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US ex-governors to lecture governors-elect

Abuja – Two ex- governors from the U.S. and other facilitators are to lecture newly elected governors in Nigeria at an induction course before their inauguration on May 29.

Mr Asishana Okauru, Director-General of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), disclosed the plan  said  in Abuja on Monday.

He said the three-day induction course, which would commence on May 18, would attract local and foreign facilitators.

He said the NGF secretariat had the full cooperation of all stakeholders, adding that facilitators for the induction had started arriving in the country.

“Mr Bill Richardson, former Governor of New Mexico, and Mr Douglas Wilder, former Governor of Virginia, under the Democratic Party, would serve as facilitators at the induction,’’ Okauru said.

He said Wilder was expected to arrive in Nigeria on Monday, while other facilitators were Mr Howard Jeter, former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, and three former Chiefs of Staff in the U.S government.

He said the former governors,  Alhaji Bola Tinubu  of Lagos State, Mr Donald Duke of Cross Rivers and Alhaji  Ahmed Makarfi of Kaduna State had also been contacted to act as facilitators at the induction.

Okauru added that the governors of Rivers, Delta, Jigawa, Sokoto and Lagos State would come in as participants and facilitators at the induction.

He said the American Governors Association (AGA), which the NGF was modelled after, had provided it with materials and human resources to facilitate the induction.

“If you look at what they have done in putting the materials and personnel together, you will realise that they have done a lot.

“What they have done by helping us contact some of these governors and bringing them on board would have cost us lots of money but they did it for us and also provided us with classified materials,’’ Okauru said.

He said that strategic and technical assistance was more important to the secretariat and the governorship institution than monetary assistance.

He said the NGF arranged for the newly elected governors to meet with development partners during the induction.

He said the induction would be televised live and that President Goodluck Jonathan was expected to deliver a speech at the event.
He said the chief executives of various agencies were expected to talk to the governors on pertinent issues relating to good governance.

Okauru explained that the essence of the induction was to give the new governors a proper footing.
“We want them to be properly guided and exposed to best practices before assuming office. This is not just another theoretical talk shop.

“They are coming to talk to the newly elected governors and returning governors about the challenges they could face and how they could address them,’’ Okauru said.

He expressed optimism that the induction would completely rebrand and deepen the country`s democracy as well as enthrone sophisticated leaders in terms of knowledge.

“It will make our governors better leaders and administrators and expose them to ways of handling unemployment, health and other social issues,’’ Okauru noted.

He disclosed that the induction was an initiative of the 36 governors. (NAN)


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