The Federal Government, in collaboration with konrad-Adenauer.Stiftung( KAS), a German foundation funded by the German Government has organized a 3-day Capacity Building Programme for Special Advisers and Technical Assistants of Ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The program is aimed at preparing participants to adequately participate in the effective policy formulation and decisions towards the new National Long-Term Development Plan.
Declaring the program open virtually yesterday, in Abuja, the Honorable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, said that the Federal Civil Service being at the heart of Nigeria’s governance process was integral to the development, institutionalization and effective implementation of policies and plans developed under any administration.
In view of that, the Minister said “ As advisers in Federal Government, you each play an important supportive role to your Ministers and the Civil Service by providing an important link in the design and implementation of policies and plans aimed at ensuring an inclusive, sustainable and resilient economy, in line with Government’s priorities”
Concerning the global COVID 19 pandemic and the drop in crude oil prices, Ahmed reiterated that Federal Government had taken several measures to address the crisis like other primarily oil-dependent economies adding that the response to the crisis had been proactive and people- oriented.
The Minister enumerated key intervention measures by government to include: Mr. President’s early establishment of 12-member Presidential Task Force on Covid-19; the establishment of N500 billion Covid-19 crisis Intervention Fund to finance the upgrade and improvement of healthcare facilities; and the creation of Special Public Works Program to employ 774,000 people.
Ahmed also mentioned the US$150 million to be drawn from the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (“NSIA”) Stabilization Fund to augment the Federation Account Allocation Committee (“FAAC”) disbursements, among others.
The Minister stated that, Government would continue to make critical investments in key sectors, including agriculture, infrastructure, health and education. To do that, Ahmed said “we must sustainably address the longstanding challenge of domestic revenue mobilization through continued implementation of the Strategic Revenue Generation Initiative (SRGI) and through continued incremental fiscal reforms through the introduction of annual Finance Bills, as well as reducing the cost of governance’’
She commended the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, for leading on the development of the training. She also appreciated the German Embassy and development partners for their support in that regards while urging participants to take advantage of the programme to develop and strengthen existing collaborations across their respective Ministries.
This, in her words, “will further strengthen your work and better position you to help drive the development and implementation of integrated policies and plans.”
In her remarks, the German Ambassador to Nigeria, Her Excellency Birgitt Ory, highlighted on three necessary elements of good governance and their roles in meeting global development challenges, namely: Institutions, Diversity and Ownership.
Speaking further, Ory said, Institutions should be effective, reliable and transparent. She said this was important for political accountability and economic development.
On Diversity, the Ambassador explained that strong institutions did not only need to be efficient but they also needed to be inclusive adding that the link between good governance and diversity was a very important one in current times. ‘’Our task as 21st century citizens are to embrace diversity and to turn it into a source of energy for progress. Diversity is – and should be – a source of strength, not a source of division. This is our experience in the European Union. And this is a very important aspect of good governance in our modern age”, the Ambassador emphasized.
On Ownership, Ory noted that good governance needed ownership. She therefore charged all to strive for good governance, enhance opportunities and contribute to meet current challenges.
The program facilitated by Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation will feature the following topics: Public Policy as a tool for National Development, Public Service Rules and Executive Orders, Developing Council Documents, Strategic Plan Formulation, Policy Analysis and Forecasting; and Strategic Media Communication of Government Policies, etc.
Participants will be trained in batches.