Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State on Thursday said that for Nigeria to overcome the challenges confronting it, poverty and unemployment must first be addressed.
The governor said this on Thursday in Abuja at the national inauguration of a project tagged “Project 20 million.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that “Project 20 million” is a platform toward raising 20 million Nigerians who desire good governance, accountable leadership and making Nigeria great.
Mr Tambuwal, who was represented by his Special Assistant on Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, Akibu Dalhatu, said that for Nigeria to enjoy peace, these challenges must be addressed.
He said that the government needs to first address poverty and youth unemployment, adding that only then would the impact of governance be felt by the people.
According to him, the welfare and security of the people should be prioritised, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari administration had rolled out many programme in this direction.
He said that the government must also effectively engage the citizenry in the budget-making process, saying that the appropriation bill at the Federal Level must not remain an executive affair.
“We must adopt the participatory approach to budget-making; before the budget office of the presidency, the Ministry of Finance and Budget Planning finalise any budget, they must organise town hall meetings.
”This will gather the inputs of the people and determine priority areas.
“If the people participate in the budget-making process, they will also follow how the appropriated money is being spent, and by this they will demand transparency and accountability from government officials.
“The people’s engagement in these processes strengthens and deepens democracy, and this ensures that the process of the rule of law is followed,” he said.
Mr Tambuwal also called for strict adherence to the provision of the constitution, saying that the provision of the constitution characterised the quality of governance which most Nigerians are yearning for.
The Director-General of the project, Ikechukwu Chukwunyere, said that the project aimed at seeking a better Nigeria where myriad of challenges confronting the nation would be taken care of.
He said that the country had been divided on concept like honesty, value for life, equality, excellence, adding that there was need for attitudinal change from all, hence the need to campaign for a better Nigeria.
“In our country today, we are faced with banditry, rape cases, corruption, mismanagement of funds, nepotism, insurgency, and so many issues that threaten the unity of this country.
“Posterity will not fail to judge us all for our actions and inactions if we do not speak; it is we the people that will change Nigeria.
“The recent #EndSARS protests that rocked across the country and even beyond is a wake-up call to our leaders.
“The fact that they have pushed us so much to the wall shows that Nigerians are ready to start pushing back,” he stressed.
He said that Project 20 million was aimed at offering solutions, saying that Nigeria needs good governance to assuage the feelings of long-suffering Nigerians.