ABUJA – The United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), says it will do everything possible to support the Nigerian Government.
Mr Ben Mellor, the DFID Head of Office, said this on Wednesday in Abuja during a courtesy visit to the Director General, Nigeria Governors` Forum (NGF), Mr Asishana Okauru.
He said that in spite of the crack within the forum, Nigerian governors had the interest of the country at heart.
Mellor said that he was encouraged by the activities of the secretariat and promised to work with it to ensure the development in Nigerian states.
He said that although, Nigeria was a country with lots of challenges and it had great opportunities, adding that he would not be deterred by the country`s challenges.
The DFID office head said the visit was to access the forum`s secretariat to know its future plans with a view to ascertaining the kind of support the DFID could offer it.
Mellor said that he was glad to note that the forum`s secretariat had remained non partisan and had continued to work on improving governance in the country in the face of challenges.
According to him, this is a step in the right direction.
He, however, wished the Nigerian government and the people the best in the 2015 general elections.
Responding, Okauru assured the development partners that the crisis within the forum would be resolved soon.
“As soon as they get a few things resolved, we should be back fully on stream,’’ he said.
He explained that certain concrete agreement was presently being reached by the governors to ensure that the forum became one in the interest of the people and the nation.
He said that in spite of the seeming crack within the forum, the secretariat was focused on its responsibility of servicing the elected 36 governors of the federation.
Okauru said that the secretariat being a policy hub; structured to service the governors irrespective of party affiliations had maintained contact with the governors in spite of the situation.
“There are challenges but those challenges are not peculiar to the forum, they are actually about the country.
“It is all about politics and our political calendar.
“We have never had the kind of dynamics we are experiencing now, where you have two major political parties that are almost at the same level,’’ Okauru said.
He said the secretariat would ensure that the forum was not used as a platform for political parties to achieve their aspirations.
He called for the support of the DFID in the secretariat`s various programmes which includes its induction programme for newly elected governors and its peer review initiative, among others.
According to him, the secretariat`s peer review and knowledge management initiatives are wonderful tools that can reconcile the governors.
Okauru said that the secretariat was working on isolating best practices of serving governors to make same available for returning and incoming governors in 2015.
According to Okauru, the secretariat has been able to put together governors’ inaugural speeches from 2009 to 2011.
He said that this would enable electorate hold governors accountable for the promises they made on the day they were inaugurated. (NAN)