By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA-Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike on Thursday emerged BusinessDay Newspaper’s Best Governor of the Year 2017 while the duo of Ibrahim Dankwambo and Rauf Aregbesola bagged the Best Performing Governor, North and South respectively.
The well-attended event which held at the Transcorp Hilton Abuja attracted some first-class traditional rulers including the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; the Emir of Katagun, Umar Kabir, Emir of Misau, Ahmed Suleiman and a representative of the Emir of Bauchi, Galadima Saidu.
Publisher/chief executive officer of BusinessDay, Frank Aigbogun, decried states’ over-reliance on federal allocation, even as he called on states to diversify their respective economies in order to boost their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
Aigbogun further harped on the need for states to take advantage of their resource endowment to complement the federal allocations.
This, he submitted, will end the monthly custom of state executives looking up exclusively to the Ministry of Finance for handouts.
Other award categories and their winners included: Promotion of Made in Nigerian Goods (Abia), Sports Development (Akwa Ibom), Agriculture Development (Anambra), Tourism Development (Bauchi) and Healthcare Development (Taraba).
Others were Rural/Urban Infrastructure Development (Enugu, Nasarawa, Kwara), Transparency in Governance (Edo and Jigawa), Peace and Security (Kogi and Sokoto) as well as Education Reforms and Development (Ondo and Kaduna).
Refering to the latest State of the State report published by BusinessDay Research and Intelligence Unit (BRIU), the publisher said: “The IGR of the 36 sub national governments rose by 12% from N831.19 billion in 2016 to N931.23 billion in 2017. Twenty-three States grew their IGR above the national average of 12%. This is a laudable development.
“Indeed Nigeria is a country that is undoubtedly blessed with significant mineral, agricultural, natural and human resources. Each State has comparative advantage in multiple areas, from agriculture to minerals where there is increased and sustained competitiveness through economic development and growth.
“It opens up doors to self-sufficiency in the areas of comparative strengths and bilateral trade which can also be achieved with other States in the area where there is need for partnerships.
“Each State is naturally endowed with mineral, agricultural and human resources. In the area of human capital, we are 190 million – strong population with over 50% of the demography under the age of 30. Where each State government fully harnesses and optimises the resources available at their disposal, competitiveness and good governance is the result.”
The publisher explained that the event was organised to celebrate governors who distinguished themselves in all spheres of their states’ economies, noting that in selecting the awardees, both quantitative and qualitative parameters such as active and well informed state government website, evidentiary documents reflecting the conduct of government businesses were taken into consideration.