Nigerian Governors Forum Partners US Counterpart

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    Nigerian Governors' Forum (NGF) yesterday said it was partnering with its United States counterpart, National Governors Association (NGA), on capacity building and to tap from its wealth of experience.

    NGA, founded in 1908, is the collective voice of US governors and one of Washington DC's most respected public policy organisations and its members are the governors of the 50 states, three territories and two commonwealths, and provides governors and their senior staff members with services that range from representing states on Capitol Hill and before the US administration on key federal issues.

    Chairman of the Forum, Governor Bukola Saraki, disclosed this on the sidelines of the 3-day annual meeting of the NGA holding in Boston, Massachusetts.

    Attending the Boston meeting of the NGA are six Nigerian governors. They are Hon. Rotimi Ameachi (Rivers); Mr. Sullivan Chime (Enugu); Alhaji Ibrahim Shema(Katsina); Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau (Kano); Mallam Isa Yuguda (Bauchi) and Dr. Saraki (Kwara). Also at the meeting is the Director General of the NGF, Mr. Asishana Okauru.

    Saraki also disclosed that some officials from NGF secretariat were in US earlier in the year to understudy the workings of the NGA with a view to applying it to strengthen the secretariat structure.

    Vermont Governor and the NGA Chairman, Jim Douglas, while welcoming the Nigerian governors, noted that NGA had always invited Nigerian governors to its annual meeting since the return of democracy 11 years ago. He also described the partnership between the two bodies as " a success".

    The opening plenary session on Friday focused on health reform implementation, with papers presented by Chairman of IBM board and CEO, Samuel Palmisano, and Professor of Applied Economics, Department of Economics and Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, David Cutler. The four NGA standing committees and its special committee also met, giving the governors opportunity to learn about the work being done by their colleagues on a variety of issues.

    Yesterday's plenary session, moderated by Alan Murray, deputy managing editor and executive editor, online for The Wall Street Journal, focused on ways to restructure and streamline state government for maximum efficiency during a plenary session.

    Today's plenary session will focus on the risks and challenges of the federal budget deficit and the growing national debt. The session themed: "Redesigning State Government", is to examine ways to strategically balance state budgets. The panel will look at the core services state governments provide and will question which are essential and which can be made more efficient. The three-day meeting ends today.
     

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