Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi has called for the engagement of professionals in leadership positions of the country to achieve good governance.
Bello made the appeal on Monday in Abuja, while delivering a remark at the First National Conference for Professionals in the All Progressives Congress (APC), themed “The Role of Professionals in Politics and Nation Building”.
Bello, who was represented by Mr Moses Okezie-Okafor, the Director- General, Research and Development in the state, said the event and theme were timely.
The governor said that it was about time career professionals took more than a passing interest in the affairs of political parties, particularly the APC which is Nigeria’s governing party.
“There is no person better suited to leadership like those of us who have known and endured the discipline of committing to the course of study for a profession for years until we qualified.
“And thereafter submitted ourselves to the rigours of continuing professional development which, for many individuals here today, spans several decades.
“The regulations and ethics of chosen professions have, over the years, forged most of us into persons of high moral fibre.
“And, strong leadership skills, qualities which are sorely needed in every area and level of leadership in our dear country, Nigeria.
“As a chartered accountant, I can testify that since I became the Governor of my State, Kogi, my professional training and experience came to bear.
“And, the duties I owe my profession not to smear its good name has imposed on me unique responsibilities to manage the people, territories.
“And, resources committed to my stewardship with honesty and prudence, in an atmosphere of fairness, equity and justice,” he added.
Bello said that through professional leadership, his administration was able to record huge successes across all sectors, adding that professionals should be encouraged to run for leadership positions in the country come 2023.
“Practically in all competitive national rankings, Kogi State under my leadership has surged to the top.
“We are national leaders in ensuring security of lives and properties of citizens, we have managed our vast diversity of tribes, religions and other divides so well.
“We are back to back leaders in meeting the indices of transparent governance set and evaluated by the World Bank’s State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme.
“As of two years ago we lead the Nation in reduction of childhood mortality rates according to a joint study by the USAID, the National Population Commission and the Federal Ministry of Health.
“After the FCT, we are next line leaders in the North for depleting the vast incidence of out-of-school-children in our region – a direct contributory to the peace and security we enjoy.
“As of last year, the Debt Management Office of the federation rates us as number one in the reduction of the state’s debt profile which we mainly inherited.
“As of 2018, National Bureau for Statistics rated us as one of only nine states which reduced unemployment as the country battled with increase in joblessness.
“At 38 per cent, we have surpassed the SDGs’ 35 per cent affirmative action threshold for women. We have also revolutionised inclusiveness for youth and persons with special needs,” Bello said.
He, therefore, urged the professionals on fruitful deliberation to provide sound professional advice to the party, ensuring that the flag-bearer is a younger person with proven and current experience.
He also admonished the party members to give maximum support to Gov. Mai Mala Buni and the members of the Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC). (NAN)