By Chijioke Okoronkwo
Abuja – Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says progressive governance entails spreading education, providing healthcare services, employment among other services.
Osinbajo made this known at the Public Presentation/Book Launch in honour of Chief Bisi Akande, the founding Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC) and a former Governor of Osun State on Tuesday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the title of the book is: “The Challenges of Good Governance in Nigeria’’.
Delivering a speech titled: “The Value of Introspection’’ Osinbajo said that Akande followed same tradition as Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who in his lifetime, reflected extensively on the Nigerian political economy and all that surrounded it.
He said that in spite of its various alterations and versions, Awolowo’s inclination could be described as progressive politics.
“Awolowo did so in several books and speeches and he reflected on federalism, on fiscal policy within a federal state; he took positions on ideology and its place in developmental politics, he wrote and spoke extensively on public finance.
“Anyone who has paid attention to Chief Akande will notice that he observes that tradition; documenting his thoughts on governance on the responsibilities of those who govern.
“In progressive governance, you don’t think of yourself at all, you don’t think of building additional houses, buying new cars or things like that.
“You think of how you can spread education to your people; how to make health services generally available to your people; how to improve employment; enhance the environment and things like that.
“That is the purpose of progressive governance; simple but profound,’’ he said.
The vice president said he was also privileged to speak on the subject of reforming Nigeria’s electoral laws at Akande’s 70th birthday.
He said every year since March 29, 2008, was devoted to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu birthday and the Bola Tinubu colloquium where deep thoughts were given to one matter of importance in governance or political economy.
According to him, it is the duty of leadership to continue to reflect; to write, to debate on the rigour of thoughts and ideas and the discipline of execution that will lift people from ignorance to wealth and prosperity.
Earlier in his welcome address, Akande said he was humbled and flattered that the book and its launch had been put together his honour.
He said that the book could not have come at a more auspicious time than when everyone was engaged in ensuring that good governance thrived in the lives of Nigerians.
The former governor said that apart from the salient reasons succinctly stated in the book, the greatest obstacle to good governance in Nigeria was the low degree of the quality and quantum of Nigeria’s education.
“We all know the importance of education; it is the most important key to unlock the human potential.
“In Nigeria, today for example, the numeracy and content of education is too low compared to those of the people that once colonised and amalgamated our various communities into what they christened as Nigeria over century ago.
“Our knowledge of science and technology remain so perverted by our low education that while the global economy is being driven by technology, industrialisation and hard work, Nigeria’s economy is largely being driven by prayers, rituals and miracles.
“The truth is that the most potent and lasting miracle are found in workable planning based on accurate data interpretations, critical analysis and devotion to duty.
“Any country that fails to plan properly is planning to fail woefully; we, therefore need to rethink, to rework our school curricula, retrain our teachers; and rewrite our law to higher quality to our education,’’ he said.
He said there was also need to reposition and re-strategise the nation’s finances to spread high quality of education to every corner of the country.
The highlight of the event was the unveiling and presentation of the book by Osinbajo, who was flanked by Akande and other dignitaries.