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Nigerian Governors Embark on Executive Leadership Training in Rwanda


By Grace Chigbu

In a significant move to bolster the quality of governance in Nigeria, the Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Seyi Makinde, has emphasized the potential of governors to provide effective leadership and governance to the country. He voiced this opinion following a three-day executive leadership training in Kigali, the Rwandan capital, attended by 19 governors from Nigeria.

This leadership retreat was the outcome of a collaboration between the NGF and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The aim was to further enhance governance at the sub-national level by drawing inspiration from Rwanda’s impressive transformation journey.

Seyi Makinde, who also serves as the Oyo State Governor, shared his insights after the conclusion of the training, which was held under the aegis of Rwandan President, Mr. Paul Kagame. Makinde expressed his satisfaction with the high turnout of Nigerian governors at the retreat. The focal point of their discussions revolved around reimagining leadership in the modern age and harnessing the power of innovative technology for governance.

A jointly crafted statement from Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, the Director of Media at the NGF, and Christabel Chanda-Ginsberg, the Head of Public Engagement, Outreach, and Partnership Lead at UNDP Nigeria, provided insights into the training’s content and objectives. Tagged ‘Reimagining leadership in a fast-changing world’, the training shed light on Rwanda’s accomplishments in various fields, including its successful transition into a leading investment destination in digital technology, comprehensive urban planning, and sweeping socio-economic changes.

Furthermore, the governors had the rare opportunity to engage in a private dialogue with President Kagame, an experience that would have offered valuable insights from a leader who has been instrumental in Rwanda’s transformative journey over the years.

Reflecting on the retreat, Governor Makinde said, “It has been an engaging retreat. I am glad a significant number of governors are here to be part of it so that, together, we can use the knowledge acquired.” He emphasized that the discussions and sessions from the past three days have furnished the governors with new adaptive leadership strategies. These strategies are seen as pathways to effective governance and sustainable development across Nigeria.

The significance of this retreat cannot be overstated. The decision for Nigerian governors to look towards Rwanda, a country that has made significant strides in governance, technology, and socio-economic transformation, demonstrates a proactive approach to governance. It signals a commitment on the part of Nigerian leadership to learn from successful models and adapt these learnings to their unique context.

Governor Makinde’s remarks underline the broader consensus among Nigerian governors about the value of this training. Drawing from Rwanda’s transformative experience, these leaders are better equipped to navigate the challenges of governance in the fast-paced digital age. As these governors return to their respective states, it is expected that the insights and knowledge gained from this retreat will translate into innovative policies and governance practices that will benefit the people of Nigeria.

In a country as diverse and dynamic as Nigeria, effective and adaptive leadership is paramount. The collaborative initiative between the NGF and UNDP, and the eagerness of the governors to engage, learn, and apply, signifies a hopeful future for Nigerian governance and its citizens.

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