The Department for International Development (DFID) has pledged to assist the Southwest states to put in place models and ways of working that will enhance the strengths they already have.
The Team Leader, Governance and Social Development, UK, DFID, Mr. Oliver Blake, made this known yesterday in a paper he presented at the on-going Southwest governance innovations conference holding in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
The four-day conference, organised by Dawn Commission, was saddled with the responsibility of charting a roadmap for good governance and accelerated development in the Southwest region.
Blake who said the DFID had, this year provided £250 million in support to Nigeria stated that his organisation recognised the fact that the Southwest region had committed political leadership, brilliant and committed people as well as all that it takes for its development.
His words: “This conference is therefore about helping the Southwest build on the political leadership and the skills of its people to put in place a dynamic of progress, built on a commitment to excellence and drawing on lessons and experiences from across the region,” Blake affirmed.
Those who made contributions at yesterday’s session included Abegunde Ebenezer Oludare, Iyalode (women leader) of Yorubaland, Chief Alaba Lawson, Babatunde Babajide, Jide Bamgbose and Anthony Oyedeji.
Each spoke on innovations their state governments had introduced into governance.
The lead presenter from Ekiti State, Mr. Abegunde Ebenezer Oludare enjoined all the Southwest states to ensure “professionalism in agriculture” so as to encourage the youth to come in to the sector.
The General Manager of Oyo State Community Social Development Project (CSDP), Mr. Christopher Adewole Babatunde, disclosed that the CSDP had helped the state to reduce poverty and stimulate development.