By Gov. Godwin Obaseki
The era where FG plans the development of Nigeria without input of the state and local governments must be brought to an end, ensuring that the sub nationals participate in development meant for them.
There’s a popular saying that when you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Nigeria seems to be failing because we have failed to plan.
I recall speaking with Gen Yakubu Gowon several years ago and I asked him what happened to Nigeria and he said we stopped planning; hence, we began to see plans as mere documents where somebody at the federal level will design and then pass down.
So, we had a National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) and Sustainable Education and Enterprise Development (SEED) programme that never made any significant difference.
But with oil revenues beginning to dwindle, the need for planning from the local government level, through the state to the national level has become more imperative.
This means that at the local government level, the state must know what is going on, and at the national level, the states must know what the federal government is thinking.
With this, there will be a coherence and linkage between what the state is doing and what the federal government is thinking for the country, and our national plan has to be an aggregate of our state plans; this state plan has to be indigenous and built from within.
For instance, I know what my priorities are in Edo; so, if it is education, I must understand how I link my own plan for the children in Edo with what the federal government has for me so that we don’t have the sort of situation we have had in the past.
So, it’s that linking the thinking at the sub national level with what’s going on at the national level that will make the difference.
*Mr. Godwin Obaseki made these remarks, recently in Ekiti State, as part of five-man panel at an event to commemorate Governor Kayode Fayemi’s third year anniversary in office.