We’re focussed on providing economic benefits for Nigerians – NGF Chairman

Dr Kayode Fayemi, Chairmain, NGF
Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi


The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr John Kayode Fayemi, has outlined the provision of economic opportunities for the people as top priorities for state governors in the country.

Similarly, the NGF chairman maintained that it remain a key area where foreign missions must assist, if their intention to help in the liberation of Nigerians from poverty, hunger and disease is right.

Gov. Fayemi said while receiving the Czeck Ambassador to Nigeria, Marek Skolil, at his Abuja residence on Tuesday, according to a statement by Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, head, media and public affairs, NGF Secretariat.

He stressed that “there is no democracy without rule of law” and that “elections do not a democracy make” [sic].

He 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.”

“In the minds of the people we need more than governance for the goodwill of the people” adding that, “at the end of the day there are no “Federal Nigerians but state citizens”, 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.

“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 and 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,” Fayemi asserted.

According to him, “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.”

Fayemi who reacted to Ambassador Skolil’s description of Nigeria’s democracy as a learning curve for him and his country said, “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.”

Thanking the Czeck Ambassador for visiting at a time he did, he said he had to fly in to Abuja from Ekiti to honor the invitation because he believed the partnership can bring bonds at the subnational level that would benefit Nigerian.

Also, he said, though not speaking for the federal government, that as a key official of the President’s campaign team, he is not unaware of the importance of such partnerships to Nigerians collectively.

“We are a very large country. The partnership at subnational is just as important as that at the national level”, Gov. Fayemi added that it is good that “you are opening your coast in Africa. It’s a measure of your faith to open more missions as not many countries would wanna do so.”

Gov. Fayemi had earlier insisted that the NGF is a bipartisan organization.

Ambassador Skolil who was accompanied by the embassy’s Political Secretary, Maria Nwanyanwu, responded with excitement and prospects that his government will help Nigeria in possible ways.

“I’ll be delighted as a duty to help in any way.  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 told Governor Fayemi that “I would like to remind you of the scope of Czeck Republic in Nigeria. Since the 90s we have been rebuilding our ties with sub-Saharan Africa. For example, we can be of help to Nigeria not just in the area of security but, also, we can have both feet on the ground on trade. Nigeria is 2nd only after South Africa in our relationships with Africa.

“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.”

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