NGF Press Release Date:July 25, 2016
Governors’ trip to Germany, a Genuine Quest for Options.
The Nigeria Governors Forum read with deep consternation a report credited to eminent lawyer and human rights activist Femi Falana (SAN) the news that the trip by six governors to Germany was a ploy by the governors to embark on a jamboree.
Falana had described the proposed trip as frivolous and appealed to the German government to deny the governors visa.
Falana, while speaking with one of the correspondents of a national daily by telephone on Thursday, described the trip as “a decoy for a summer holiday” that would amount to further waste of the scarce resources of their states at a time the nation was said to be broke. Adding that “there are here enough solutions to the problems of the nation which the governors are not attending to.”
The NGF wishes to state categorically that, while the Forum does not intend to join issues with Femi Falana (SAN), nothing can be farther from the truth than the lawyer’s postulations because it is obvious that the real essence of the trip had not been explained to the lawyer since he was reacting to a story whose content had not even fully reached the reporter that was asking Falana questions.
Six Governors are embarking on a 3-day trip to Germany to discuss areas of cooperation with a select group of German technocrats and investors with a view to seeking other options for economic prosperity, against their over-dependence on oil which has consigned the country to a mono-product economy.
Six of them are going on behalf of the others in order to assimilate the true import of the presentation by the German Ambassador and work out ways of domesticating the advantages.
The partnerships they are seeking will cover such non-oil sectors as agriculture, health, renewable energy and vocational training institutions that could employ our teeming unemployed and jobless youths.
It is important to note that nobody feels the pinch of the current economic downturn more than the various state governors who are now working assiduously to ease the hardship that the average Nigerian is going through.
The trip that is being embarked upon is as Spartan as possible as no governor is traveling with more than an aide who is also responsible for the area of need as it relates to their region and they will be visiting several industrial installations, vocational training centers and theme-parks to get a firsthand feel of how they are organized so as to replicate same in their domains.
Suffice it to also state that this is a trip that is intended to bring added value to the running of states rather than waste scarce resources, as the respected lawyer had thought.
Finally, it is important to understand that governors like other Nigerians are also feeling the deep heat arising from the paucity of funds and dire straits that the nation is currently going through and are just as concerned, while they are putting in their best to get the nation out of the doldrums. Those who elected them need to accompany the confidence they repose in them with their votes with some vestiges of trust and not completely deny them the benefit of the doubt, no matter how well-meaning their intentions are, the result of which will be a win-win situation for us all.
Mr. Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo
Head of Media and Public Affairs