Niger State Governor, Mohammed Umaru Bago has called on the Council Chairmen in the State to have innovative ideas that engender development in their various local government areas.
The Governor made the call when he declared open a retreat for the 25 Council Chairmen of the state at the Niger State Lodge, Abuja.
The retreat with the theme “Empowering Local Government Leaders for Sustainable Development: Strategies, Challenges and Opportunities, was put together by the Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
Governor Umaru Bago who advocated the need for the Council Chairmen to think out of the box to grow their economy, said they should do so based on their peculiarities and comparative advantages for optimal outcomes.
He also reminded the participants of the need to have a long-term development plan and gave insights on how they can grow their economy.
The Governor charged them to collaborate with the State government, have an attitudinal change in their approach to governance and make every effort that would add value to their local government areas.
Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mua’zu Hamidu Jantabo, said the retreat is aimed at acquitting the Council Chairmen with the vision of the present administration as they relate to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) among others.
He assured that the Ministry will give the needed support to the Council Chairmen to change the status quo and build their capacity in terms of project execution.
Chairman of the Occasion, Prof. Yahaya Kuta said the retreat is a welcome initiative that would bring development closer to the people adding that if the Council Chairmen get it right at the grassroots, the State and the Federal governments will be better for it.
Some of the participants including Council Chairman of Agwara, who doubles as the Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Niger State, Iliyasu Zakari, that of Mashegu; Umar Jibrin Iyade, Bosso; Rakiya Bosso, Katcha;/Danlami Saku, Munya; Najume Kuchi expressed gratitude for the retreat, saying it is a wake-up call explaining that unprecedented growth and development will be their take home from the retreat.
The retreat is expected to enhance the knowledge of the participants on the role of local government in achieving the SDGs, skills in budgeting, procurement and financial control process as well as identifying opportunities, challenges and innovative ways forward among others.
Governor Umaru Bago was presented with an award by the Sir Ahmadu Bello Foundation in recognition of his giant strides in the state so far.
The Governor then directed the Commissioner for Lands and Survey, Barr. Maurice Magaji to make 100 hectares of land available for the Foundation, following their request to establish Arewa University in the state.
Bologi Ibrahim
Chief Press Secretary
to the Governor of Niger State
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