The quest for true federalism, resource control, corruption, ethnicity, among others is the essence of the deliberations at the on-going 2022 Nigeria Conference of Speakers (CoS) of state legislatures in Ottawa, Canada.
Some of the lawmakers, who spoke at the University of Ottawa’s Institute of Governance, were of the view that one of the major factors undermining Nigeria’s democratic journey is corruption.
While others posited that lack of purposeful and sincere leadership by successive administrations is responsible, they were however, unanimous that learning from the huge success of Canadian democratic experience and implementing same may just be the panacea in promoting good governance for Nigeria, if implemented.
The session, which had in attendance resource persons drawn from the academic and political circle, also witnessed panel of discussants.
The Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Titus Uba said the engagement was basically to look for ways and best practices on how to deliver good governance to the Nigerian people.
“Today, we are in Canada and we have had a robust engagement with a lot of questions. Earlier, I was telling one of the resource persons that what we normally do is to come and look for solutions where we can go back home and begin to add value.
“Each country has its own peculiar challenges. Canada is one of the developed countries of the world but we have come to understand that; partly they have written and unwritten constitution and they told us that most of the responsibilities are taken up by the Provinces in areas such as health care, education, welfare and others.
“We want to look for the best practices that we can take home and we are also looking at areas where we can harness our potentials and not just to get tutored but to expose us to organisation where we can have interface and invest in areas that we need investment,” Uba said.
On his part, Hon. Aniekan Uko, from Akwa Ibom State, while commending the facilitators, noted that despite the endemic corruption in the country, the citizens must be ready for attitudinal change to make things work.
“The major problem we have is how to change the mentality of our people as a country. As a matter of fact, corruption has eaten deep and it is a major problem of Nigeria. However, we will continue to do our best as leaders to get the system working,” Uko said.
Discussants at the occasion include Chairman, Conference of State Speakers, Rt. Hon. Suleiman Abubakar; Oyo State House of Assembly Speaker, Rt. Hon. Adebo Ogun Doyin, and the President and CEO, Institute of Governance, David McLaughlin.