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Capacity training programme with hands-on joint learning good for FG—Minister

Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Mrs. (Dr.) Zainab S. Ahmed, at the Capacity Building for Special Advisers and Technical Assistants of the Ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Abuja, on Sunday, July 19, 2020, has said that “a capacity training programme that is solutions and process oriented, and that emphasizes hands-on collaborative learning, with all segments keyed to our current needs in Government.”

In her opeining remarks, she noted that “The Federal Civil Service is at the heart of Nigeria’s Governance process, and is integral to the development, institutionalization and effective implementation of policies and plans developed under any Administration. As Advisers in Federal Government, you each play an important supportive role to your Ministers and to the Civil Service (and provide an important link), in the design and implementation of policies and plans aimed at ensuring an inclusive, sustainable and resilient economy, in line with Government’s priorities.

“This is especially true, in the wake of the global COVID 19 pandemic and the drop in crude oil prices, and as we work to implement the recently approved Economic Sustainability Plan & the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper, and to develop the next generation of medium and long-term National Plans, and the related frameworks for implementation.

In her remarks, the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Federal Republic of Nigeria Mrs Birgitt Ory said she is delighted to address the occasion of the opening session of this capacity building workshop, noting that “Even if I cannot be with you in person, I would like to send my most sincere greetings. Allow me to share some thoughts with you on the topic of today’s event: good governance.

“After about a year as German ambassador to Nigeria, one thing has become abundantly clear to me: Africa is a continent of great opportunities and challenges. The question is: what needs to be done to enhance opportunities and positive developments in order to meet the challenges?

According to her, “Good governance features prominently in that endeavor. I would like to highlight three elements of good governance in that regard:

1) Institutions,

2) Diversity, and

3) Ownership

First: Institutions

“Institutions should be effective, reliable and transparent. This is important for political accountability but also for economic development. If institutions are strong and reliable, businesses will be more likely to invest. If there is one thing that privat sector investors do not like, it is uncertainty. Uncertainty about investment conditions, the legal system or political stability will deter investment. In contrast, strong and reliable institutions contribute to stability, reliable framework conditions and enable business.

Second: Diversity

Strong institutions don’t only need to be efficient; they also need to be inclusive. The link between good governance and diversity is a very important one in our time. In the 21st century, diversity is a fact of life. In the age of globalization and information technology, geographical, cultural and linguistic borders that used to separate people have become less relevant.

Our task as 21st century citizens is to embrace diversity and to turn it into a source of energy for progress. Diversity is – and should be – a source of strength, not a source of division. This is our experience in the European Union. And this is a very important aspect of good governance in our modern age.

Third: Ownership

At the end of the day, good governance needs ownership. It cannot be “imported”. Good governance needs to come from within. I want to encourage you all to strive for good governance and to thereby enhance opportunities and contribute to meet current challenges.

III.

Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,

It is in that spirit that I wish you a successful and dynamic workshop over the coming days.

The timing of this event is very apt. How did Winston Churchill once put it: “never let a good crisis go to waste.” As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic at the moment, it certainly is a good time to also think about governance responses to the crisis.