By Kate Obande-Okewu
Abuja – Prof. Attahiru Jega, the former Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says there is urgent need to
reform governance system in Nigeria to enhance security
Jega made the call while delivering a paper at the 10th Annual Forum of the Laureates of Nigeria National Order of Merit (NNOM) on Tuesday in
The forum was organised by the Governing Board of the Nigerian National Merit Award (NNMA), with the theme; “Governance Reforms and Human
Security in Nigeria.’’
He said that the lives of individuals were being affected either by good governance or bad governance, and security or insecurity, adding that
citizens strive to explore their potential to fulfill their fundamental needs.
He noted that the recognition of the impact of governance on citizens had led to constant reform in other stable democratic countries to improve
public sector governance and in order to entrench security.
According to Jega, a fragile democracy like Nigeria’s does not pay attention to this global trend of governance reform but it is better to
concretely address it now before it is too late.
“When we allow things to get so bad for so long, getting out of the quagmire is overwhelmingly difficult.
“As regrettable and embarrassing as it is, Nigeria has for long been facing both acute governance and human security challenges. The extent and
magnitude of the challenges defy logic and rationality.
“Nigeria has such potential in human and material resources, that with good democratic governance, it should not be facing such humongous human
“But Nigeria has been characterised by acute poor governance such that the potential have been undermined and the human security situation has
deteriorated and become more complex’’, Jega said.
The former INEC chairman said that in spite of the 400 billion dollars oil income since 1960, Nigeria had not much to show, other than poor
economic development, acute mass poverty, and skewed distribution of wealth among others.
He explained that the combination of poor leadership and bad governance had heightened insecurity, rather than nurture security in Nigeria.
“Nigeria is one of the countries mapped in red colour in the UN Human security index, suggestive of the extent of threats to and the precarious
nature of human security issues.
“This is not just because of militancy in the Niger Delta areas or insurgency in the north east, but the combined threats to all dimensions of
human security in the country, covering food, health, environmental, personal, community and political.
“Given this, it is worth saying that Nigeria can never be at peace unless people have security in their daily lives,’’ he said.
Mrs Winfred Oyo-Ita, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation said that the theme of the forum was apt.
According to her, it touches the very essence of this administration’s reform effort to ensure unhindered access to transparent and efficient
Oyo-Ita, represented by Mrs Didi Walson-Jack, the Permanent Secretary Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF), explained
that the civil service was charged with the responsibility of executing policies and programmes.
She said that the OHCSF through its four years strategic plan was repositioning the civil service into a modern public service for sustainable
According to her, arrangements are in top gear for an accelerated attainment of the strategic plans which include re-designing and re-
inaugurating core training modules as well as a salary review.
Others are; “drive innovation in service, institutionalisation of a performance management system, inauguration of efficient, productive,
incorruptible, and citizen-centred culture transformation among others.
“Governance reforms are critical to human existence in Nigeria, with the role of civil service in the fore front as a key provider of service
“It is, however, gratifying to note that the strategic plan has provided a road map for the attainment of this responsibility of government.’’