Obasanjo says only good governance can reduce poverty
To effectively tackle poverty in the country, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has advised the Federal Government to massively invest in the people and channel public resources into basic education, health, employment and security.
He also stressed the importance of transparency, accountability and responsible stewardship, among others, in delivering good governance with a view to reducing poverty.
Obasanjo, during presentation of a paper on good governance, accountability and democracy at the maiden edition of the Justice Oputa annual conference yesterday in Abuja noted that good governance remains a foundation for development.
The former president, who said there was an international consensus on promoting good governance as a foundation for development, noted that to tackle the challenges facing many societies, there is the need to strengthen institutions, processes and mechanisms that enable full participation of citizens in setting an agenda for sustainable growth.
To him, good governance is also based on conviction that a system placing sovereignty in the hands of people is more likely to invest in the citizens, channeling public resources to basic education, health, employment, security and fundamental right and social service.
“Good governance, accountability and delivery of democracy dividends, which necessitate legitimacy, participation, responsive estimation, ethical conduct, transparency and accountability in economic development translate to reduction of poverty, job creation, wealth generation, provision of social services, policies that gives confident to entrepreneurs and investors to make, create and renovate so that jobs and other opportunities can be realized,” he said.
Obasanjo warned that without such investment, poverty cannot be eliminated and sustainable development will not be attained.
He stressed that upholding the rule of law so as to bring security, stability and predictability with social, political and economic affairs remains a comerstone of good governance.
The former president pointed out that the legitimacy of the election process comes into question when it is not free and fair and the result is flawed.
Also, the Chief Executive Officer of Justice Oputa Foundation, George Oputa explained that the theme of the event was borne out of concern about the not too impressive level of governance at all levels in the country as well as the wobbling nature of the economy.