By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The Former Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC), Prof. Attahriu Jega, said Nigeria is in dire need of governance reforms due to weakness in public structures and institutions.
Prof. Jega made the disclosure delivering keynote address at the 10th Annual Forum of the Laureates of the Nigeria National Order of Merit (NNOM) Awards winners’ lecture yesterday in Abuja, saying there is a need to struck balance in our governance.
He said the theme “Governance Reforms and Human Security” is an apt for a time as now. There are no better and appropriate thematic issues than these, which deserve a serious attention. Our daily life in general revolves around and is affected by governance, misgoverance, security and insecurity.
“Fragile democracies, such as Nigeria ought to be paying attention to this global trend; but somehow they don’t. However, it is better to address the challenges of governance and human security in Nigeria more concretely than ever before – before it is too late. When we allow things to get so bad for so long, getting out of the quagmire is overwhelming and difficult.”
According to him, poor leadership begets bad governance.”Bad governance has consequently eroded professional and ethical standards in public sector governance – by ignoring checks and balances, by undermining due process and rule of law, and by exclusion and restricting the space for democratic participation in the decision and policy making.
“Reforms are required in order to reposition government, improve its quality and enable it to satisfy the fundamental needs and aspirations of citizens; paramount amongst which is human security.
Reforms are also required to cover four fundamental aspect of governance which are structure, institutions, Agents /actors and attitudes and behaviors. If only Nigeria could begin the governance reforms process with urgency, as well as serious commitment that it deserves, we can in a reasonably short term deescalate tension in the polity and begin to strengthen the foundation of good governance for human security, “ Pro Jega emphasized .
Consequently, the Special Guest of Honour at the occasion, President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by the Chief Host Barr. Boss Mustapha who declared the 3days event opened, stated that the annual forum of Laureates of the NNOM is immensely important to our nation, especially as we are passing these trying times.
“Nigeria needs radical increase in the degree of enthusiasm of it citizens. Our country needs patriotic citizens making outstanding feats in their various endeavors. Nigeria has to intensify its productivity in order to assert itself as the giant of Africa.”
President Buhari said Federal Government fully supports the theme of this year’s forum titled “Governance Reforms and Human Security in Nigeria “We commend the efforts of the Laureates of the NNOM to critically assess the state of the nation with the view in lending their credible voices to suggest proactive ideas in bringing about desired socioeconomic turnaround which the nation is presently in dire of.”
Earlier, the Chairman Governing Board of NNMA, Prof. Shekaraku Aku, in his welcome address said that the forum collectively harness the intellectual prowess of our Laureates and other members of Nigerian academia, other researchers, policy makers and private sector in our collective effort to seeks meaningful solution to salient issues of national interest.
“It is my hope that ideas generated from our disclosure at this forum will assist our country in creating awareness on how the nation can use the information generated in its economic development, as proposed here in the National plans of the federal government.”