Osinbajo: Why We Must Improve Governance, Institutional Capacity
Governance and institutional capacity to properly manage resources of nations hold the ace to the prosperity of the citizenry, and this is why authorities must continue to improve them at all times, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
Osinbajo stated this Friday in his remarks at the opening of the 21st meeting of the National Council on Development Planning (NCDP) held in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital.
He said governance and institutional capacity account for the difference between performing and poorly performing economies.
The theme of the meeting attended by members of the Federal and States’ Executive Councils was “Good Governance and Institutional Capacity: Pathways to Sustainable National Development.”
The VP spoke at the NCDP meeting during a 2-day official visit to Ebonyi State, where he also commissioned a number of projects executed by the state government.
On arrival at the Akanu Ibiam Airport, Enugu, en route to Ebonyi, the Vice President was warmly received at the airport by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu and other state government officials.
According to the Vice President, “it is the lack of good governance and weak institutional capacity in the poorer and less performing economies that largely account for the difference between the poor and rich countries.”
“The way that public institutions and agencies perform public affairs and manage public resources, and also how they manage the participation of citizens, and ensure equity and the rule of law, are what makes the difference between the poor and rich, performing and non performing countries,” the VP added.
Making reference to Japan, South Korea and Singapore as countries that still perform better than the resource-rich nations of the world, Prof. Osinbajo said, “how public institutions function is largely determined by institutional capacity. This is not merely having a well educated and well motivated workforce, but systems that are and can enforce transparency and accountability.
“Where accountability is weak or non-existent and poor performance or misconduct have no real consequences; poor performance then becomes systemic.
“The result of poor governance is that delivery of public goods is ineffective, every public service is affected, whether it is collection of taxes, or delivery of social investment programmes, public education, health services, obtaining trade facilitation approvals or just passports or drivers licence, public running of power services or delivery of petroleum products.”
Speaking further, Prof. Osinbajo noted that “poor governance and institutional capacity mean a weak economy, private sector performs sub-optimally because the business environment is hostile, so fewer jobs are created, housing stocks may fall where private people do not build houses for rent, because when tenants fail to pay rent they can remain in the accommodation for years without paying rent because the court system is too slow and they cannot be legally evicted while the court process subsists.”
He urged the meeting to come up with solutions to the country’s development challenges, stating that “every one of these problems is human. They can be solved by human beings. Every country that chooses to solve its governance and institutional problems has, in effect, chosen to develop and prosper.”