The United Nations secretary-general, Mr Ban Ki-Moon, has urged Nigerian governors to focus on policies that cater for the needs of the masses.
The UN scribe, made this call on Sunday during a session with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), entitled ‘Pathway to a New Nigeria: Role of Subnational Governments,’ told the governors that they hold the key to the wellbeing of Nigerians and, as such, they should prioritise the interest of the people they govern.
He said: “Governors play important roles in the future of Nigeria. The governors have the power to make the Nigerian people feel the impact of their administration, in terms of education, health and climate change. Nigeria is important amongst the comity of nation; this is the moment of hope for the whole world, particularly in political maturity.
“This is the second time I am coming to Nigeria. I am here not only to restore the hope of Nigeria but the whole world.”
He recalled the raid by Boko Haram terrorists on the United Nations (UN) House in Abuja, in which several innocent people were killed, adding that the building would be completed so that it can operate fully again.
In its response, the NGF urged the UN chief to consider funding the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the successor to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which draws to a close this year.
NGF chairman and Zamfara State governor, Alhaji Abdul-Aziz Abubakar Yari, who spoke for the governors noted that the MDGs programme was beneficial to developing nations and needed to be sustained.
He said: “As you may be aware, most states now anchor their developments along the lines of the MDGs, which has been a game changer in the successful efforts to bring solutions to bear on the main problems that bedevil developing nations.”
Governor Yari noted that as the MDGs programme draws to a close this year, the governors were eager to again key into the successor programme, the SDGs.
“We are ready to embrace this programme with the same zeal as soon as it is unveiled,” he said. “In view of that, we urging the secretary-general to consider funding the programme together with the dissemination of the human development reports.”
He also reassured the UN scribe of the collective resolve of the governors to eradicate polio from the country.
Ban is in Nigeria on a two-day official visit
The UN chief, who arrived at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, on board Air France, alighted from the plane shortly after 4pm, and was received by the permanent secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb Bulus Lolo and some UN officials led by the director, United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), Prof Tunde Osotimehin.
According to him, governors and other stakeholders are working tirelessly through the instrumentality of campaigns, more thorough vaccinations and deployment of critical resources to ensure that Nigeria is certified polio-free by 2017.
“In fact, this month marks one full year without any report of polio in any part of the country,” he stated.
Governors present include those of Kaduna, Edo, Zamfara, Ogun, Borno, Abia and other dignitaries.