The governor of the state of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, on Wednesday took a hard look at the state of the nation and challenged some states and local governments in the country on their duties.
While presenting a paper at the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related offences Commission (ICPC), Good Governance Forum in Abuja, on Tuesday, Aregbesola maintained that the lackadaisical attitude of the tiers of government fuelled unemployment, poverty and insecurity in the country
The paper was titled: ‘Good Governance, Accountability and Transformation’.
Aregbesola challenged governments at all levels to develop the capacity of the people to work, stressing: “Getting our productive age group from age 18-35 working for 10 years, that will liberate the country from poverty.”
He further challenged Nigerians to jealously protect and guide democracy, as it is the only form of government that can guarantee good governance.
According to him: “Many of our governments at all levels lack imagination and zeal. We all wait for the monthly federal allocation, which in most cases, is barely sufficient to pay salaries.
“Also, because the federal allocation is more of an unearned rent, it is spent as freebies and this is one of the impetuses of corruption.
“Every state including the Federal Government, should strive for financial autonomy and self sufficiency.
“The federal allocation should not be used for paying salaries and running government. It should be tied to specific development projects.
“Governance is not a mystery. There is science and art to it and it can be mastered and we should begin to demystify it by reducing the notion that we can only have good and qualitative governance in the next millennium.
“We can have it now and we should demand for it. We have heard of the success of the Asian Tigers and the newly industrialised countries of South America.
“We don’t have to reinvent the wheel. There is never a time when there will be no excuse for failure. The good thing about democracy is that it periodically provides opportunity for us to kick out a government that offers all the time and blames others for its failure”.
Speaking earlier, ICPC Chairman, Ekpo Nta, disclosed that studies have have shown that there is a strong correlationship between high public sector corruption and pervasive poverty with attendance consequences if not properly addressed.
He noted: “We are interested in strengthening anti corruption processes in public institutions so that they can withstand and repel corrupt individuals.”
The ICPC good governance forum is a non political initiative aimed at promoting good governance. This is the first ICPC governance forum in 2014.