The 36 State Governors in Nigeria

Nigeria’s development challenges involve low quality of basic education, high level of poverty and unemployment, poor road networks and basic infrastructure, and inadequate health services. Although many citizens blame the Federal Government mainly for these development lapses, most of the indicators fall under the jurisdiction of the state and local governments. To you, are the state governors really development-friendly, and can they actually improve on their current efforts?

ABIMBOLA AKOSILE

* Those who have the greatest impact on the lives of ordinary Nigerians are the state governments. What will end all these agitations in Nigeria is if the state governments are given at least 50 per cent of federal allocations and certain ministries and their powers are devolved to the states. Once this is done, no one will blame the federal government for their woes. The residents of a state will begin to hold their governors accountable. Resource control will not be relevant if a state gets 50 per cent plus 13 per cent derivation.

Mr. Buga Dunj, Jos, Plateau State

* I think the present Governors can borrow a leaf from former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio who single-handedly during his tenure re-constructed roads belonging to both federal and state. It is high time Governors should travel by road so that they can have idea or feel the ordeal others face most especially in the rainy season.

Miss Janet Adeyemi, Calabar, Cross River State

* Some, not all, mostly in the North!

Mr. Sonysurf Okobi, Lagos State

* Not all of them are and they seem to forget posterity is watching. Lagos and some South-South States are good models to copy from. Nigeria is still learning to stand after how many years of independence. When exactly shall we take our first step indeed?

Ms Nkeiruka Abanna, Lagos State

* Their (State Governors) hands are partially tied but they may not be utilising the little freedom they have yet. The federal government is too powerful and is entitled to 52-54 per cent of our revenue and the 36 states are entitled to the 46-48 per cent left. We are not on the path of development except in maybe Lagos and very few states.

Mr. Adewumi Temitope Michael, Co-founder, Agroshowroom, Osun State

* For me, state governors are not quite development friendly. Our leaders should put the people first and try to provide sound education which is a right, quality healthcare, modern infrastructure, decent jobs, good road networks, efficient transport system by road, sea and air, modern and fast railway system etc. Yes, they can improve on their efforts if they are people-centred, democracy minded, progress driven and development focused. God bless Nigeria.

Mr. Odey Ochicha, Leadership Specialist, Abuja

* State Governors are not development-friendly due to corruption. We need a change of attitude towards those they govern. They should pay staff salaries and pensioners their retirement benefits etc, when due.

Mr. Dogo Stephen, Kaduna State

* The answer is yes and no. Yes, a few State Governors, say around 10 per cent are developmentally friendly because you can see their efforts to improve the states. However, generally these are all cosmetic, in the sense that you see flashy flyovers, new bridges, new buildings and offices. These however are not real development indicators. The paramount indicators include the provision of potable water; primary health care; good roads to your abode; and finally electricity. Most State Governors cannot boast of providing at least two of these indicators. If they plan adequately, ensure continuity and are prudent with funds available it will greatly improve the lives of their citizens.

Prof. Kate Nwufo, mni, Abuja

* Yes, many governors are very development friendly. Areas like basic education, poverty, unemployment, social infrastructure, health services etc have received commendable attention in Lagos, Kebbi, Imo, Ekiti, Anambra, FCT, Edo, Kano states e.t.c so far. Governors must be self-reliant by exploring other resources at their disposal.

Miss Apeji Patience Eneyeme, Badagry, Lagos State

* While it is always easy for most Nigerians to blame the federal government, any blame falls squarely on state governments. With exception of states such as Lagos, Anambra, Gombe, most state governors are bereft of ideas on how to take their states to another level. I doubt if the present governors have the capacity and capability to up their game.

Mr. Paul A. Jideofor, Dept. of Languages, FCT COE, Zuba, Abuja

* Yes, many of the governors are doing great, but some others are bereft of good ideas. They trade blames with federal government, live ostentatiously and give unacceptable excuses even with all the natural and human resources at their disposal. They just collect the monthly allocations and squander same. Electorates are disillusioned.

Mr. Apeji Onesi, Lagos State

* It is the responsibility of the Governors to help tackle all development challenges facing Nigerians. Issues of varying visions, different political manifestos, and mis-management of public funds and delayed release of money meant for the local Governments cannot help development. Therefore State Governors are not really friendly.

Mr. Michael Adedotun Oke, Founder, Michael Adedotun Oke Foundation, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja

* Some State Governors are really development-friendly e.g. Lagos and some southern states. They can indeed improve on their current efforts specifically if the Federal Government stops interference in state matters. If States are independent, there will be competition and we will see some overall development. All our states are blessed with different natural resources.

Hon. Babale Maiungwa, U/Romi, Kaduna

* State governors have come under fire lately because of their insensitivity. In fact some of them are completely unconcerned about the welfare of their people and simply want to loot the treasury. However, a couple of them are doing what they should do. I urge those governors who have lost their way to retrace steps taken and learn from their ‘performing colleagues’.

Mr. E. Iheanyi Chukwudi, B.A.R., Apo, Abuja

* We should change our mentality of depending on the federal government to deliver, when we have governors who collect allocations with nothing to show for it. We must task the governors and chairmen to deliver good governance. Any governor who fails to deliver should be impeached. Accountability and probity must be watchwords for good governance.

Mr. Gordon Chika Nnorom, Public Commentator, Umukabia, Abia State

* There are some development-friendly governors like those in Lagos and Rivers and Anambra, but there are more insensitive governors than good across the country. Local government officials are not much better even though the states starve them of funds monthly. The citizens reserve the right to vote out all selfish and uncaring leaders, including governors. Some even deserve impeachment and jail terms.

Mr. Olumuyiwa Olorunsomo, Lagos State

* The problem of accountability and weak check and balances is our worst undoing. Until we start playing responsible politics with strong opposition and checks and balances all levels of government, we will remain backward development wise.

Mr. Okechukwu Ikonne, Ogbor Oke-Ovoro Mbaise, Imo State

THE FEEDBACK

Yes, they are: 4

No, they are not: 6

Others: 7

Radical tip: Impeachment!

Total no of respondents: 17

Male: 13

Female: 4

Highest location: Lagos & Abuja (5 each)

Next Week: Is the Citizen’s Mandate Still Effective?

Many Nigerians appear fed up with the various governments, including the current administration, which have failed to live up to expectation in fulfilling their promises on national development. However, the issue of poor citizen participation in electoral processes leaves a vacuum usually hijacked and exploited by selfish politicians. As another general election year looms, do you think the citizen’s mandate to vote out non-performing leaders and vote in committed representatives is still effective?

Please make your response direct, short and simple, and state your full name, title, organisation, and location. Responses should be sent between today (February 1 & Monday, February 5) 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, February 8