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April 12, 2018 10:22 am

TELIAT SULE

The 2018 Award Committee for the States Competitiveness and Good Governance Awards and BusinessDay Research and Intelligence Unit (BRIU), working in coordination with the field teams, have begun the compilation and assessment of the achievements of the 36 state governments in Nigeria ahead of the 2018 States Competitiveness and Good Governance Awards as state governments’ officials begin to send in their entries in response to notices earlier sent out by the Committee.

In this year’s awards, the chief executive officers of the 36 states of the federation will be appraised on different award categories which include the awards for the Fastest Growing State Economy; Best State in Tourism; Transparency in Governance; the most improved in Rural and Urban Infrastructure Development; the most improved in Ease of Doing Business; the most improved in Healthcare Development and the Best State in Agriculture Development.

Others are the most improved state in Housing Development, Education Development, Security, IT/ICT and the state at the forefront of promoting Made in Nigeria Goods. In an era of diversification, the list of the award categories will not be complete without a consideration for the state promotion the development of solid minerals. The climax of it is that the most outstanding governors will emerge as the governor(s) of the year.

The Award Committee and BRIU employed a number of metrics to evaluate the 36 sub national governments with the sole aim of ensuring a level playing field and objectivity. Quantitative parameters include growth in internally generated revenue (IGR), education reforms, budgetary allocations to critical sectors such as health, education and agriculture; capital importation, foreign direct investment and openness in the budgetary processes.

Fourteen states emerged as the winners in the 2017 edition. Dignitaries at that event include Abdulsalami Abubakar, former Head of State; Okezie Ikpeazu, Abia State Governor; Nasiru El-Rufai, Kaduna State Governor; Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Kano State Governor, Simon Lalong, Plateau State Governor; Samuel Ortom Benue State Governor; Acho Nwaakanma, former Deputy Governor ,Abia State; Jacob Buba, Gbomgwom Jos; Babafemi Ojodu, SA to Vice President on Political Matters; Adeyemi Dipeolu, SA to the President on Economic Matters; Letep Dabang, Chairman APC Plataeu State; Vincent Ogbulafor, former PDP chairman; Austin Akobundu, former minister of State, Defence and Pauline Tallen, former Deputy Governor Plataeu State, among others.

Last year, Kano State won the fastest growing state economy award category. The State of Osun won the Best State in Tourism, while Ebonyi State was adjudged as the Best State in Healthcare Development.

Abia State which is prominent in the promotion of Made in Aba Goods was ranked number one and hence won the Best State Promoting Made in Nigeria Goods. Apart from that, Kaduna State won the most improved state in ease of doing business. In less than two years, Kaduna State has attracted a number of high profile foreign direct investments which include the $150 million Olam Integrated Farm, upgraded Kaduna Airport to international standards which now handles foreign flights with ease, while the state’s one-stop shop has removed all encumbrances to investment inflows into the state.

Benue State, the food basket of the nation won the Most Improve in Agriculture Development just as Ogun State, the nation’s industrial hub won the Best State in Housing Development. Sokoto and Imo states won the Most Improved State in Education Development for the northern and southern parts of the country. Jigawa State won the Transparency in Governance Award.

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