Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has appealed to political office holders in Nigeria to shelve selfish political interest and focus on the policies that would bring democratic dividends to the people.
Emmanuel who stated this Monday during his opening remarks at the 2nd quarterly meeting of the office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Secretaries to States Government at Ibom Hotels and Golf Resort, Uyo tasked Governments at all levels to improve on the social service sector especially on the provision of quality education and basic healthcare services.
‘Let us begin to see ourselves as Nigerians first and as politicians later. Politics and politicians will come and go but the spirit and soul of the Nigerian enterprise will endure. Let us celebrate our shared aspiration and common destiny and avoid politics of self destruction,” He said.
Responding to the theme of the meeting “Improving Access to Social Services at National and Sub- National Levels” Governor Emmanuel said, “Government exists to provide services to the people across the nation, failure to abide by this need and demand means a grave abdication of a cardinal responsibility, and the resultant effect would be deep apathy and a resort to self help approaches by the citizens and that would not be good for us as a country”.
“I strongly believe that as a country, we still have so much to do in the areas of education and healthcare. Because if we can at least provide the basic need of Nigerians, a whole lot of security and social problems would have been solved in this country, we need to look critically. We need to look at our curriculum for education”.
“Our educational training can no longer be anchored on training people to write application for a job, but we need to train people on how to become entrepreneurs on every single field, that way, we tackle the issue of social vices and Jump-start our economy. Our population growth must also match our planning. Population cannot grow faster than our social services”.
He encouraged other sectors in Nigeria to emulate the Secretaries to States government as engines of government, who have come out with their wealth of experiences to chat a way forward, not minding political diversities. Adding that such was what Nigeria and Nigerians needed at this time of heightened ethno-religious and partisan tensions.
Presenting a keynote address on the occasion, the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha said the meeting was designed to discuss important issues of development which among others were to discuss extensively the challenges of implementing SDGs and NPHC programmes in various states and proffer solutions which would promote national development and deliver the dividends of democracy.
He regretted that Nigeria has a lot of programmes and policies, but the areas of implementation has continued to pose a lot of challenges, hence the need to come together to chat the way forward on how the nation can implement its policies and achieve her aim of delivering more dividends of democracy to the people.