Despite efforts at developing Nigeria’s social and economic status quo, there has been no significant changes. Former governor or Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi and cohorts, Rauf Aregbesola and Abdulfatah Ahmed, former governors of Osun and Kwara states respectively have however pointed out the poor national revenue generation, failure in the implementation of campaign promises and unemployment as the main reasons that have stunted the country’s development. This was revealed at the anniversary edition of an online media outlet, NPO, with the theme, “2023 and beyond: Tracking Campaign Promises for Good Governance” which took place at the National Merit House, Abuja.
The event was designed to facilitate responses from political heads on methods for overtly holding politicians accountable over their election promises. On reasons why Nigeria’s developments have not inclined over the years, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who is presently the country’s Minister of Interior, noted that the country had overtly failed at efficiently organizing the local government structure across the country. He lamented that the country, though vast and with a population of over 200 million people, did not have an effective national revenue base. He stated that the increasing unemployment had greatly affected the country, especially in the case of national development.
Aregbesola admits a knowledge gap on governance within the country.
He added that there was a knowledge gap on governance in the country. He expressed his concern as to the inefficacy of Nigeria’s federation, noting that there was no third tier governance in the federation. Aregbesola again stated that it was immensely important to re-educate ourselves on the idea of federation. He complained about the incapacity of the local government to function in Nigeria, in contrast to other federal countries like America, India and Germany. He alluded this inability to the lack of self-sustainability of the local governments in Nigeria.
The Minister for Interior also questioned why the country still faced challenges, heavily criticizing the lack of revenue management and employment for the over 200 million population. With less than 5 percent working and earning comfortably, the tendency for development is definitely low. He further pointed out that the country’s per capita income generated from oil was also very low. He noted that without employability for at least half the population, zero progress would be recorded.
Despite challenges, governors still raise efforts to develop the state.
Kayode Fayemi, a former governor of Ekiti State, whilst explaining reasons for most failed implementation of campaign promises by political figures, admitted that the state governors still pumped in a lot of efforts towards ensuring socioeconomic development, despite challenges. He noted that upon assuming office, state governors are mostly faced with intense challenges that affect their proposed policies. He pointed that even when they try to fix these problems, time elapses with many promises, unfulfilled.
The Former Kwara State Government, Abdulfatah Ahmed, also during his presentation urged Nigerians against being blown away by sugarcoated campaign promises. He advised that Nigerians must rather consider the quality, efficiency, mental alertness and suitability of all the candidates involved before their choices of candidates towards the impending general election that is to hold in the next month. He also explained that it was important for campaigners to conform to the country’s budget, for a successful implementation of campaign promises.
Everyone must be collectively involved in the budgeting process.
Abdulfatah further noted that budgeting should not be handled as an academic course, as everyone must collectively be involved in the budgeting process. He pointed out that with the campaign promises traced to the budget, it would be easier to reduce them to measurable deliveries, in a bid to judge the performance of elected representatives. Importantly, he said that the checking the capabilities of those who make these campaigns should be most relevant in making choices towards the general election.