…says Govt will remain sensitive to yearnings of the people
…charges NBA to back push for fiscal federalism Oyo State Governor,
Governor ‘Seyi Makinde, has promised to provide a conducive environment for the Nigerian Bar Association’s Section on Public Interest and Development Law (NBA-SPIDEL) holding in Ibadan this May.
The governor stated this when he received the NBA-SPIDEL delegation at the Government House, Ibadan and said that Oyo State will do their best to ensure that the NBA-SPIDEL conference is hitch-free. He also said that his administration will continue to remain sensitive to the desires of the Oyo People and that their interests would always remain his foremost priority.
The governor also addressed the issue of fiscal federalism, stating that stakeholders must work towards achieving that and charged the delegation to push for that.
In a statement signed by the Governor’s press secretary, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, the governor was quoted as saying that the country’s biggest priority should be getting the best in terms of federalism, adding that if the federal system works as it should, development in Nigeria would be easier.
The governor further praised the NBA-SPIDEL conference, stating: “I am glad that you are bringing the conference here, because that is what we want to see. We want people to come around and experience what we are trying to do here. And we will support you. “SPIDEL is something that is very interesting to us because I always tell people that this government was put in place by the people. We did not come in through any godfather.”
“We did not come in because we had federal might. We did not even have local might when we were about to get elected. “So, we can only run a government that is sensitive to the yearnings of our people. And if we are hosting a conference of the Nigerian Bar Association’s section on public interest and development, we think this is an appropriate place for that to happen”.
The governor also played up the importance of the legal profession, describing it as “noble” and urged lawyers, as custodians of the law to play a prominent role in actualizing and furthering development in Nigeria.
In his words: “As you rightly noted, your learned colleagues are more in this cabinet and they are some of the best hands that we can have around. I can say that in terms of contributions at our meetings, they have not disappointed us so far. “So, what that tells us is that the legal profession is very old in this country and you have contributed so much to the development of the country, so, please keep striving to do more.”
The governor also explained his views on federalism, stating that it has become imperative for Nigeria to make the needed drastic changes to make federalism workable, also noting that in light of the various challenges Nigeria is facing, fiscal federalism has become an absolute must.
He said: “One of the things that I believe we have to deal with right now as a country is how we can get the best for our country. What kind of arrangement can give us the best? I have been accused of completing projects initiated by the previous administration and we are not ashamed to do that. I will like to tell you the reasons so that when you have the opportunity to weigh-in, you can know which direction to go.”
“If we are talking about infrastructure right now, Nigeria is trying to build the rail line from Lagos to Ibadan. We are trying to build the road from Lagos to Ibadan. If these had been done up to the standard that we expect five to 10 years ago, then, it would not be an issue today.”
“If you look at the industrial revolution, the first wave, which basically talked about mechanization, when you move from that to the second wave – the second wave rose on the first. The third is riding on the second. So, if you are able to solve a particular problem, when you want to move, you move farther away and consolidate on what you have done before. So, we have the challenge of what kind of federation are we supposed to be?”
“Since I came to government, I have been reading a lot of books on why our forefathers, the people that negotiated independence for this country, chose federalism and what we have done in terms of pushing that further up until now.”
“There are some of the challenges we are faced with, which I can track back to the issue of true and fiscal federalism for the country. And lawyers have a very big role to play. I believe if we have proper federalism, the development will come, which is of particular interest to me and the public.”
“All the tension we are having all around – the insecurity and others – can be traced to lack of opportunities for the people. We are producing young graduates and we are not able to properly engage them. My Commissioner for Finance is in Abuja now for FAAC. If we don’t have it, the whole place will probably collapse. But why should that be? If it is a federation, why are we all running to Abuja every month to look for federal allocation? So, those are some of the challenges that I know when legal minds come together, they can assist the country. You can weigh-in and let your voices be heard.”
The governor also promised the NBA-SPIDEL delegation that all their requests would be looked into and promised them that the conferees would have a safe and secure environment to deliberate in.
The NBA-SPIDEL Chairman also spoke and informed everyone present that the purpose of their visit was to formally inform the governor about their conference scheduled to hold in Ibadan between the 23rd and 26th of May.
He also said that he hoped the visit would go a long way toward securing the governor’s commitment towards them hosting the conference successfully in Ibadan. He ended his speech by commending Governor ‘Seyi Makinde for redefining good governance in the state and country and delivering on his campaign promises to the people of Oyo State.