President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday charged the governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to stop giving excuses to the people when it comes to service delivery.
The president gave the charge at the 3rd Federal Government/Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) Parley on Policy Synergy with the theme: Strengthening Public Service Delivery held in Jos, the Plateau State capital, yesterday.
Also, National Chairman of APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, demanded that governors elected on the platform of the party should be the first to pay the new N30,000 minimum wage and more.
Buhari, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, said his government will do everything possible not to betray the trust given to him by Nigerian electorate.
He said: “Early in 2019, Nigerians overwhelmingly re-elected me as their president. That election was a referendum on not just my leadership, but on our party. Similarly, some state governors were re-elected while new ones also came on board. To whom much is given, much is expected.
“It is, therefore, incumbent on us to meet the expectations of our teeming population. There should be no room for excuses and that is where the outcome of this parley becomes very critical.”
According to Buhari, the current administration has remained committed to improving the welfare of all Nigerians.
The president said the decision to focus the parley on four key sectors, namely transportation, health, education and humanitarian and disaster management were commendable.
“Your excellences, I must, at this point, renew my call on the state governments to double their support in the anti-corruption battle as the gains of our collaboration continue to face the danger of annihilation if corruption persists at sub-national levels.
“Going forward, we must all work towards building a socially cohesive society, in which the resources of our country work for all. We will continue to apply public funds in such a way that no section of the country or segment of the population will suffer social exclusion,” the president assured.
Buhari also assured that his government will do everything within its powers to sustain the current economic recovery efforts, adding that macro-economic policies will be reinforced to achieve sustainable economic stability and growth.
He said that the economy had been placed on the path of growth and competitiveness in the last four years, especially in the areas of human capital development, infrastructure development and prosperity.
“In recognition of the importance of humanitarian affairs and disaster management, I recently created a new ministry headed by a minister of full cabinet rank.
“This underscores the focus of my administration in ameliorating the challenges (present and future) faced by Nigerians, especially the vulnerable ones.
“Records abound to show that the Federal Government, since 2015, has made tremendous progress in different sectors and we are determined to do more,” he said.
Buhari further said that the Federal Government was more determined than ever before to subdue the challenges of insecurity that had remained a big challenge for the country.
He said that his administration had come thus far in its achievements because of the unfaltering support and goodwill of the state governors.
“I am confident that together we will achieve our objective of building a united and prosperous Nigeria.
“Let me commend your contributions at sub-national levels, to the socio-economic, cultural and political development of Nigeria.
“Analyses have shown that the economic growth is a product of the harmonious collaboration of all tiers of government, particularly in a federal set-up like ours,” he said.
Speaking earlier, Oshiomhole pleaded with all APC state governors to implement the N30,000 minimum wage and the consequential adjustments.
He said: “As progressive governors, let us be the first to pay, not only the new minimum wage, but the consequential adjustment arising from that report.
“And I know, please, there are some progressives governors that have taken proactive steps to address this. I plead that we give this a priority so that when other governors are fighting to pay, we will say progressive governors have paid.
“Where there is will, there will certainly be a way.”
The APC national chairman also called on APC governors to support the border closure by the Federal Government.
He said that the nation’s borders should remain closed until neighbouring countries follow the protocols on fair trade.
Oshiomole, in an interview with journalists, also lent his support to financial autonomy for local governments in the country.
He said that local government autonomy was not negotiable.
According him, just as the Federal Government does not control state governors on how to manage their money, so should the state governors allow the local governments to function.
He added that local governments should be allowed to operate the same way states operate, with the Federal Government exercising oversight function.
“Local governments should be autonomous, but autonomy doesn’t mean there should not be oversight.
“The same way the Federal Government goes after a state governor that breaks the financial rule, the same way state governors should go after any local government that mismanages revenue that accrue to it,” he said.
In his welcome address, Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, gave the commitment of the Progressive Governors’ Forum to deliverance of accountable and responsive leadership to all citizens.
“As governors under the banner of APC, we are fully committed to our vision of providing accountable, responsible and responsive leadership to our citizens.”
The PGF Chairman and Kebbi State Governor, Senator Abubakar Bagudu, said that the forum’s synergy with the Federal Government was aimed at improving governance and improving the lives of Nigerians.
Bagudu said that the parley was to reflect on those key areas the country was grappling with as challenges.
He recalled that the second FG-PGF parley in Birnin-Kebbi in 2017 focused on four key sectors – agriculture, economy, social protection and education.
According to him, this edition would critically assess transportation, health, education and humanitarian and disaster management.
The parley was attended by Governors Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Nasiru el Rufai (Kaduna), Abubakar Sani Bello (Niger), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), while the governors of Gombe, Kano and Kogi states were represented by their deputies.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Ameachi; Minister of State for Education, Hon. Emeka Nwajiuba and his counterpart in Health, Senator Olurunmibe Mamora also attended the parley.