The achievements of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum since inception include but not limited to the following:
- Excess Crude Funds The Nigeria Governors’ Forum was instrumental in facilitating the release of excess crude funds (from Paris Club debts) to the States in 2008. The funds have been distributed several times since then to augment the income accruable to States for development purposes.
- Seminar on Fiscal Federalism The NGF in collaboration with the Forum of Federations (an international agency that promotes federalism) and the Federal Ministry of Finance, organised seminars on fiscal federalism in Nigeria. The first one took place in 2008 and the second in 2009. The seminars sought to place more focus on the economic relationship between the State and federal levels of government, with special emphasis on fiscal federalism.
- Doctrine of Necessity It was the intervention of the Forum that saw to the resolution of the impasse that almost engulfed the country over the recognition of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as the Acting President and saved the country from the brink of precipice, during the ailment and absence of Late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in 2010.
- First Ever State Peer Review Mechanism (SPRM) in Sub-Sahara Africa Following the mandate of the National Economic Council (NEC) on the Secretariat to develop a State Peer Review Mechanism (SPRM), the NGF Secretariat (NGFS) embarked on an assessment of developed projects in the States in early 2009 and 2010. This provided an opportunity for the States to showcase their achievements as well as their areas of challenges.
Consequently, the NGFS in collaboration with the UK Department for International Development (DFID) through its State Partnership for Accountability, Responsiveness and Capability (SPARC) programme, developed a comprehensive set of benchmarks and indicators and adopted a systematic and robust Peer Review process. With support from DFID-SPARC, the NGFS appointed a Programme coordinator for the SPRM, recruited of pool of experts and trained journalists on the methodologies of the SPRM.
Governors have become more technical on matters of good governance in measurable terms through the instrument of the State Peer Review Mechanism, which they have continued to leverage on as a platform for peer learning. Following the completion of the entire six-stage review process for Anambra and Ekiti States, there has been increase in commitment as a result of all the lessons learnt during the presentation of the findings on the areas of strengths (commendable practices) and weaknesses in the two States.
- Health Interventions (Polio, Childhood related diseases, etc.) The Forum has sustained collaborations with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) largely with the aim to fast-tracking Nigeria’s attainment of a polio free status, developing ways of combating malnutrition and reducing maternal and child death due to vaccine-preventable diseases that were prevalent in certain parts of the country.
Specifically, concerned with the increasing spate of the polio epidemic across States, members of the Forum committed to pursue integrated interventions towards eradicating polio by December 2013 instead of the initial 2012 deadline. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supported ‘Nigeria Governors’ Immunization Leadership Challenge’ was officially commissioned in January 2012 with all 36 Governors and FCT minister signed-up. First and second editions of the leadership Challenges have been concluded with seven and five state governors awarded respectively for exemplary leadership oversight on polio/immunization.
These efforts culminated in the successful interruption of transmission of the wild polio virus and the subsequent de-listing of Nigeria from the list of polio-endemic countries by the World Health Organization in September 2015.
- Partnership with National Governors Association of America The NGFS has a strong partnership with the National Governors Association (NGA) Washington DC, the United States equivalent of the NGF.
- Policy Realignment and Strategic Relationships The NGF promotes strategic alignment between National and State policies and seeks to support states in domesticating policies and developing institutions that will enable their development. This work involves engagement and partnerships with a range of development partners, agencies and MDAs on a number of priority policy areas. The NGF plays a focal role in coordinating the engagement of all these partners with the States. By shaping stakeholders’ programmes in a way that aligns with and reflects priorities of the States, stakeholders are supported to develop good working relationships, which is crucial to successful delivery of their programmes.
MDAs such as Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) office, Education Trust Fund (ETF), Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) etc. and Development Partners such as, World Bank, UK Department for International Development (DFID), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Bank, United Nations International Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, George Town Consultancy South Africa, George Town University USA, German International Development Cooperation (GIZ) etc.
- Sensitization Workshops on the UNDP National Human Development Report The UNDP is partnering with the NGF in holding series of workshops across the six geo-political zones; to sensitize the States and other stakeholders on the 2009 National Human Development Report (NHDR) published by the UNDP. The first two of the series were held in Minna, Niger State and Port Harcourt, Rivers State (November, 2010).
- Development of the NGF Strategic Plan With the assistance of DFID, the NGFS developed a 3-year Strategic Plan (2010-2012), to guide the Forum’s activities. The Strategic Plan was launched on February 8th, 2011. To build on the successes and lessons learned during the implementation period, a new Plan was developed to cover the period (2014 – 2016).
- Intervention in the Jos Crisis The Forum intervened in the lingering Jos Crisis by setting up a standing committee to review the immediate and remote causes of the crisis and identify solutions.
- Domestication of Fiscal Responsibility and Public Procurement Acts Following the passage of the Fiscal Responsibility and Public Procurement Acts in 2007, the Forum constituted a committee of Attorneys-General of States to examine the bills as a prelude to passing their state equivalent. As a result of the interest of development partners and other stakeholders in the implementation of this bill, a multilateral MoU was signed between the NGF Secretariat and Africa Development Bank (AFDB), Agency for Development (AFD), EU, Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Japanese International Corporation (JICA), UK Department for International Development (DFID), United State Agency for International Development (USAID) World Bank in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Finance and the Debt Management Office (DMO) to facilitate cooperation with the States in the implementation of the bill.
- Electoral Reforms In response to the burning issues surrounding electoral reforms, NGF constituted a sub-committee to look into these issues and also liaise with the National Assembly to resolve any controversies in the reform. In a bid to entrench a culture of free, fair and transparent elections in the country, members of the Forum also pledged to a free, fair and credible election in the 2011 General Elections.
- Induction Programme for Newly Elected and Re-elected Governors In an effort to strengthen the governorship institution, the NGFS in conjunction with the NGA put together an induction programme / symposium for newly elected, re-elected and returning governors in May 2011 in Abuja. Resource persons within and outside the country participated in this event that was designed to prepare governors for better governance.
- Working Tour to Germany The NGF in collaboration with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) organized working tour of six Governors to Germany in August 2012 to understudy the economic development, policies and best practices in the German federation for the purpose of replicating such commendable practices in the various States.
- Governors’ Retreats Cognisant of the challenges of governance that confronted the States in the first decade of the new democratic process, the Forum felt the need for a retreat of all the governors – a concerted arrangement that would herald a new era in the quest for good governance in the States and by extension Nigeria. Deliberations and resolutions from these retreats have been useful in shaping of policies at the sub-national level.
The first Retreat was held in 2007. Subsequently, three (3) other retreats have been held in Sokoto, Lagos and Rivers States respectively. A major difference between the first retreat and the succeeding one was that rather than have the governors come to Abuja, these retreats were taken to the States, the direct beneficiaries of the retreats.
- The NGF Governance Share Fairs The Governance Knowledge share fair is designed to among other things help states benefit from each other’s experience and stimulate interest in future collaboration and the development of new programmes. The Governance Share Fair is intended to provide opportunities for State Governments of Nigeria to broadcast their achievements, exhibit their products, facilitate face to face networking and promote State-to-State exchange on common agendas, help people benefit from each other's experiences and stimulate interest in future collaboration. The first Fair was held for the South East States in Enugu on 24th & 25th of May, 2012 and the second fair was held in Lagos in May 17th and 18th May, 2013.
- Publication of the Inaugural Speeches Compendium In furtherance of the mission of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, which is, among other things, “to promote good governance, sharing of good practice and enhance co-operation at the state level and with other arms of government and society,” the Nigeria Governors’ Forum Secretariat published a compendium of Inaugural Speeches of Presidents (1999 – 2011) and Governors (2007 – 2013) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in 2014.
This is the first time this kind of book has ever been published in the history of Nigeria. The Inaugural speeches publication is a reference material for both the elected and the electorate, researchers, academics, students of Nigerian etc. For the governors, it is a constant reminder of the promises to their people and a compass to guide them through the perilous journey that governance is.
To the electorate, on the other hand, these “words on marble” uttered by the governors are veritable instrument for them to hold the governors accountable at the end of their stewardship. Copies have been made available to major libraries both nationally, all Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as our partners and stakeholder. Furthermore, the NGF has imbibed the culture of collating these speeches to enhance record keeping.
- Capacity Building Workshops In a bid to Improve Public Financial Management (PFM) transparency, accountability effectiveness and sustainability at the sub-national level in Nigeria, the NGF Secretariat in collaboration with the World Bank and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) State Partnership for Accountability, Responsiveness and Cooperation (SPARC) organized a two-day Interactive Workshop on Public Financial Management from June 10 -11, 2013.
This was aimed at obtaining broadbased feedback on issues and challenges of PFM reform implementation at the sub-national level of government with a view to possibly provide need-based technical assistance to States. It was also to provide a platform for information and knowledge sharing on good PFM practices for peer learning.
- Development of a Content Management Site The Content Management System (CMS) was developed with support from DFID/SPARC. The NGF CMS is a secure website that allows authorized users to store, give access to and communicate important information related to NGF activities. The main goal of the CMS is to equip the NGF with appropriate information management tools and techniques to enable users to be more effective and efficient in addressing organizational goals and needs. The CMS aims to facilitate accurate and timely information dissemination and exchange between the NGF and key stakeholders, and increase awareness of NGF objectives and activities.
- Strategic Relations with the Legislature (National Assembly Liaison) The Forum has a functional federal liaison unit. The responsibility of the unit is to open up channels of communication with the legislative arm of government in order to proactively track bills and motions for amendments to the Laws of the Federation, with specific attention to those with direct bearing on States.
- Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) Conferences In a bid to assist states to boost internally generated revenue (IGR) and reduce the high fiscal dependency on oil revenue, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum has continued to organize dialogues and peer learning events to provide a platform for sharing practical and effective measures that will boost revenue generation in states, and also identify short, medium and long term strategies for improving and sustaining revenue sources.
The 1st National Round-table Strategy Session on Internally Generated Revenue IGR was held, between 16th and 18th of November, 2009, with the objective of building the confidence of taxpayers in the institutions of government (since the States are vital instruments for revenue generation); diversify IGR to non-oil sources of revenue; and adapt global best practices to IGR administration. The 2nd Edition was a 2-day National Peer Learning Event organized with support from DFID-SPARC, FEPAR, SAVI, GEMS3 and the World Bank on the 16th and 17th November 2015 in Abuja.
This event sought practical ways to reduce their dependencies on federal allocations and galvanise efforts to strategically review and reposition financial, technical and human resources to improve internally generated revenues.