by crossriverwatch admin
“Today I present to you the Scorecard of our endeavours from 2007 to 2014 as an affirmative record of Cross River State’s Development Performance. An assessment of the performance of our state, such as this, is necessary to strengthen good governance, as well as promote transparency and efficient service delivery.”
AN ADDRESS BY THE GOVERNOR OF CROSS RIVER STATE, SENATOR LIYEL IMOKE AT THE 2014 DEMOCRACY DAY CELEBRATION ON THURSDAY, 29TH MAY, 2014
It has been 15 years since we embarked on this transformative journey of freedom, development, empowerment and growth. Our journey of true democracy, which began in 1999 after a few false but hopeful starts, has quickened pace.
We are marching steadily on to towards a destination determined only by the quantifiable progress for the destiny of our people and the evolution of our nation.
Our future is limited only by our present capacity and ability to aspire or conceive of a better society for our people. Democracy and the principles associated with its existence are fundamental to the stability and sustainability of a productive and progressive society.
In this sense Cross River is firmly on the path to true democracy. This achievement demands collective commendation for every facet of our society. In 1999, it might have looked impossible to some and for many, that first step seemed hopelessly optimistic.
Yet here we are 15 years later, engaging in a retrospective examination of the consequence of a collective decision, the power of collective action and the potential of collective determination. This journey has not been without its challenges. The one certainty of our democratic journey is that more challenges to our fortitude and commitment to this path will emerge.
The panacea to this inevitability lies in our collective strength to remain undeterred in the face of these expected challenges. We must ensure as a state and a nation that we strive to achieve the democratic atmosphere that would foster wealth and prosperity for all.
We must also acknowledge that the sacrifices made today are set to protect the opportunities for our children tomorrow and thus secure the future of the state for posterity. We must forge ahead unperturbed. As we seek to consolidate our democracy, we will continue to strive to instil and observe the essential democratic tenets that will ensure the evolution of a more prosperous and wealthy Cross River State.
On the 15th year of our great democratic advancement, there is a tangible and even palpable sense of confidence about our status as an unshakable democratic nation which has instilled in its citizenry a true sense of proprietorship of the democratic process. This is a fundamental facet of democracy that comes from the reassurance in its principles as our people begin to truly enjoy and appreciate the dividends of democracy.
Today, in what is my last Democracy Day as Governor of our beloved state, I want to emphasise on an often overlooked aspect of our democracy. As government, we are bound by a social contract to fulfilling our obligations towards the citizenry. It is this social contract that defines our commitment to our people and dictates the pace of our socio-economic growth and development. A fundamental precept of this contract is our accountability to our people.
There must be clear and obvious evidence of our efforts at giving an account not just of the resources we have expended but also of our time in office. Cross River has not only kept pace with growth and development in Nigeria, we have now advanced to setting the pace for the rest of the country.
In our penultimate year in office, it has become imperative on this administration to showcase our efforts not only for the public but also to satisfy our collective conscience that we have served to the best of our abilities given the prevailing constraints.
Today I present to you the Scorecard of our endeavours from 2007 to 2014 as an affirmative record of Cross River State’s Development Performance. An assessment of the performance of our state, such as this, is necessary to strengthen good governance, as well as promote transparency and efficient service delivery.
This exercise also affords us the opportunity to critically examine our strengths and accomplishments, scrutinize potential areas for improvement and explore the possibility of utilizing hitherto untapped resources. We have chronicled achievements in each MDA as well as articulately documented the prospects to position Cross River State as the premier service-driven economy in Nigeria.
Indeed, this publication have been compiled to proclaim Cross River State’s position as one of the leading states in the country and thus unambiguously assert the validity of the efforts of this Administration since 2007, in promoting good governance, accountability and sustainable development in Tourism, Agriculture, Education, Healthcare and Private-sector Investment which have seen exponential growth and development in the last 7 years.
Nevertheless, this document is as much a catalogue of this administration’s achievements as it is a statement of intent for the future of our state as we seek to clearly illuminate the greater accomplishment that can be gained particularly for poverty reduction, employment generation, and human capacity development.
As our people are our greatest asset for the state, our intention was to build the foundation for more human capacity development, particularly in entrepreneurial and managerial capabilities to enhance the economic potential of our populace and prepare our labour force to meet the dynamic demands of an increasingly globally-competitive economy.
This investment in the state’s human capital would go beyond imparting academic, technical and vocational skills but will also seek to build the competencies necessary for disciplined and hard working citizens of the future in Cross River with respect for law and order, the environment as well as our cultures and traditions in an atmosphere of safety and security. It is also necessary to strengthen the institutional mechanisms which have evolved and which need to mature to match the pace of our socio-economic growth and development.
This scorecard has been compiled through a process of competitive assessment amongst the various MDAs working together in an effort to encourage creative funding initiatives, exploit cost efficiencies and impose a setting for prudent resource management across board. All of this has been achieved in spite of the seemingly insurmountable financial challenges faced by our state during this period.
We have attained many of our expenditure and revenue forecasts and our procurement; auditing and budgetary management processes have garnered praise from our international development partners. As we look to raise Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) and reduce our dependence on federally-allocated oil revenues, our finances will be better and more sustainably managed.
Finally and most importantly, it is absolutely necessary to stress the pivotal role the people must play to hold their government to account. The people must gain the capacity and ability to decipher the context within which all this socio-economic growth and development occurs.
They must attain an appreciation not just for quantitative development such as roads and other infrastructure but also qualitative development such as institutions, processes and systems. In other words, accountability is a collaborative ideal and our people need to exert the full responsibility of their citizenship in this regard. As a consequence, I expect that this Scorecard would be more than just another volume on our bookshelves and coffee-tables.
It should be a dynamic and versatile guide for our people to judge and evaluate our performance in microscopic detail, as part of their role as stakeholders in the progress of Cross River. This document is an emphatic and unequivocal Account of Stewardship of this administration designed to give all Cross-Riverians a proper and indisputable understanding of the successes recorded so far, challenges to overcome, and the role each stakeholder must play to advance the socio-economic growth and development of our beloved State.
It is a clear signal of our commitment as an administration to accountability, transparency, integrity and our responsibility to enlighten our citizenry and illuminate their understanding of how we have served and how much more we can do to better serve the good people of Cross River State.
As we celebrate the maturity of our democracy, let us take stock of what we have achieved, mindful of that fact that we have much more to accomplish. We have to take individual and collective responsibility for the state of our society and we can only achieve true democracy if we work together.
May the Good Lord match our efforts with commensurate results. I wish you all a very Happy Democracy Day.
God Bless Cross River State.
God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
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