Disappointed with the behaviour of some state governors on the handling of the leadership tussle within the Nigerian Governors, Forum (NGF), the Alumni Association of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Plateau State has recommended that state governors return to the classroom in NIPSS for a refresher course on leadership.
The Association said on Monday night, through its President, Major General Lawrence Onoja (rtd), during a dinner with the media in Abuja, that: “We strongly recommend that governors have refresher leadership course in NIPSS, Kuru near Jos to enhance their capacity and broaden their patriotic national outlook.”
Onoja said the Association was disheartened that “the recent unfortunate outcome of NGF’s election in which 35 governors could not count 35 votes is a setback for democratic process.”
He noted that the incident that characterised the election of the NGF saddened his organisation.
He urged the governors to quickly put their house in order and join hands with President Goodluck Jonathan to tackle the numerous security challenges in the country.
The body, however, warned that “informal gathering like the NGF is not a substitute to constitutionally-recognised National Economic Council,” advising politicians that all the game plans for 2015 should give way to good governance this year.
On the security challenges facing the country, Onoja noted that security had become the most critical challenge today, stressing that the Association was in support of extra measures taken by President Goodluck Jonathan in the troubled states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, stressing that the primary responsibility of government was protection of lives and property.
Onoja, a one-time Military Governor of Katsina State also disagreed with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who warned against too much spending on security, saying: “I make bold to say that no amount of money spent to ensure security is too much, as a matter of fact, the cost of insecurity is even higher than the cost of maintaining security.”
On the economy, the Association noted that the key economic indicators were positive with inflation at single digit of nine per cent exchange rate relatively stable and fiscal deficit under two per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but expressed regret that these commendable growth rates have not reduced poverty significantly.
It noted the massive youths unemployment with the records from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), showed that about 60 per cent of Nigerians were living below the poverty line.
The NIPSS which was established in 1979 to serve as a high level centre for reflection, research, and dialogue where academics, policy initiators and executors meet to exchange ideas for the development of the nation has so far produced over 1,560 participants.
At its 33rd annual General meeting inKuru in March, a new executive led by Onoja was elected.