Retired Permanent Secretary in Gombe State, Dr. Sani Jauro has commended Nigeria’s growth and development within the 59 years of Independence from British Colonial rule.
Dr. Jauro told Voice of Nigeria in Gombe that the country had come a long way in terms of infrastructure development, such as increased number of universities, airports, colleges, schools, as well as primary and secondary schools, both private and public.
He however, said that ”Nigeria needed a single National Development Plan, with which succeeding governments will continue to use in implementing policies and programmes started by previous governments.”
Dr. Jauro said the development plan would enable succeeding governments review previous plan, by identifying challenges, studying feedbacks, and help in the re-planning and re-implementation of uncompleted or abandoned projects.
The permanent Secretary, who was the Principal Personal Secretary to the former Governor, said having one mega plan would drive the needed development of Nigeria.
When you don’t plan and you don’t involve all sectors in your planning, you don’t have a single document affecting all sectors, you will always have policy somersaults, you will always have policies that are not implementable, or policies that are abandoned halfway. So, if you want to transform agriculture, you must also transform education. If you want to transform health, you must transform agriculture and education and sanitation. So, you will discover that most of the things that we have achieved, if you allow me to use the word, accidental, because people will always try to respond to problems.,” Dr. Jauro said.
He attributes some of the challenges confronting Nigeria to lack of having a single National Development Plan.
“If we had planned very well, there might not be Boko Haram, if we had planned very well, there might not be kidnapping, you may not have pipeline vandalisation. And you know the population of Nigeria is growing astronomically. If don’t plan for this population, it is time bomb for us. I don’t what will happen to Nigeria in the future with the indicators of crimes and tensions all over the nation, I don’t know what will happen to us,” Dr. Jauro stated.
He called on relevant authorities to go back to the drawing board and take a holistic look at Nigeria’s problems, so that corresponding plans would be drawn to tackle them.
“Look at our sources of income, look at our strength in terms of manpower, in terms of the ability to execute policies and programmes that will rescue this nation and put us on proper programme trajectory. If we do not do that, I don’t know what will happen in future. And we pray that God gives our leaders the wisdom to do a very good plan that will save the nation,” he said.
Also speaking on the issue of continuing projects of previous government, especially if the succeeding government is from a different political party, Dr. Jauro said challenges of that nature also required a legal framework, a law to protect the development plans.
“So that each and every succeeding government must give itself on the track of this development policy, otherwise politicians may not necessarily share the same view with their predecessors. And that if you inherit a project and continue with it to conclusion, by the time you come back for re-election and claim that this is your project, people will say no. The opposition will say you have not contributed to the project. And you know the way Nigerian people are, you have to show what you have done, so that is why some politicians will not like to continue with projects of other politicians,” Dr. Jauro explained.
He commended progress made in the democratic practice in the country, because of peaceful transition of power from one government to another and a healthy development where sitting governments had been peacefully replaced in elections at both federal and state levels.
Dr. Jauro believes that perceived divisions in Nigeria are artificial, because same issues that affect someone in the North are the same issues that affect those in the South.
He said Nigerians were still united as a people but that those calling for the disintegration of the country were a group of people of the same class, irrespective of their background.
”And there are natural divisions of classes. You find out that those who are fanning the embers of this division are the privileged class. And they all belong to the same class, they are one. And that class existed before independence. In reality, if you look at the issue of corruption, you discover that it is not the Igbo man that is corrupt or the Hausa man that is corrupt, but people of the same class,” Dr. Jauro said.
The Retired Permanent Secretary however, believes ”politicians are getting more enlightened and more committed and also conscious of waste of resources of the state.”
He said the people were equally becoming more conscious of what goes on in governance, hence their increased boldness to question politicians if they fail to conclude projects started by previous administrations.
Gombe State on October 1, 2019 was also 23 years old as a state and Dr. Jauro, being a son of Gombe, had praised governors who served the state over the years.
He said all the governors were committed to the development of the state, because they had transformed Gombe from what he referred to as a ‘BIG Village’ to a modern cosmopolitan city.