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Okonjo-Iweala Charges Governors Ahead of Inauguration

The Director-General of World Trade Organisation, WTO, Dr Ngozi OkonjoIweala, has warned newly elected and re-elected governors to be cautious about amassing a high debt profile for their states. 

She said this, Monday while speaking at the opening of the 2023 induction for re-elected and elected governors with the theme: “Governing for Impact (Building Sub-national Governance)”, organised by the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF).

Okonjo-Iweala pleaded with the governors to invest in infrastructure, education, and basic healthcare to compensate teachers, healthcare professionals, and pensioners. 

To gain the trust of the public and keep them informed about their finances, the former finance minister urged states to publicize the allocation of federation revenue and IGR that are due to them.

She said: “We used to publish this information during my time as finance minister under President Obasanjo and Jonathan’s administrations.

“You must resume this practice so your citizens can have information on your account.

“Your Excellency, please watch your debt profiles and keep careful control of expenditure.

“Even as we invest in infrastructure, education and basic healthcare, please endeavour to pay teachers and healthcare workers.”

With regard to raising internally generated revenue of any significance, Okonjo-Iweala emphasized that states had a significant duty to play but only a few States are capable of generating their revenue internally.

In her additional remarks, Iweala asked the Governors to find ways to boost internally generated income (IGR), noting that this should go hand in hand with their portion of the federal allocation, which she described as sizeable, and be done so more transparently, effectively, and efficiently. 

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) is hosting its third induction for incoming and returning governors on key aspects of governance. The event commences from May 15th to 19th, 2023. According to the report, the induction programme will also handle how to seamlessly ease the outgoing governors to a life after office. Speakers from all works of life and around the world have been invited to the event.

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