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The Government of Taraba State of Nigeria held an Induction Course /Retreat for the newly elected and appointed members of the State’s Executive, Legislature and Judiciary. The programme was designed as a way of repositioning the state through capacity building and devising best strategies to actualize its establishment mandate and the vision of the new Governor His Excellency Dr. Agbu Kefas on the threshold of an era.

The participants at the retreat engaged in vigorous capacity building courses, panel discussions, group activities and insightful deliberations. The Resource Persons and the Organizers were wonderful in their presentations and packaging the training retreat. Their adoption of symbiotic interactive and case study approaches helped in deepening knowledge and in applying what ordinarily would have ended on theoretical note.

However, the platform had provided an opportunity to retrospect on the lessons and challenges of past public administrations and management in the state. The participants did their best in making the workshop a rewarding exercise for the Government and People of Taraba State.

In the course of the Induction Course/Retreat, both the participants and resource persons noted that:

1. The Induction/Retreat was a new chapter in the history of Taraba State geared towards enhancing growth and development as explicitly conceptualized in the 5-Strategic Fingers’ Development Plan of the Executive Governor, Dr. Agbu Kefas. With clear vision, recipients of the training can create a better Taraba State.

2. Taraba State is blessed with natural resources but faced with human development challenges. It is their duty to be accessible to the people, and create space for citizens to reach their full potential.

3. The trust placed in the elected and appointed political officials and public servants is an honour and responsibility to serve the people.

4. The Governor has started his administration on a worthy note and participants are confident of his vision and leadership to steer Taraba State towards monumental growth and development.

5. The capacity development programme was reflective, timely and relevant to the needs and aspirations of the people in view of the prevailing development challenges of the state.

6. Taraba State has had a record of progressive performance in some development indices especially in the year 2020 in economic planning, internally generated revenue and moral integrity.

7. Taraba State has been confronted with a wide range of challenges that have retarded its growth and development going by its available data and statistics, and has not attracted Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the last few years.

8. Science, technology and credible data are requisite to promote good governance, and efficient and effective public service delivery in Taraba State.

9. The past political leaderships of the state have done their best but much work still to be done to effectively harness the human and natural resources the state is blessed with.

10. There have not been any interference in the appointment of judges, Qadis, etc. with the new administration of Dr. Agbu Kefas since he assumed office.

11. Taraba State does not have Treasury Single Account (TSA), and has not captured the biometrics of its public servants, pensioners, and population.

12. Disloyalty is a core challenge the state is battling with at the moment.

Based on the above observations, the participants resolved as follows:

1. The Governor of the State, His Excellency Dr. Agbu Kefas must be commended for initiating the training as contained in his 5- Strategic Fingers’ Development Plan, and for his attendance.

2. Elected and appointed political officials and public servants should always remember the welfare of the people in the decisions they make, meet their needs, and embrace the values of transparency and good governance. They should foster an environment of open communication and cooperation where ideas are shared and encouraged.

3. The Executive Governor of Taraba State, HE. Dr. Agbu Kefas, should build on the foundation laid by the successive administrations and the development trajectories.

4. Elected, and appointed political officials and public servants must demonstrate loyalty in the course of their service to the Government and People of Taraba State.

5. The implementation and outcomes of policies and programmes should be displayed on the relevant institution’s website to enable the citizens, civil society and development organizations to engage with the government and promote the image and quality of governance of Taraba State.

6. Taraba State Government, legislature, judiciary and Public Service should prioritize the needs of the citizens.

7. The three arms of government must operate the principles of separation of power, and show respect for each arm, as no one is inferior to the other.

8. Taraba State should leverage its service delivery across all sectors of development and other areas of governance with the use of research, science and technology.

9. To make Taraba State a place that is considered as ease of doing business to attract investments, donor funding and IGR, it must demonstrate strong political will for reforms, fiscal discipline, transparency, accountability, simplify tax, establish institutional mechanism, respect rule of law, build active websites, promote gender equity and culture of peace, among others.

10. Concerted effort must be made to attract FDI, for instance, by creating the STATE INVESTMENT PROMOTION STRATEGY. Cooperation and partnership essential for growth should be prioritized.

11. Taraba State should leverage its comparative advantage in agricultural, mining sectors, tourism and human capital resources.

12. Taraba State should ensure continuous training and re-training of all staff, and experience sharing among institutions to achieve effective civil service.

13. Leaders must set examples and develop loyalty as well as self-sacrificial mindset in the discharge of their duties and functions.

The participants at the Induction Course/Retreat concluded that Taraba State is at the critical moment in the history of her existence as a corporate entity of Nigeria and thus, critically needs urgent but collaborative multidimensional approaches in overhauling its value system, institutional mechanisms and governance transformation to positively change the narrative. Hence, the emergency position of the state calls for nothing less than the Governor’s 5-Strategic Fingers’ Development Plan for sustainable growth and development. The time is now to take ACTION!

On this note, the participants once again wish to express profound gratitude to the Governor of Taraba State, His Excellency Dr. Agbu Kefas for organizing the Induction Course/Retreat, and acknowledged his presence at both the opening and closing sessions. The participants believed the training has hugely met their expectations through improvement of knowledge and skills, and changed attitudes, which in turn will enhance decision-making processes and public service delivery in Taraba State.

Signed this 26thth day of July 2023 by:

1. The Speaker, State House of Assembly

2. The Acting Chief Judge of the State

3. Secretary to the Government of the State

4. The State Head of Service

5.The Hon Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice

6.The Honorable Commissioner of Information & Reorientation.