John Shiklam in Kaduna
Former British Prime Minister, Mr. Tony Blair, has pledged support to the administration of Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State to deliver good governance to the people.
Blair, who served as the British Prime Minister for 10 years, made the pledge yesterday when he paid a visit to the governor at the Government House, Kaduna.
He said his foundation, the Tony Blair Foundation, would assist Kaduna State in the area of technical assistance and other supports to enable the government deliver democratic dividends to its people, especially in the areas of investments, basic education, healthcare and agriculture.
Blair also met with members of the state executive council at the governor’s office where he was briefed by the governor and members of his cabinet on the various successes recorded by their ministries as well as their challenges which they ask for his assistance.
He commended the relationship between Britain and Nigeria, saying that the state government and his Foundation will work together to transform the state’s public service sector for efficient service delivery and increase prosperity.
According to Blair, the hardest thing about governance is being able to deliver on campaign promises to the people.
He assured that his foundation’s members of staff were ready to provide necessary assistance to the state government whenever required.
He said the meeting with the governor was exciting opportunity to visit Nigeria and see how governance is being run.
He noted that there was great goodwill and desire for the country to do well under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, especially in the fight against corruption.
El-Rufai, in his response said Blair’s visit was timely as it provided an opportunity for him and his cabinet members to share their experience in governance with him.
He said his government inherited a lot rots, adding that he came in when the nation was facing dwindling economy, due largely to the fall in the prices of crude oil.
The governor said the task before the state government is how to deliver so much with very little resources at its disposal, hence the need for the Tony Blair Foundation to assist in building the capacity of the key drivers of government.
El-Rufai applauded the former Prime Minister for visiting Nigeria and Kaduna in particular, noting that his visit marks exactly 100 years after Lord Fredrick Lugard planned the city of Kaduna.