States Competitiveness and Good Governance Awards holds Thursday in Abuja

The annual program curated to promote good governance in the country otherwise known as the BusinessDay’s States Competitiveness and Good Governance Awards will hold this Thursday in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Introduced in 2013, the annual event seeks to provide an independent evaluation of the projects and programme executed by the 36 sub-national governments in the country on an annual basis. Rating methodology employs a mix of on-the-spot assessment of projects, interactions with the residents in each state, and juxtaposing the projects of the sub-national governments with the global best practices.

It is a performance evaluation award that takes stock of the achievements of the state governments especially in areas that have a direct bearing on the standard of living of the people. The leading areas of assessments were selected to align with some of the notable objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 36 sub-national governments were evaluated to know how they had performed with regard to the development of education, rural and urban infrastructure, promotion of ease of doing business, development of agriculture, healthcare development, youth and women empowerment, the security of lives, and property, among others.

The Committee, which considered the immediate and long-term needs of the 36 states and the nation, employed primary and secondary data which were qualitative and quantitative in nature, most of which were sourced from the nation’s data agency, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

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Some of the quantitative parameters include the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), capital importation and other investment inflows into each state, unemployment rate, Net Enrolment Rate (NER), availability of water, management of local and foreign debts, fiscal viability index, among others.

The annual event will be graced by a former head of state of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Yakub Gowon who will be the special guest of honour; Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero who will be the royal father of the day, notable members of the national assembly, members of the diplomatic corps, leading businessmen and women in the country, and other distinguished personalities.

In the last few days, the NBS announced Nigeria’s exit from recession, as the fourth quarter 2020 GDP grew by 0.11 percent in spite of the pandemic that nearly crippled the nation, and banditry, herdsmen attacks that prevented farmers from accessing their farms.

Notwithstanding the above, the non-oil sector grew by 1.69 percent in Q4 2020 compared with the contraction of 2.51 in Q3 2020. The services sector contributed 54.3 percent to the GDP in Q4, 2020, while the agriculture and industry sub-sectors contributed 26.9 percent and 18.77 percent to the GDP in Q4 2020 respectively.

The contribution of the agricultural sector came as no surprise to most Nigerians in view of the seriousness state governments attached to the sub-sector, which have resulted in many successes in rice production, and other crops. Consequently, Nigeria surpassed Egypt to emerge as the largest rice producer in Africa, creating many jobs and encouraging the transfer of skills from big players such as Olam Nigeria, Dangote rice to local farmers through their outgrowers’ schemes.

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