Imoke Inaugurates Committee on Governance Reforms

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by crossriverwatch admin

Liyel Imoke, Governor, Cross River State
Liyel Imoke, Governor, Cross River State

As part of strategy to strengthen governance for effective and efficient service delivery amongst the three arms of government as well as at the council level, Cross River State governor, Senator Liyel Imoke Monday, inaugurated the steering committee on State and Local Governance Reform (SLOGOR) project.

He tasked the committee to take the reforms process right down to all the local governments as part of the change.

Inaugurating the committee at the executive council chambers in Calabar, the state capital, with Deputy Governor, Mr. Efiok Cobham and cabinet members in attendance, Governor Imoke said it was important and critical that all stakeholders understand what reforms are and be part of it.

He noted that no successful reforms could be achieved without the three arms of government being part of the process, adding that “We cannot achieve meaningful and sustainable reforms as an administration without the House of Assembly playing its role in providing strong support by way of legislative framework for us to be able to say truly, we have achieved reforms or that we have actually reformed.”

Imoke, while stressing the importance of reforms in governance process, urged the various stakeholders in the three arms of government to begin to think of ways of doing things differently in a way that would impact on those they govern.

According to the governor, “What is fundamental about the importance of this project as it relates to reforms in governance at various levels is that as an administration, we have emphasized that we need to think of doing things differently in a way that it is beneficial to the people that we serve.”

While lamenting the imperviousness of people to change, Imoke observed: “One of the greatest challenges with reforms is that of getting used to change. We have been so used to doing things the same way without giving considerations to changes that can yield better result, because we are so stuck in our ways. We do not think that anything else that is introduced could be positive and of use or could even contribute to improvement in governance.

“We must accept the fact that the only thing that is constant in life is change and unless we come to terms with the fact that change is constant, you will find that you will never be able to be ahead of the pack. So if we have institutions that have been used to doing things in a particular way for so many years, whether it impacts on certain deliverables of governance or whether it even takes advantage of new technology, it is not as relevant as sustaining a particular approach that they are used to.”

Imoke, who enjoined stakeholders to see themselves as an embodiment of reforms, also charged them not to take reforms as mere sloganeering. “Reforms must be something that is constant. It must not be something that we should be talking about every day. It should be something that we should live. It should be something that is part of us, something that we must embrace and admit.

“It is important that we understand what reforms are and it is critical that all stakeholders understand it and be part of it. We cannot achieve successful reforms without the three arms of government being part of that process. We cannot achieve meaningful and sustainable reforms as an administration without the House of Assembly playing its role in providing strong support by way of legislative framework for us to be able to say truly, we have achieved reforms or that we have actually reformed.”

Governor Imoke particularly charged the judiciary to key into the reforms process as one of the critical arms of government, as according to him, “it is important that as we reform, the judiciary is also reformed and be part of the reform process. As we continue with new approaches to governance and with only the executive and legislature on the same page and the judiciary on a different page, there is no way it can contribute its quota meaningfully to our reforms initiative.

“It is important that the steering committee as being inaugurated today understands its responsibility to drive the reforms that we need to sustain and keep Cross River State ahead of the pack. This is why I urge the steering committee to take their responsibility seriously because it is expected that you are not just going to contribute but be a beneficiary of the processes and the initiatives that would come out and be implemented. It should translate to improved resources and governance at all levels as well as a better life for all Cross Riverians.”

Earlier the Special Adviser to the governor on Department of International Cooperation, Mr. Roy Ndoma-Egba, while giving a brief on SLOGOR, said “it was to improve transparency and accountability and quality in public finance management with a view to strengthening governance in the six participating states.

He disclosed that SLOGOR is expected to build capacities and processes of the affected states in public finance programming and management towards improvement in social services delivery.”

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