The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has called for increased partnership between the local, state and federal governments, noting that the bottom-up approach to development will ensure sustainable growth and development of the country.
The governor, who was part of five-man panel at an event in Ekiti State to commemorate Governor Kayode Fayemi’s third year anniversary in office, said to fast-track development in the country, the planning of the federal government must align with developmental priorities articulated by sub nationals.
Other panelists include Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo; Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State and Kaduna State Governor, Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai.
According to Obaseki, the era where the federal government plans the development of the country in isolation and without input of the state and local governments must be brought to an end, ensuring that the sub nationals participate in development meant for them.
The governor noted: “There’s a popular saying that when you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Nigeria seems to be failing because we have failed to plan.
“I recall speaking with Gen. Yakubu Gowon several years ago and I asked him what happened to Nigeria and he said we stopped planning; hence, we began to see plans as mere documents where somebody at the federal level will design and then pass down. So, we had a National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) and Sustainable Education and Enterprise Development (SEED) programme that never made any significant difference.”
He continued: “But with oil revenues beginning to dwindle, the need for planning from the local government level, through the state to the national level has become more imperative. This means that at the local government level, the state must know what is going on, and at the national level, the states must know what the federal government is thinking.
“With this, there will be a coherence and linkage between what the state is doing and what the federal government is thinking for the country, and our national plan has to be an aggregate of our state plans; this state plan has to be indigenous and built from within.
“For instance, I know what my priorities are in Edo; so, if it is education, I must understand how I link my own plan for the children in Edo with what the federal government has for me so that we don’t have the sort of situation we have had in the past.”
“So, it’s that linking the thinking at the sub national level with what’s going on at the national level that will make the difference,” the governor added.