Former Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko, has emphasised the importance of accountability in governance, saying that it drives economic growth and development, which should be reflected in citizens’ quality of life.
Mimiko disclosed this in his address at the ‘Change and Development Forum’ organised by the Dare Adeboye Foundation, and held at the RCCG Redemption Camp recently.
He also listed the government’s accountability mechanisms, which include adhering to the Freedom of Information Act, holding periodic elections, maintaining a separation of powers between the Legislature, Judiciary, and Executive branches, following due process, and the activist roles of media, civil society organisations, and non-governmental organisations.
He added that development-oriented and patriotic leadership was essential for accountability, good governance, and development.
“In contrast to China, Nigeria seems to squander its relative strengths and advantages,” he said.
According to him, “To improve the Nigerian state, focus on the four Ps: Plan and target, Provide power and financial resources, Protect local infant industries and MSMEs, and Patronise Made-in-Nigeria products.”
Speaking on the Freedom of Information Act, Mimiko said it’s an important instrument in the accountability of the country, noting that the Act is the foundation of an open system of governance in Nigeria, directly impacting the citizens’ quality of life.
“For you to be able to hold your leader to account, you must know what are the mechanisms available to you such as the Freedom of Information Act which gives access to anybody to demand any information from any government agency,” he said.
In addition, the former governor advised the new administration to unite the country by being fair as practicable as possible. “Ultimately, the incoming administration must unite the country, confront our diversity, manage it, and not pretend it does not exist and the ultimate management of diversity is to be fair and just. Every part of this country must be included and given the right of prominent position in this coming administration,” he said.
On legal issues that flood the court after elections in Nigeria, Mimiko, who spent 22 months before reclaiming his governorship mandate said: “We can make it possible for all adjudication concerning election be concluded before beneficiaries of such elections are sworn-in. I don’t know what legal hindrances are there but I think it is something we can make possible. Not for this year’s, because it is operating within the context of existing laws but I’m being futuristic”
Leke Adeboye, the Senior Personal Assistant to the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), said that the Dare Adeboye Foundation was focused on touching lives, advancing the kingdom of God, and developing Nigeria through Kingdom advancement, youths’ empowerment, education, leadership and governance, sanitation, and clean water initiatives.
Kola Oyeneyin, chief executive officer, Opportunik Global Funds, one of the keynote speakers at the event said: “We have no choice but to rescue the Nigerian economy if we don’t want more people to fall into poverty. We must make Nigeria a N1trillion economy by maintaining an annual growth of at least 10 percent growth year on year.”