By Adelola Amihere
Despite a glaring gross imbalance between its enormous challenges of insecurity, poverty, poor infrastructure and unemployment vis- a- vis what it earns as a country, President Muhammadu Buhari has said his government will continue to strive to strike a balance between meeting the welfare needs of Nigerians and infrastructural needs of the country together despite these challenges.
He said the federal government has been doing through a pragmatic approach which allows it to simultaneously concentrate on social investment and infrastructure provisions.
The President stated this at the 2nd National Policy Development Summit organised by his Senior Special Assistant on Policy Development and Analysis, Hon Ibrahim Bapetel which held in Abuja recently.
According to him, “we all know, among many challenges governments all over the world face, funding is the major one because it is the life wire of governance. Without it, government cannot deliver.
“After funding come strategies and human resource needed to succeed. The strategies and human resource needed for our government to succeed are all there. Funding is always the challenge and corruption. This explains the governance strategy of our government that combines anticorruption and critical interventions delivery.
“Another challenge is the absorptive capacity of our national economy to support our developmental needs and plan at the movement. On a balance, our national challenges are more than our national income. It is a major challenge that must be overcome as a nation if we are to make progress. ”
Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr David Andrew, President Buhari while lauding the efforts of Hon Bapetel and his team to the governance process noted that that the recommendations from the last summit has helped reposition the NNPC as well as rejig the retreat for government Ministers to Include setting deliverables and targets.
“As a result of the recommendation of the summit, the opaque nature of the NNPC as noted by the report of the first summit is being gradually overcome. We now have an NNPC that is declaring profit and has also gone ahead to collaborate with the National Assembly to enact the Deep Shore Act 2019 that gives us more leverage over our oil resources. It is the first of its kind in our recent history,” he revealed.
Speaking further, he pointed that” As a government we, are interested in solutions that will help propel Nigeria to the next level we envisaged. As you deliberate on these issues and many more therefore, it is hoped you would proffer solutions that would enable government to overcome these challenges.”
While charging participants at the summit to engage in a robust dialogue, he assured that the reports arising from the summit will be put to good use.
“The recommendations contained therein would be implemented to the betterment of the hard working people of Nigeria. A lot needed to be done to pull Nigeria and Nigerian out of poverty. This we are committed to,” the President stated.
Speaking earlier, the convener of the Summit , Hon Ibrahim Bapetel disclosed that as a fallout of the maiden edition of the summit was the start-up of a Monthly policy Dialogue session around Nigeria.
According to him, “This unique experience afforded us a first-hand experience about the interface between governance and policy implementation at the sub-regional, state and local government levels all geared towards a seamless delivery of the Next Level Agenda.
” It is our distinct belief that the 2nd National Policy Development Summit will assist in proffering solutions that will enable Government deliver the Next Level agenda through impactful policies; especially President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to life 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within the next ten years. ”