By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr John Kayode Fayemi, has identified the provision of economic opportunities for the people as top priorities for governors all over the country.
This, Fayemi maintained, should also be key area where foreign missions in Nigeria must assist, if their intention is to help in the liberation of Nigerians from poverty, hunger and disease.
The Chairman of NGF said this yesterday when he played host to the Czeck Ambassador to Nigeria Marek Skolil at his Abuja residence.
The NGF Chairman, while enumerating what governance at the subnational level entails for the country, said, “We need to increase economic opportunity at the subnational level for the safety and security of our people because security and welfare is the first job of the government”.
He added that, “In the minds of the people, we need more than governance for the goodwill of the people”.
Continuing, the Governor said, “at the end of the day there are no “Federal Nigerians but state citizens”, adding, “so those who are friends of Nigeria must understand the two level strata of our government and aid the one that best touches the heart of the problem as it were”.
The NGF Chairman said further, “You cannot extricate violence from poverty. Someone who is less educated is a lot more risk-averse than someone who is educated and can read the future. Therefore the thrust is to get more people out of poverty and illiteracy, as quickly as possible for good governance to germinate on an even level in the country.”
This according to him is why “States are interested in agriculture, manufacturing, education and other economic generators that improve the quality of life of our people.
“The more qualified the people, the more accountable the governors would be because qualified people will be able to hold those in government to put their foot to fire for the benefit of all.”
Earlier, Ambassador Skolil’s explained that his visits around the country was to witness Nigeria’s elections.
He described Nigeria’s democracy as a learning curve for him and his country.
The Ambassador assured that he will be delighted as a duty, to help in any way.
His words, ‘ I have witnessed, in my short stay in Nigeria, that there are areas where we can intervene but most importantly, I learnt after witnessing elections here that there are things to learn from Nigeria as well.
“I must emphasize, with no false modesty that your political environment was very vibrant when I witnessed it for my personal experience”, the Ambassador stated.
He added, “Our mission has a broad regional scope. We’ve been busy finding our new identity. We are back in Africa and feel well-acquainted here but at the same time we must feel how you see the challenges of European countries in your continent.”
Fayemi however added, “We’ve proved that we are not just a democracy that writes election results and the country is gradually emerging strong among regions where one must prove his mettle to win, by propounding a strong manifesto and agenda for the people and genuinely convincing them that one is there for their general good.