Can State Peer Review Boost Devt?

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Many analysts believe the 36 states in Nigeria can face up to their responsibilities and various development challenges through peer review assessments among the states themselves. Their thinking is that those states which cannot generate enough internal revenue to pay even salaries can learn best practices from their counterparts around the country in areas of committed leadership and development strategies. Can state peer review boost development in Nigeria?

ABIMBOLA AKOSILE

* It most certainly can. This type of healthy competition was what led the relatively steady development recorded in the then twelve States of Nigeria. No state wanted to be left behind; the governors were left unchanged for long periods of time, some of them up to nine years. The governors competed positively, which led to a lot of innovation, firsts, and borrowing ideas from one another during this period.

Mr. Buga Dunj, Jos, Plateau State

* Yes, this would make for a healthy competition, checks and learning opportunities from high performance states e.g. how is Lagos State achieving sustainable results; what did Cross River do right that our state can model?, and so on.

Ms. Nkeiruka Abanna, Lagos State

* Indeed state peer review can boost development because there are states that are weak in revenue generation and cannot even pay salaries of their workers. If they can take away pride and learn best practices from their counterparts around the country in areas of committed leadership and development strategies, this will truly boost greater development within states and strong unity as support is given to those that seek development with the aim of building or developing Nigeria.

Hon. Babale Maiungwa, U/Romi, Kaduna

* Yes, a typical example is the joint Lagos and Kebbi rice we are eating presently, known as Lake Rice.

Mr. Yusuf M.B.O, Nda Aliu, Kwara State

* Learning from other states that are doing well is quite a good practice; there are urgent needs to also conduct ‘self-assessment’ questionnaires and introduce same common party manifestoes that may cover state’s sectors of the economy. We can also have spelt-out developmental programmes and projects which will comprise democratic, political, corporate and economic governance, management, and socio-economic development. Even the developing countries learn from the developed and fast-growing nations of the world through different programmes e.g. the Millennium Development Goals which were eight goals with measurable targets and clear deadlines for improving the lives of the world’s poorest people. To meet these goals and eradicate poverty, leaders of 189 countries signed the historic declaration at the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000 and also the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) which was a mutually agreed instrument, voluntarily acceded to by the member states of the African Union as a self-monitoring mechanism. It was founded in 2003. The mandate of the APRM is to encourage conformity in regard to political, economic and corporate governance values, codes and standards, among African countries and the objectives in socio-economic development within the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) structure.

Mr. Michael Adedotun Oke, Founder Michael Adedotun Oke Foundation, Apo, Abuja

* Yes, peer review will definitely boost development in Nigeria. States which cannot generate enough internal revenue must learn therefrom best practices from their counterparts in areas of committed leadership and development strategies.

Miss Apeji Patience Eneyeme, Badagry, Lagos State

* It cannot bring development, as some states only wait at the end of each allocation to go to Abuja to collect funds and might not expend such funds judiciously for the purpose meant for e.g. bailout fund. Up till date some governors are yet to pay or clear staff salaries, pension and gratuities to pensioners after several meritorious years of service e.t.c. and no house, accommodation, food, medical treatment for the family, which is a problem because of recession. Restructure the country into six regions so that all the regions will start afresh in competition, as development has stagnated. Peering among states is worse, like moving from frying pan to fire.

Mr. Dogo Stephen, Kaduna State

* Yes, the 36 states in Nigeria can face up to their responsibilities and various development challenges through peer review assessments among the states themselves because those unable to meet up will learn from experience, observation and by taking the bull by the horn. This will boost committed quality leadership, standard development strategies and reformed policies.

Mr. Apeji Onesi, Lagos State

* The usefulness or otherwise of state peer review is something I’m trying to wrap my mind around. The African Union (AU) has something similar. Leaders of nations in Africa are supposed to help one another keep to the right path in terms of true democratic governance and what have you.

Mr. E. Iheanyi Chukwudi, Brainchild Academic Resources, Apo, Abuja

* Of course peer review should boost development. If it doesn’t, then there is something fundamentally wrong. The peer review process/mechanism will enable states learn from each other, discover and leverage on where a state has comparative advantage. Where a state is weak, you can learn from your strong peers. The peer review structure will also allow states share their visions and plans, pool resources together to achieve such plans and visions. The whole essence of the peer review system is for ‘us to win together’. Unfortunately, indolence, envy, lack of vision, corruption, and other primordial sentiments have stopped us from getting the benefits derivable from it.

Mr. Biodun Aiyegbusi, Engineer, Lagos State

* It should be able to where there is a desire to perform, which would spur the desire to learn.

Mrs. Jennifer Nkiruka Abraham, Lagos State

* The answer is yes. Smart ones (States) have engaged in what we call study tours to exchange best practices and learn from each other. Kano and Lagos States under Fashola and Kwankwaso are good examples in the area of IGR.

Mr. Boniface Kassam, Development Expert, Bauchi State

* Yes, it is possible. This present structure does not give room for hard work and competition that will lead to development and self-sustainability

Mr. Etop Ukutt, Photojournalist, Lagos State

* Absolutely yes! If only those several non-performing states can bury their misplaced pride and learn from other more prosperous and development-oriented counter-parts, there would be equitable development around the country. But that would be easier said than done, because the yardsticks to determine development are potential bones of contention.

Mr. Olumuyiwa Olorunsomo, Lagos State

THE FEEDBACK

Yes, it can: 11

No, it cannot: 1

Others: 2

Radical tip: Healthy rivalry!

Number of respondents: 14

Male: 11

Female: 3

Highest location: Lagos (7)

Next Week: Can Local Govts Fulfil Citizens’ Aspirations?

Local government areas (LGAs) are the closest tiers of government to the general populace but the elected (selected?) council officials often bear the major brunt of anger and attacks from angry citizens. Analysts think this is because despite huge monthly allocations from the federation account to the local councils, development progress at the grassroots in both urban and rural areas is slow and erratic. To you, can the local councils help meet and fulfill citizens’ development aspirations? If yes, how?

Please make your response direct, short and simple, and state your full name, title, organisation, and location. Responses should be sent between today (September 7 & Monday, Sept 11) to abimbolayi@yahoo.com, greatbimbo@gmail.com, AND abimbola.akosile@thisdaylive.com. Respondents can also send a short text message to 08023117639 and/or 08188361766 and/or 08114495306. Collated responses will be published on Thursday, September 14