By Ali Abare
The essential purpose of democracy is to deliver good governance, which is the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented.
Good governance, which signifies actual growth and development, has eight major characteristics. Good governance is participatory, consensus oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive and follows the rule of law.
Also, good governance assures that corruption is minimized, the views of minorities are taken into account and that the voices of the most vulnerable in society are heard in decision-making. It is also responsive to the present and future needs of society.
Since the coming of the present administration, under the leadership of His Excellency, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, there has been purposeful and determined efforts to deliver good governance to the people.
First, Engineer Sule encourages participatory democracy. He aggregates the views and opinions of the people before taking decisions. Recall that, since the inception of this administration, committees have become a recurrent decimal in governance. Why do you think government constitute committees? This is because government wants people to participate in governance by contributing knowledge, ideas and experience towards decision making.
Engineer Sule delegates power, consults widely with stakeholders before arriving at decisions on critical issues. This is a feature of good governance.
Building infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, markets, roads, constitute responds to present needs of the people for improved standard of living, while attracting investors such as Dangote Group, Azman Rice Limited, Flour Mills Nigeria Limited, among several others, is meant to secure the future of Nasarawa State. All these initiatives are features of good governance.
Again, good governance assures that corruption is minimised, government is accountable, transparent and responsive. It wasn’t by accident that, immediately after coming onboard, the Engineer Sule administration embarked on deliberate processes to establish key government institutions like the state bureau for procurement, domesticating the Single Treasury Account (TSA), as well as granting autonomy to both the judiciary and legislature.
The concept of good governance recognises that corruption cannot be totally eliminated but can be minimised. To this end, the adoption of the TSA and establishment of the bureau for procurement, are landmark achievement in the quest by the present administration to tackle the menace of corruption in government.
The Engineer Sule administration is an inclusive government. Just recently, APC Women in Nigeria singled out His Excellency, as a role model for inclusive governance, which is also a major feature of good governance. The present administration under Engineer Sule, has brought onboard women, youths and people living with disabilities through political appointments.
A clear case of delivering good governance to the people can be seen from the autonomy granted the judiciary and legislature. These arms of government operate freely and deviod of intervention from the executive arm of government.
It was in the news recently, that the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, has summoned two members of the state executive council, the accountant general, head of civil service and director, salary bureau, to appear before it in connection with the inability of government to pay salaries of over 400 newly employed teachers.
Speaker of the assembly, Rt. Hon Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi, gave the directive after Hon. Daniel Oga Ogazi, Chairman, House Committee on Education raised the issue as a matter of public interest during the House proceedings on Wednesday February 16, 2021.
According to the speaker, for the standard of education to be improved in the state, teachers must be encouraged, motivated and their salary should be paid promptly.
“The State is not encouraging the teachers. For them to give in their best, they must be encouraged though prompt payment of their salary.
“It is in view of this, we are inviting the State Commissioner of Education, Commissioner of Finance, Accountant General, Head of the Civil Service and Director Salary Bureau to appear before the House on Monday, February 21, 2022.
“This is to enable them explain to us and the people of the State why they have failed to pay the newly employed secondary school teachers after three months of their employment, ” he said.
“Without salary of teachers, believe me we kill their morale. We need quality education for our children. You can’t keep teachers in hunger and expect them to give their best” the speaker stated.
This is indeed, a clear case of delivering good governance to the people of Nasarawa State. The affected officials will certainly appear before the assembly and the legislature will definitely get to the root of the matter and advice government appropriately. Government, under the leadership of His Excellency, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, will certainly act on this advice and the issue of non payment of the teachers, will be resolved.
This is good governance!
Abare is a special assistant on media to Governor of Nasarawa State.