By Stanley Onyekwere
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, has expressed optimism that participants of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Senior Executive Course 44, will in the course of their studies proffer solutions to the challenges confronting governance at the Local Government level.
He made this assertion yesterday, during a courtesy visit by a delegation of the course participants led by Prof. Sunday Ochoche, at the banquet hall of the Life Camp Residence of the Minister.
Speaking on the theme of the 2022 Senior Executive Course which is “Strengthening Local Governance in Nigeria: Challenges, Opinions and Opportunities”, Bello noted that Local Governments, or Area Councils, as they are called in the FCT, by being the tier of government closest to the citizenry, have very strategic roles to play in delivering dividends of democracy to the grassroots populace.
He listed some of the basic dividends to include basic education, agriculture, primary health care and security.
The Minister also noted that governance at the local level was fraught with many challenges, and expressed optimism that Course 44 would proffer solutions that would strengthen governance at that tier of government.
He equally revealed that some of the most effective and efficient senior officials of the FCT Administration were graduates of the Senior Executive Course and pledged the support and cooperation of the FCTA to the participants during their study tour of the FCT.
In his remarks, Prof. Ochoche, expressed appreciation to the FCT Minister for the high quality of participants sponsored by the FCTA to the Institute.
He explained that every year, very senior and accomplished men and women from different sectors dedicate 10 months, interrogating critical national issues and proffering ways to advance the Nigerian project.
He stressed that effective local governance involved the Federal, State and Local Governments, traditional institutions, as well as Non-Governmental Organizations.
While thanking the FCT Minister for the warm hospitality received from FCTA officials, he invited the Minister to the NIPSS campus in Kuru for the presentation of the FCT Report by members of the Senior Executive Course 44.
In his welcome remarks, FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola stated that the Administration would be happy to tap into the wealth of knowledge and experience of the participants to build an FCT all Nigerians would be proud of.
According to him, FCT Administration was conscious of the expectations of Nigerians and it was determined to fulfil its mandate by repositioning the Administration to meet demands of a fast paced and very dynamic society.
Adesola disclosed that the Administration has therefore created the Economic Planning, Revenue Generation and PPP Secretariat to tap into and maximally utilize the many economic possibilities in the FCT.
Also present at the event were Rear Admiral AA Adesope, the Directing Staff of the delegation, the FCT Commissioner of Police Sunday Babaji, FCT Commandant of the NSCDC, Sector Commander of the FRSC Mr Oche Ogar Samuel, and Chief of Staff to the FCT Minister, Malam Bashir Mai-Bornu, Mandate Secretaries, heads of SDAs in the FCTA, religious and traditional leaders.
In a related development, Chairman, Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Abdullahi Candido reiterated for local government administration be strengthened for effective service delivery to the people at the grassroots.
Candido, who spoke while having an interactive session with the participants of the NIPSS senior executive course 44 on a study tour of the council, noted that local governance remained very critical to inclusive development of the nation, hence the need to boost the system.
According to the leader of the NIPSS delegation, the aim of the study tour was to have an interactive session with experts as well as stakeholders on the field.
He add: “We need to have this understanding to be able to craft out perfect policies across the country that will contribute to strengthening governance at the interest of the people”.