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FG Describes Its Zonal Town Hall Meetings As Feedback Mechanism


By Niyi Adeyi

ENUGU, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Federal Government (FG) has explained that its rotational zonal Town Hall meetings is meant to provide an avenue for both the government and the governed to exchange ideas, thus fostering good governance.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who said this while fielding questions from journalists at the end of the South-East Edition of the meeting in Enugu Monday reiterated: ”It’s not so much about the government explaining its programmes and policies but also about those who are governed expressing their satisfaction or dissatisfaction, adding “What I found today is that there is a lot of misconception and prejudices, which this kind of platform will throw more light on”.

He indicated that each part of the country has its unique and peculiar challenges, thus sustained and robust engagement through the town hall meetings will provide the veritable platform to correct some of the misconceptions and throw more light on government’s policies and programme.

“The major takeaway is that there is no substitute to such meeting because it provides the avenue and vehicle for both the government and the governed to exchange ideas. You can imagine the kind of questions we received today (Monday) either on agriculture or appointment or infrastructural development. Clearly, at the end of the day, I felt better because we were able to explain to our brothers and sisters here that this government will not marginalize any part of the country,” Alhaji Mohammed said.

Also speaking to newsmen after the meeting, the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, said as a follow up to the town hall meetings, cabinet ministers would soon hold a retreat to discuss and articulate ways through which they can enhance service delivery to Nigerians.

“Very soon we will have a cabinet retreat where all ministers will come together and discuss issues and find out what people’s reactions are and how we can help each other to solve the problems as well. It’s a finer way of running a country. Keep in touch with the people and they will tell you what they don’t like or what they are unhappy about and suggest to you how to do it,” Chief Ogbe restated

On his part, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyema, disclosed through the Economic Diplomacy initiated by the present administration, his ministry would create more avenues for Nigerians to access foreign investors and partners in order to enhance the quality of their businesses.

“We want to build a platform to empower ordinary Nigerians to be able to access any market anywhere in the world and that’s why we are working to produce match-making database, where we will be putting in touch Nigerian businesses that want to sell to potential markets and Nigerians who are looking for investors and partners,” he said.

The Enugu town hall meeting was the fifth in a series that started in Lagos on April 25 2016 and has now been held in Kaduna, Kano and Uyo.

In attendance at the Enugu meeting, was the host Minister Alhaji Lai Mohammed, being joined by his counterparts at the Ministries of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige; Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama; Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh; Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Okechukwu Enelamah; Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole; Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr. Ibe Kachukwu and the Minister of State for Environment, Mallam Ibrahim Usman Jibrin.

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