…As Okowa, Ishaku, Ihedioha, others win various award
By Tony Okechukwu
Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has emerged Business Day Governor of the Year for the 2019 States Competitiveness and Good Governance Awards.
The Chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum was named winner of this year’s Business Day Annual Governorship Award, on Wednesday, at an elaborate ceremony in Abuja, which had in attendance, Yakubu Gowon, former Head of State, who was the special guest of honour, Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity as well as His Royal Highness, Yahya Abubakar, Etsu Nupe and Chairman, Niger State Traditional Council, who was the royal father of the day.
Governors, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State won Business Day Governor of the Year – South, Darius Ishaku of Taraba State got award for the Most Improved State in Social Empowerment & Poverty Alleviation, while the Fastest Growing State Economy award was carted by Emeka Ihedioha, of Imo State.
Governor Muhammad Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State won, both the Governor of the Year -North and Most Improved State in Transparency in Governance awards, while Governor Kayode Fayemi, of Ekiti State emerged the Most Improved State Social Re-Investment, Defence of Women and Protection of Child Rights Governor.
The Most Improved State in Education Development/Promotion of Made-in-Nigeria Goods went to Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu of Abia State and Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State took the Most Improved State in Industrialisation & Solid Minerals Development award. Also, the award for Most Improved State in Promoting Economic Emancipation and Poverty Alleviation has been won by Governor Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State and the Most Improved State in Security has been taken by Governors Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, as well as Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu.
Other categories of awards won include the Most Improved State in Skills Development and Job Creation taken by Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, Most Improved State in Social Empowerment/Poverty Alleviation in Nigeria clinched by Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State.
The annual States Competitiveness and Good Governance Awards was introduced by Business Day, Nigeria’s foremost source of financial and business intelligence, to promote good governance, transparency and accountability in the use of the nation’s scarce resources.
The awards programme is meant to provide an independent assessment of State Governments’ activities in a fiscal year.
The States Competitiveness and Good Governance Awards came into being to provide an independent feedback mechanism to States on the different policies, programmes and projects of State Governments and the effects such actions have on the socio-economic well-being of the residents of their States.
Parameters employed include the kilometres of rural and urban roads constructed within a fiscal year; the number of hospitals and primary healthcare centres upgraded, renovated and newly built; enrolment rates into public primary and secondary schools; performance in national examinations such as the West African Examination Council (WAEC); improvement in internally generated revenue (IGR); capital importation and foreign direct investment (FDI); the number of classrooms built or renovated; supplies of educational materials, among others.
In an address, the former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, said that governance at all levels is a serious business and governors are in a serious business which requires extra efforts to better the lives of the governed.
He described the good governance competitive awards by Business Day as a call to more service. Governors who won the good governance competitive awards commended the media outfit for setting in motion a programme to recognize conscientious efforts to stimulate the economy.
The former Nigerian Leader noted that for Nigeria to attain economic and political advancement, the country must take a cue from China, Singapore and Mailaysia by putting in place strategic planning and implementation and infrastructure, as well as ease of doing business to attract investors.
In his remarks, Business Day Publisher, Frank Aigbogun, called on States to do more for the people even with their limited resources, noting that the people appreciate the little value added to their lives.
“With more revenue, State administrators will be able to execute more laudable projects and the cycle of prosperity continues. By and large, the State Competitiveness and Governance Awards came into being to provide an independent feedback mechanism to States on the different policies, programs and projects they execute and the effects such actions are having on the socio-economic well-being of the residents in their States”, he stated.