Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule, said he was still consulting with the people and other stakeholders on the calls for him to run for the Chairmanship of Nigeria Governors Forum.
Governor Sule, who was speaking on Friday during the 2-day North Central Human Capital Development Regional Conference in Lafia, said, heading the NGF is another responsibility and a load that he was still considering running for the office.
“Being the chairman of the NGF is actually a big responsibility. It’s something you have to think about twice. For a state such as Nasarawa State that needs me, because any Governor that is the chairman of the NGF has additional load, he is truly a part time Governor.
“I am also consulting with my people of Nasarawa State to see really, because I am invited to come and run for this office whether we truly need it or not. We have to seat down to think and put together to do the right thing,” the Governor said.
The governor, who expressed worry with the increasing rate of unemployed youths on the streets, agreed with the World Bank suggesting that 70 percent of those graduating from Nigeria are graduating with certificates that are not employable.
“I think it should be more than 70 percent. These are the problems we are having in this country. Our curriculum doesn’t combine theory and practice in order to understand how theory connects with practice.
“This is one of the things we are lacking in Nasarawa State. That is why on assumption, we set of a centre to train our people on skills, that way they can come with the certificate and we can give them the practical knowledge.
“I’m happy that we are beginning to graduate students, thanks to ITF for this support. NGF, what he did is a prayer. It’s better to do it right than not to do it at all,” Sule added.
The Governor added that, his administration has taken deliberate steps to improve the quality of education in the state, especially through the allocation of adequate budget for the education sector.
“I also heard about budget allocation of 26 percent that should go to education. When we came in 2019, our first budget of 2020 we allocated 26 percent, the following year we went to 31 percent, and then 36 percent.
“But I think it’s not the percentage allocated that matters, what matters most is our commitment to the implementation of this budget and the funding of the budget to ensure that education takes the right position,” he stated.
Governor Sule, however, directed the state’s focal person on Human Capital Development (HCD), Habiba Balarabe Suleiman, to immediately liaise with the Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, to initiate a bill to be sent before the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, seeking for the passage of a law establishing the HCD in the state.
According to him, the HCD programme, a brainchild of the National Economic Council (NEC), aimed at repositioning the country on the path of sustainable, accelerated development, increased economic opportunities, social inclusion and improve the living standards and quality of the citizenry.
He explained that, the conference is therfore in line with the objective of the NEC to promote investment opportunities and fostering synergy as well as development partnership between the government and the regions, being the critical stakeholders for the socioeconomic development of the country.
“I have no doubt that the conference will proffer us with the opportunity to x-ray all the challenges associated with the HCD. It’s pertinent to state that we have continued to evolve deliberate policies and programmes geared towards our economy, building human capacities, wealth creation and employment generation for our people.
“It’s for this reason that our administration developed what we call our roadmap, which is the Nasarawa Economic Development Strategy (NEDS). This encompasses the economic blueprint of Nasarawa State. We have also established what we call the Nasarawa State Investment Development Agency in order to serve as the Investment vehicle for all the programmes when it comes to the economic development of the state.
“With the establishment of this agency, we have attracted investments from several organizations including Azman Rice, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, SaroAfrica and most recently the exploration of the Ebenyi-A oil well in Obi Local Government Area, where oil production will be taking place soon,” he stated.