The Progressive Governors Forum an umbrella body of Governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) wants to adopt a common governance initiative across all APC states. They say they want to create a distinct identity for the party that will separate it from other political parties in the country.
The Forum has therefore set up a PGF Governance Programme Steering Committee headed by the Governors of Jigawa and Plateau states who have been tasked with the responsibility of looking at how they govern their states and the federal government and advice on improvement on the governance structure in the states and federal government as well as ensure synergy between the states and the federal government.
Speaking at the inaugural meeting of the Steering Committee in Abuja on Friday, Plateau state governor, Simon Lalong said the APC governors need to aggressively ensure that they are able to settle all public debates around the distinction between the APC on the one hand, and the PDP and other parties on the other hand.
Lalong who was represented by his Deputy, Prof. Sonni Gwanle Tyoden said “Given the challenge of ensuring that we achieve the vision of making our party, the APC, emerge as a distinctly social democratic party, the policy initiatives of all APC governments, particularly at the state levels, will be the defining credentials. In addition, ensuring uniformity of policy initiatives among the APC states is a fundamental requirement.
“Between 2015 and 2019, as Progressive Governors, we made quite some efforts to adopt common initiatives. Based on assessment of initiatives from our states and critical assessments of the challenges facing our states, Forum has already agreed to some priorities, which include revenue mobilisation, funding for security, education and health.
“Through the work of our Secretaries of Governments of APC States, facilitated by the Governance Programme Steering Committee, Forum has already adopted Prototype Bills in the four areas mentioned above for domestication in our states.
“While in some cases progress have been made, it needs to be acknowledged that much work will be required, especially in ensuring that progress being recorded translate to producing a distinctive governance and political identity for all APC states.
“We need to aggressively ensure that we are able to settle all public debates around the distinction between APC, on the one hand, and PDP and other parties, on the other. It is not a theoretical issue but concretely about the initiatives coming from APC governments, especially the states.
“With the experiences we had between 2015 and 2019, we want to ensure that we are able to speed up actions to produce these common initiatives. Recognising the profile of members of our Governance Programme Steering I have no doubt that the quality of output based on input from activities we will be initiating will help to speed up progress in ensuring the emergence of some uniform attributes for all APC States.”
Also speaking, Jigawa state governor, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar said despite prevailing economic difficulties facing our country, our Governors have remained focused on delivering optimum social goods to the teeming masses of our people.
Badaru said the performance of the APC governors was is in line with the progressive credentials of our great party, the All Progressive Congress and fulfils our campaign covenant of “Change” to our compatriots.
He said further that a proof of their commitment to good governance was our resolution at our November 2016 meeting in Kano that Secretaries to Governments of AFC States should meet quarterly to brainstorm, share experiences and evaluate the implementation of commonly shared governance initiatives.
“So far, 7 quarterly meetings have held, and a number of important recommendations have emerged from those meetings. All the recommendations from the Quarterly meetings of our Secretaries to Governments have been approved by Forum.
“Therefore, during the era of 2019 2023, we will want the work of the PGF Governance Programme Steering Committee to focus more on strengthening the capacity of our states to have increased commitment to implement approved initiatives.
“This may require more initiatives around issues of capacity development for functionaries of our state. This will have to be well tailored around the initiatives we subscribe to rather than the generic approach.
“Together with my colleague, we will take more steps to ensure that Forum is able to give you the needed support to ensure that we are able to get all the technical services for us to achieve our vision.”
Badaru however told newsmen that the APC governors “want the work of the Progressive Governors Forum to focus more on strengthening the capacity of our states to have increased commitment to implement approved initiatives. Some initiatives were raised and deliberated upon and approved between 2015/2019.
“At this level, we want to see the smooth implementation of these programmes and this might require more initiatives around programmes and capacity development for functionaries of our states. While we continue to look at other policies, the implementation of the ones approved is key.
“There is also the need to strengthening and increasing the capacity of those to implement those policies. As you are aware, the Progressive governors have done very well especially when you look at the history of where we are coming from and the last four years despite the economic challenges and reduction in oil prices and what we inherited. We want to improve further on this.”