From Ndubuisi Orji and Basil Obasi, Abuja
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III yesterday appealed to the Federal Government to review policies and programmes that are not in the interest of the people, noting that if policies do not work, there was nothing wrong in reviewing them.
The Sultan made the call in Abuja while speaking at a town hall meeting/policy dialogue organized by the Alumni Association of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (AANI) in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and National Orientation, with the theme: “Towards effective implementation of the 2016 budget.”
He said that when policies and programmes of government are not achieving desired results, they should be reviewed and realigned in line with prevailing realities.
Abubakar admonished those in authority to be conscious of the fact that they hold power in trust for the people, stating that according to 1999 constitution, the primary objective of government is to ensure security of lives and property and promote welfare of citizens. “Those in authority should appreciate the fact that they hold power in trust for the people. They should listen and be prepared to make policy changes that address the welfare of the common people. Change has been said to be constant. Therefore, there is no problem if government would review policies and programmes.
“If a policy doesn’t work there is nothing wrong in reviewing them. In my view, policies that are anti-people should be discarded and realigned in line with prevalent realities. Where Nigeria has critical problem is in the area of policy implementation.”
The Sultan added: “At times, changes come with difficulties, but it is important that both the government and the governed should accept with clean hearts that after the days of suffering, there would be days of rejoicing. If we get it right in the 2016 budget, every other thing will fall into place.”
The monarch applauded the different efforts of the present administration towards re-positioning the Nigerian economy in the path of sustainable development, stressing that all hands must be on deck in ensuring that government delivers on its mandate.
He, however, encouraged the federal government to utilize the enormous human resources available in the AANI in driving the country towards the path of desired economic progress.
Speaking at the event, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed reiterated the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari in mitigating the current economic woes in the country, which he said was not created by the present government.
The minister noted that the federal government is willing to engage with Nigerians in charting a way out of the present recession. He said this is one of the reasons the government has being engaging the people through the various town hall meetings being organized by the government.
He therefore solicited the support of all Nigerians, especially the private sector and Civil Society Organizations towards moving the country forward.