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Governors express regret Nigeria’s numerous interwoven development challenges



The Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, comprised of thirty-six state governors, lamented that Nigeria as a country was confronting a complicated web of linked development issues arising from a massive trust deficit and an economy heavily reliant on oil exports.

According to the Governors, the country was also engulfed in an employment crisis and a growing youth population as a result of escalating insecurity and separatist agitations, as well as a growing number of multidimensionally impoverished people.

Seyi Makinde, Vice Chairman of the NGF and Governor of Oyo State, said on Sunday in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, at the end of a three-day executive leadership training, that with the brainstorming exercise and powerful presentations, Nigeria’s governors are more prepared for government.

Makinde described the Nigeria Governors Forum’s leadership retreat, which was arranged in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme, as a means of deepening governance at the sub-national level.

The Retreat’s theme was ‘Reimagining leadership in a fast-changing world,’ and participants participated in sessions that explored Rwanda’s successful investment destination transformation in digital technology, urban planning, and socioeconomic transformation, culminating with a private dialogue with President Kagame.

The NGF Director of Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, and Christabel Chanda-Ginsberg, Head, Public Engagement, Outreach, and Partnership Lead, UNDP Nigeria, signed a statement at the end of the programme.

The retreat focused on encouraging discourse aimed at reinventing leadership and harnessing innovative technology, with inspiration drawn from Rwanda’s transformative experience.

At the request of Rwandan President Paul Kagame, 19 Nigerian state governors attended the retreat.

According to Gov. Makinde, “it has been an engaging retreat.” I’m delighted a large number of governors are here to participate so that we may put our newfound knowledge to use.

“Our discussions have equipped us with adaptive leadership strategies while also identifying pathways to effective governance and nationwide sustainable development.”

“Nigeria faces a complex web of interconnected development challenges stemming from a huge trust deficit, an economy highly dependent on oil exports, a job crisis and growing youth population, rising insecurity and separatist agitations, and a growing number of multi-dimensionally poor,” said NGF Director General Asishana Okauru.

“The NGF organised this gathering as a non-partisan organisation and policy arm with the goal of fostering transformative leadership and facilitating honest, frank, and open dialogue to shape the discourse on these cross-cutting themes.”

“Aware of the challenges of governance and aligned with UNDP’s mandate as the lead UN agency on development,” said Mohamed Yahya, UNDP’s Resident Representative in Nigeria, adding that the gathering “offers an opportunity to reimagine Nigeria’s leadership to achieve transformation and nationwide sustainable development.”

The retreat also focused on learning through dialogue, with sessions on rethinking leadership, leading systems, leading self, and leading to deliver, as well as learning through observation, with an interactive programme exploring Rwanda’s emergence as an investment destination through visits and exchanges with innovation hub Norrsken House, the Rwanda Development Board, and Kigali’s Mayor.

There is a high demand for effective leadership in Africa, as recent political challenges and socioeconomic crises continue to impede qualitative progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and realising the African Union’s Agenda 2063, which aspires to a peaceful, stable, and prosperous Africa.

According to the announcement, UNDP Director of Regional Service Centre Matthias Naab stated, “Adaptability in leadership has never been more urgent, globally and in Africa.” Adaptive leaders have the rare capacity to not only recognise but also capitalise on problems as opportunities for growth and innovation.”

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