developing areas of economic development and Investment”. The two states agreed to expand the current level of economic and investment cooperation between them “especially in key areas of governance, security, internally generated revenue (IGR), agricultural value chain, tourism, education, information and communication technology (ICT) and skills development.”
This ‘ north-south’ cooperation began in the late 1990s when a former civilian governor of Kano visited Lagos to learn first hand the secret of Lagos state’s vast economic fortunes. It is only one of few states that can afford not to wait for statutory allocations from Abuja. It brings in a huge IGR that can finance its annual budget running into over a trillion naira.

Other areas of cooperation covered in the MoU include commerce with “specific focus on ease of doing business and infrastructure in power, transportation and urban waste management”. The “specific objectives” of the MoU “are to establish a formal and flexible framework to expand trade and investment cooperation, foster scientific and technological collaboration for business development in emerging key sectors, strengthen communication, enhance trust, boost economic development and create jobs”. Under the agreement, the two governments have set up a Technical Working Group to oversee the implementation of the objectives of the MoU.

While officially closing the summit, Lagos state’s Deputy Governor, Dr. Idiat Adebule, said the signing bceremony was “a clear testament of the commitment of both states to collaborate in the overall best interest of their peoples. The two governors are telling the world that collaboration, cooperation, partnership can work to bring about economic sufficiency in our states and off course the entire nation.”

We, at Peoples Daily, welcome this “wind of change” in inter-state relations in our country. Before now, state governments saw themselves more as rivals than collaborators. Take, for example, the infamous court case involving Cross River and Akwa Ibom over oil wells. A more recent case brought the governors of Benue and Nasarawa to a war of words over the raging herders/farmers violent conflict in the former. This is not healthy at all.

We urge the other states to emulate the Kano/Lagos strategic partnership initiative. There are lots of positives to take from it. Apart from the immediate economic gains that it signals, there are also cultural advantages. Much of the social tension in the country today arises from our unwiilingness to get to know our commonness. We prefer to dwell more on our negatives than the positives. Also we tend to undermine the very institutions set up to consolidate national unity. Take the NYSC as an example. It has not wotked as it should because parents are resisting the posting of their sons and daughters to do the one of compulsory national service after university graduation in states other than theirs.

Let us come together to make our country work for our collective good. It is in our hands to make it happen.

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