Friday, 21 June 2019

Emulate My Governance Style,Buhari Tells State Governors

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday inaugurated the new National Economic Council (NEC) with a call on governors of the 36 states of the federation to, like him, play politics of inclusiveness by carrying everybody along irrespective of political differences.

Speaking at the ceremony at the presidential villa, Abuja, he pointed out that he had run the federal administration in the last four years treating all the states the same way without discrimination along party lines.

He said the state governors must, therefore, emulate his model and shun divisive polices to uplift the people.
“Your Excellencies, the Federal Government in the last four years has demonstrated unwavering inclusiveness in dealing with every State, notwithstanding the political leaning of the Governor or the predominant party in power at the State level. I want this to be your model at the State level. No matter which party we belong to, let us shun divisive policies and join hands together for the upliftment of our people,” he said.

The president also urged the governors to pay special attention to the four major issues of security, education, health and agriculture in the coming years of their tenure, noting that the successes in the last four areas will go a long way in lifting the people out of poverty and secure our future for sustainable growth and development.

He said his government will continue to rate security of lives and properties as top priority on its agenda, assuring of commitment to securing the territorial integrity of the nation, while confronting the remnants of terrorists, bandits and other criminals across the country.

“There must be collective and deliberate efforts by all to improve the security of lives and properties across the country. Security is a bottom to top operation. Everybody must be involved for total success,” the president added’

On education, President Buhari stressed the need to take “very seriously and enforce very rigorously the statutory provisions on free and compulsory basic education, especially the Section 18(3) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, “which places on all of us here an obligation to eradicate illiteracy and provide free and compulsory education.”

While pointing out that Section 2 of the Compulsory, Free Universal Basic Education Act provides that every Government in Nigeria shall provide free, compulsory and universal basic education for every child of primary and junior secondary school age, he added: “It is indeed a crime for any parent to keep his child out of school for this period. In my view, when a government fails to provide the schools, teachers and teaching materials necessary for basic education, it is actually aiding and abetting that crime.”

He further stated: “This is, therefore, a call to action. I would like to see every Governor rise from this meeting and rally his local Government Chairmen towards ensuring that our schools offer the right opportunities and provide the needed materials and teachers for basic education, at the minimum. If we are able to do this, the benefits will surely manifest themselves.

“Ensuring proper education during the first nine years of schooling means that our children start off their lives with some discipline and education. They will be safeguarded from roaming the streets, and protected from all the evil influences that assail idle hands and idle minds.

“Whatever they choose to do thereafter, children with basic education will be better prepared to learn and to appreciate their own role in society. This will also go a long way in solving our security and other anti-social problems, which are often the manifestations of early delinquency.

“I, therefore, think every Governor here should make a firm commitment to be personally involved in ensuring that every child of school age actually goes to school throughout the crucial nine years of basic education.”

On enhancing the revenue available to states, President Buhari advised that they must, in the next four years, find ways to increase internally generated revenues, improve VAT collection and increase agricultural output without disrupting business activities

He added: “I also want you to work with the Federal Agencies and the service providers in ensuring that broadband infrastructure is made available all over the country. Information and Communication Technology is the future of work and we must not allow ourselves to be left behind.

The president restated the high expectations on NEC as “a veritable source of articulating policies and programmes that are expected to drive growth and development, secure our environment and take the country to the next level,” noting that the challenges that confront the country in the next few years, especially in the areas of security, human capital development and employment for the nation’s youths are “monumental and historic. But we are more than equal to the task.”

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