Nigeria’s Minister of Information whose ministry designed the National Good Governance Tour has expressed surprise at the negative response by Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole to the tour.
A statement on Saturday signed by Samuel Ajayi,Coordinator National Good Governance Tour said “we are surprised that Governor Oshiomhole chose to make such declaration only a few days to the NGGT visit of Edo State because wherever we went to, citizens were excited because of the opportunity and the platform the tour provided for them to freely express their opinions, suggestions or offer advice to those in government on how they are being governed.
“The NGGT is not being forced on any state.The Tour is not illegal, nor does it infringe on provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended. The states toured already know what it means to them and the rest of Nigerians. But where any state chooses not to participate, it can opt out of the NGGT without blackmailing the Tour Team.”
Maku in the statement today in what is a deliberate fight back over the negative impact of Oshiomhole’s jibes explained in details how the tour commenced.The ful statement says “It has become imperative to set the records straight, following comments credited to the Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, wherein he declared that he would not use state resources to fund the National Good Governance Tour (NGGT) visit to his state.
“The Tour is a programme designed by the Federal Ministry of Information in collaboration with the National Planning Commission and the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Performance Monitoring. The programme was endorsed by the 36 State Governors under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and the National Economic Council, to publicize the development programmes and projects of all tiers of government in the country.
“It is a non-partisan tour involving the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists; (NUJ) the Radio, Television and Theatre Arts Workers Union (RATTAWU); leaders of women and youth organisations; National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS); National Council of Women Societies (NCWS); leaders of non-governmental organisations; operatives of security agencies; representative(s) of the Nigeria Governors Forum Secretariat; and reporters from the nation’s print and electronic media.
“The tour became necessary following observations about how the issues of development were completely relegated to the background in the media in preference to quarrels by politicians, which is unhealthy to our democracy.
“The Nigeria Governors Forum of which Governor Oshiomhole is a member, agreed to support the initiative, which involves media-driven physical inspection of major projects and programmes being executed by the Federal, State and Local Governments throughout the country on non-partisan basis.
“The support of the NGF for this exercise as agreed by members was the provision of logistics, majorly accommodation and feeding, to effectively facilitate the project tour of their respective states while the Federal Ministry of Information takes charge of transportation and payment of Duty Tour Allowances for the NGGT delegation.
“So far, the NGGT team has visited 14 states in the North-Central, South-East and the South-South geo-political zones where the Governors including those from the opposition parties, hosted the NGGT team and personally conducted the team to project sites and furnished it with relevant information that facilitated the inspection.
“The Tour is not about the assessment of performance of states in terms of project execution but to showcase what is being achieved and discuss the challenges inherent in project implementation.
“The Tour also incorporates a robust Citizens’ Forum which enables citizens of every state to engage Federal and State Government officials on all key development policies and challenges in their state. The Citizens Forum which is attended by the Governor of each State or the Deputy as the case may be and officials, runs live on radio, television and Social Media Platforms. In every state, citizens ask their leaders questions without restriction and Nigerians all over the world take advantage of the Social Media to file in their questions, comments, opinions or suggestions on the major programmes and activities of government. This is clearly democracy in action.
“During the T our, state officials, contractors and service providers take questions directly from journalists drawn from the print and electronic media and from representatives of civil society organizations and other stakeholders on the performance of projects/programmes executed by Federal and State Governments.
“In view of that, we are surprised that Governor Oshiomhole chose to make such declaration only a few days to the NGGT visit of Edo State because wherever we went to, citizens were excited because of the opportunity and the platform the tour provided for them to freely express their opinions, suggestions or offer advice to those in government on how they are being governed.
“The NGGT is not being forced on any state.The Tour is not illegal, nor does it infringe on provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended. The states toured already know what it means to them and the rest of Nigerians. But where any state chooses not to participate, it can opt out of the NGGT without blackmailing the Tour Team.
“In the event of any state opting out, the Tour Team will proceed regardless to inspect Federal projects.
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