Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday charged his counterparts in the All Progressives Congress (APC) fold to devise ingenious ways and means of meeting the expectations of the people they govern.
The Governor, who spoke through his Deputy, Dr. (Mrs) Oluranti Adebule, at the opening ceremony of the inaugural meeting of the Secretaries to State Governments (SSGs) of APC States held in Ikeja, Lagos, added that they are fully committed to the vision of providing accountable and responsive leadership to citizens in spite of the dire financial strains confronting the country.
The Governor said that the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) Quarterly meeting of the SSGs is one of Forum’s strategies of meeting the expectations of the people in order to boost the accountability quoting of all the APC serving Governors.
“For us on the PGF platform, this is not a moment for self adulation, but that of self examination and stock taking. Our desire is to promote synergy and experience sharing, as a basis for the adoption and uniform implementation of policy initiatives across all APC States.
“This makes it necessary for us to frequently expose our thoughts, strategies and actions to the honest scrutiny of our colleagues. That is the very essence of the peer review effort we are promoting by this gathering,” he stressed.
Governor Ambode explained that the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), by a 2007 mandate of National Economic Council developed and implemented a comprehensive State Peer Review Mechanism (SPRM) with the objective to help states improve their development performances through periodic reviews of progress in the implementation of developmental policies, plans and programmes.
In a keynote address titled: “Job Creation and Social Protection Initiatives In states”, the Country Manager of International Finance Corporation (IFC), Mrs Eme Essien Lore said for Nigeria to achieve her goals in job creation, the efforts must be private sector driven.
While acknowledging the roles already played by the government at the centre in the campaign for creation of jobs, she stated that more needed to be done in term of collaboration with the private sector.
She posited that in order to reduce poverty and increase more inclusive growth, the new jobs to be created must be more productive and must also provide higher income than they currently do.
The IFC Country Manager added that between 2010 and 2030, by the analysis of the world body, there would be a need for additional 40 million jobs in the country.
Speaking earlier, the Governor of Ogun State and Co-Chair of the PGF Governance Programme, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Taiwo Adeoluwa said the forum provided an avenue for SSGs to compare notes on how to do it better.
While commending the organizers for a job well done, he said the meeting was about taking stock for peer review as the coming together would have a salutary effect on the nation.
In his introductory remarks, the Director General of the Progressive Governors Forum, Mr Salihu Lukman said the core objective of the Forum was to identify best practices among the states which can be replicated.