Reactions have continued to trail the recent publication by the Chandler Good Government Index (CGGI), rating Nigeria as the third worst governed country in the world.
The CGGI, a group that monitors governance index across the globe, had a few days ago released the 2021 list of 104 countries with good governance.
Finland, with an index score of 0.848, ranked first on the CGGI list.
Switzerland, Singapore, Netherlands, and Denmark ranked second, third, fourth and fifth on the CGGI list, respectively.
The report, however, ranked Nigeria very low in governance, leadership, and foresight, scoring the country 102 out of the 104 countries that were monitored.
Nigeria has just a score of 0.319 points, ahead of Zimbabwe and Venezuela.
The CGGI cited leadership as the basis for the ranking, stating that, “Good governance begins with good leadership”.
This is not unconnected with the numerous challenges bedevilling the country birthed by bad governance in both the federal, state and local governments.
The nation’s good image has continued to depreciate despite the claim of integrity at the federal level with the fight against corruption.
The current security crisis may have greatly exposed the ‘weakness’ of the governments at all levels.
It would be recalled that aside police brutality which stimulated call for the disbandment of the Special Anti-Rubbery Squad (SARS), by Nigerian youths in 2020, one of the key factors that triggered the protest was bad governance.
The youths, who were angered by lack of employment opportunity, abject poverty and lack of political will to address issues in the education sector, took to the streets, protesting bad governance with the Hashtag – EndSARS.
Unfortunately, a good number of youths lost their lives in the struggle for better governance.
The shocking incident at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos State on the night of October 20, 2020, when the Nigerian army opened fire on armless youths still remains fresh in the minds of the citizens.
According to Amnesty International, no fewer than 12 protesters were killed during the shooting.
Bad governance has always characterised the Nigerian Government despite efforts by several administrations to eradicate corruption from the system.
Some concerned Nigerians, who spoke with newsmen on the CGGI report, yesterday, said the situation could not worse than this.
One of the 2020 #EndSARS protesters, Mr James Adedeji, said the youths foresaw the poor rating, saying the Nigerian Government has killed the image of the country.
“Corruption has eaten so deep into the system such that nothing can be done to change it. It has become part of us and that is why we don’t progress.
“Corruption has proven to be an incurable and highly contagious disease in the country as even those fighting it, sometimes get infected.
“You still remember how Ibrahim Magu was arrested last year for alleged involvement in corruption. A corruption fighter was even the most corrupt.
“If someone who claimed to be fighting crime happens to be a criminal himself, then I think we have lost it woefully”.
An On-Air Personality in one of the leading radio stations in the Federal Capital Territory, who identified himself as T. Master, said it was a shame for Nigeria to be rated the second-worst governed country in Africa.
“The giant of Africa is the second-worst governed country in the continent. What a shame?
“We are always taking first from behind. I can’t remember when last Nigeria is rated first, second or third for anything good. It’s all negative, yet our leaders won’t see anything wrong.
“They came in with the promise to eradicate corruption, but their administration is even more corrupt. Bad eggs always have their ways into every regime.
“If Nigeria exists till 2023, we shall give it another try, but we can only be better, we can’t be Finland.
Also, Mr Micheal Alom, who spoke from Makurdi, the Benue State capital, said he was shocked to see Nigeria as the third-worst country, stressing that the country was expected to be number one.
He said, “I am still doubting the CGGI report. Nigeria is the worst governed country in the world? Don’t tell me it is number three. So, which country is number one and two?
“You can’t tell me that Zimbabwe and Venezuela are not better than Nigeria. They are far ahead of us in terms of governance.
“We asked for change but unknown to us, we were heading to the worst. Nigeria has never been like this before.
“Everything about Nigeria is bad. I think we should investigate the meaning of the name ‘Nigeria’ because your destiny can’t be better than what you are called.
“Look, Finland is the best-governed country globally. Recently, the country still maintained first position on happiest countries in the world.
“Have you wondered why the United States remains united? Israel means triumphant. Are they not like their names?
“The name of every country defines its destiny but unfortunately, our own country has a name without meaning. What is Niger Area? That is why we are confused”.
CAS Lauds Troops For Exceptional Performance In South-East Operation
Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar, has lauded Nigerian Air Force (NAF) troops for exceptional performance in ongoing Joint Task Force in the South-East code-named “Operation Udo Ka II”.
Abubakar said this yesterday in Enugu during his maiden visit and tour of operational and training assets and facilities within NAF Ground Training Command (GTC), Enugu.
He noted that NAF troops had done exceptionally well and recorded series of success in the joint operation meant to keep the South-East safe and secured for all.
The CAS noted that the GTC Command was highly important to NAF as it housed the ground component (non technical component) as well as a unit of air component necessary to ensure the attainment of the mandate of NAF.
He said: “Today, we are in Enugu, which is the host of the GTC Command in our maiden visit and we are here to interact with the NAF personnel, see the facilities and infrastructure on ground.
“We are also here to encourage the personnel to continue to do the good job they had been doing before now.
“The GTC Command and the Air Training Command are key to all of our activities in NAF and the two commands ensure we have the adequate and skilled manpower for all our activities and operations.
“I am also here to strengthen our activities within Operation Udo Ka II, which Enugu is the headquarters, and see how we can achieve greater successes more than what we are having now and ensure that South-East is totally secured.”
He disclosed that 750 personnel were currently undergoing training and would be graduating between December 2023 and January, 2024.
“These training are important to us in terms of our operation; and the current number is very significant amount of manpower to be injected into our operations and other activities in the country,” he said.
On the inspection in the new GTC Command Headquarters, new 553 Base Services Group (BSG) Headquarters and BSG Annex; Abubakar said that he was quite satisfied and impressed with the pace, level and quality of work done already.
“I have taken out time to inspect the projects and asked questions about the projects and I tell you that I am satisfied with what are on ground and all our assets and facilities are well maintained and protected,” he said.
The NAF boss commended NAF officers, airmen and airwomen in GTC Command for “doing a good job and keeping the flag flying high” as well as extolled their sacrifices and commitment to duties as well.
“I am very happy for their performance. We at the NAF headquarters, we are doing all we can to make sure they have all the necessary support and equipment as well as welfare and accommodation to carry out their jobs effectively,” he said.
He assured NAF personnel of doing more by providing all necessary infrastructures to ensure the maximum working of the GTC Command.
The CAS also inaugurated a renovated airmen’s club and new Mrs Rakiya Abubakar Children’s Park as well as inspected the water treatment and reticulation system and the hospital within NAF Base, Abakpa in Enugu.
UNIBADAN Lecturer Wins Best Thesis Dollar Prize
The Institute of African and Diaspora Studies (IADS), University of Lagos, has announced Dr Muhammad Ribadu as winner of this year’s Rahamon Bello Best Ph.D thesis in African Studies award.
The Director of the institute, Prof. Muyiwa Falaiye, made the announcement in a statement issued to newsmen yesterday in Lagos.
Ribadu, of the University of Ibadan, will be rewarded with a total of 1000 dollars, a plaque and a certificate.
Falaiye said a total of 18 entries for the 4th edition of competition were received from various universities in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa
He gave the title of the winning thesis as: The Social Context of Gentrification in Lagos State; Ph.D (Jan. 2023) Department of Sociology, University of Ibadan.
“The first runner up for this competition was Oluwaseyi Popogbe, currently a lecturer at the Department of Economics, Crawford University in Ogun.
“The title of his thesis is: Social Exclusion and Poverty in Selected Coastal Slum Areas in Lagos State; Ph.D (Dec. 2022) Department of Economics University of Lagos.
“The second runner up position went to Dr Charles Akwen, currently a lecturer at the Department of English, University of Lagos.
“Akwen’s thesis is titled: Notions of Identity in the Literary Creativity of Odia Ofeimun and Yang Mu; Ph.D (Dec. 2022) English Literature, University of Lagos,” the director stated.
He said that both the first and second runners up would be awarded plaques and certificates in recognition of their contributions and hard work.
Falaiye noted that the competition was in honour of Prof. Rahamon Bello, who was the 10th Vice Chancellor of the university, at the time the institute was inaugurated.
The prize money is usually donated every year for the award by friends of Prof. Bello.
Falaiye said that Dec, 6, had been fixed for the presentation of the awards.
The Tide source reports that the award was first presented in 2020.
States, LGs Lack Infrastructure To Manage Ecological Fund, Shun Queries – Perm Sec
The 36 states of the federation and the 774 local government councils have no structure in place to manage Ecological Fund.
The declaration was made in Abuja, yesterday, by the Permanent Secretary, Ecological Project Office, Malam Shehu Ibrahim.
Ibrahim made the declaration at an interactive session with the House Representatives Committee on Ecological Fund.
He said since states and local governments began to share the fund with the Federal Government they had not been able to put structures in place to manage their share.
The Ecological Fund is an intervention fund by the Federal Government to address the multifarious ecological challenges in various communities in the country.
Ibrahim told the house committee that the sharing of the fund among the three tiers of government followed a court decision.
He said governors and local council chairmen never welcomed queries about how they deployed the ecological funds.
“It is a `no-go’ area,’’ he quipped.
“They don’t want to see officials of the Ecological Project Office near them; so we cannot ask them how they spend the money,’’ he added.
Ibrahim said also that all motions by the National Assembly regarding intervention on ecological project matters had been treated.
“The Ecological Project Office acts expeditiously on documents sent to it to solve problems; it looks at some of the gaps within the motion and tries to fill the gaps, and we have had more than five of such motions.
“ The Ecological Project Office does not handle funds; it only appraises projects and makes recommendations to the president,’’ he said.
The permanent secretary explained that it is the Ministry of Finance that manages the fund and the projects.
He stressed that it was a misconception that the Ecological Project Office is in charge of funds and at liberty to decide on where projects would be sited with the money in its coffers.
He said whenever there were interventions; the Ecological Project Office informed affected communities and went with the contractor to hand over the projects to the community.
This is to enable the community to take ownership of the intervention and communicate their observations to the project office.
Responding, Rep. Sani Jaji (APC-Kaura Namoda/ Birnin Magaji), chairman of the committee, said there should always be stakeholders engagement before embarking on ecological fund intervention projects.
He noted that the projects were stakeholders’ projects and failure to include the stakeholders would always lead to security breach.
“So many things happened with UNICEF’s polio vaccine rejection; but when it included stakeholders, people began to accept the vaccine.
“It is critical to involve stakeholders and ensure equity. Security cannot be the reason why you won’t execute projects in certain parts of the country.
“The perception about your office is that there is money out there; so you need to change that perception and let people know that you have limitations about the execution of projects,’’ he said.
Jaji challenged the Ecological Fund Project Office to provide the needed advice to the president to enable him to take the correct steps.
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