The Sokoto state government has over the years enjoyed a veritable financial and governance lifelines from the World Bank States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Program-for-Results (SIFTAS) and the United States Agency for International Development Nigeria States Accountability Transparency and Effectiveness (State2State) activity.
This was the submission of the state governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto state at the first dialogue series organised by USAID and the State2State program held in Abuja.
He spoke as a panelist and in his capacity as a governor after delivering the speech of the chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), of which he is the vice chairman.
According to governor Tambuwal, his administration benefitted greatly and tremendously from the introduction of many reforms by the SIFTAS program and the State2State in terms of the finances of the state, its administration and general governance.
He said, “Reforms are not only difficult at initiation level but much more on sustaining, where you run into difficulties and problems.
“Reforms, generally, are difficult to receive in settings where you have entrenched precedents, traditions, cultures and ways of doing things.”
“It is not easy to supplant trajectories of doing things with a complete new systems. So, SIFTAS has not been easy, as the state met some resistance from people who were benefiting from the old order, especially when it comes to fiscal reforms, accountability and transparency.
“It is difficult for people to accept that because some are benefiting from the rot in the system and they are so entrenched such that’s any attempt to change their ways of doing things you will meet some stiff resistance. But we are gradually getting there.”
Tambuwal insisted that reforms are necessary and must be institutionalised. “The world is dynamic and governance is dynamic. Therefore, there is the need for review and reform of systems of governance,especially where you are talking about efforts aimed at improving good governance like we are doing in Nigeria.”