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GOOD

GOVERNANCE: A PRE-REQUISITE FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT


BEING A SPEECH IN COMMEMORATION OF THE 54TH ANNUAL HALL WEEK OF ALEXANDER BROWN HALL, UCH IBADAN

BY NASIR AHMAD EL-RUFAI ON

FRIDAY, 28th SEPTEMBER, 2012.

Introduction It is gratifying being part of the event of the 54th annual week of Alexander Brown
Hall of this great institution University College Hospital (UCH) located at OritaMefa in the historic Ibadan, renowned as the largest indigenous city in West Africa. Ibadan is notable for many firsts. It is in the city that the first Television Station in Black Africa debuted in 1959. It is in the same city that we recorded the first ever parliamentary carpet-crossing, which some historians blame for the entry of tribalism in Nigerian politics. It was a critical juncture which changed the political milieu of the South West and Nigeria. Imagine if Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe had been the first premier of the Western Region while Chief Awolowo remained leader of Opposition but not at the centre! The ripple effect of that event, which became the death knell of the Parliamentary System of government in 1978, remains with our nation till today. There is no doubt that your celebration today would bring back memories of many historical developments that have had remarkable impact, not only on Nigeria, but the entire West Africa sub-region. I am happy to be here - the first Teaching Hospital in the country, in an environment that played host to the first University in Nigeria. Going down memory lane, it would be recalled that UCH was established in 19521 to meet the primary aspiration of offering clinical training for Medical Students in the then Medical Faculty of University College, Ibadan. The College, now University of Ibadan, was then a college of the University of London. Interestingly, in 1974, I was misdiagnosed with leukaemia and had been referred to UCH from Zaria a scary proposition at the time. But that story is for another day. Today, the UCH is not just a teaching hospital; it is a big tertiary institution with various service and clinical departments with many appendages involved in community-based outreach activities.2 Whatever the developments recorded in this medical institution, to which Alexander Brown Hall is strategic, reflect the vision of officials saddled with the administration of the entity. This leads us to the focal point of this lecture the link between Good Governance and National Development. Let me give a caveat that good governance is not only a pre- requisite for national development; it is THE catalyst for development at every facet of life, at personal, group and institutional levels both macro and micro. A catalyst needs other additions to produce the right outcomes, so as economists would say good governance is a necessary, but not sufficient pre-requisite for development. I will therefore suggest today that good people in politics provide the vision and effort needed to exploit a nations

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- http://uch-Ibadan.org.ng/about_uch - Ibid

competitive advantages and create the inclusive institutions that would enable growth, development and prosperity.

The Good Governance Paradigm


Governance, generally, connotes making decisions and exercising power over people3 either in towns/villages, states, countries, institutions both national and international. Governance has been in practice from time immemorial, when human beings moved from being itinerant hunter-gatherers to adopting sedentary communal living. Hundreds of years ago, both Thomas Hobbes in Leviathan and Jean-Jacques Rousseau in the Social Contract articulated the basis for governance of people when two or more people have to live together, one must lead whether quite well or not so well. When the adjective Good prefixes the word Governance, we have a phrase that has now become a global phenomenon. Governance consists of the traditions and institutions by which authority in a country is exercised. This includes the process by which governments are selected, monitored and replaced; the capacity of the government to effectively formulate and implement sound policies; and the respect of citizens and the state for the institutions that govern economic and social interactions among them.4 The World Bank Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) project reports aggregate and individual governance indicators for 215 economies over the period 19962011, for six dimensions of governance: Voice and Accountability, Political Stability and Absence of Violence, Government Effectiveness, Regulatory Quality, Rule of Law and Control of Corruption. These aggregate indicators developed by Danny Kaufmann, Aart Kraay and Massimo Mastuzzi combine the views of a large number of business, citizen and expert surveys in industrial as well as developing countries. The WGI indicators are based on 30 individual data sources produced by a variety of survey institutes, think tanks, non-governmental organizations, international organizations, and private sector firms These dimensions are consistent with the characteristics of good governance identified by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP). These comprise the following: Participation by both men and women either through direct or through legitimate intermediate institutions or representatives; Rule of Law fair legal frameworks that are enforced impartially; Transparency decisions taken and their enforcement are done in a manner that follows laid down rules and regulations;


- http://issues.tigweb.org This is the World Banks definition. See http://info.worldbank.org/governance/wgi/index.asp accessed 26th September, 2012.
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Responsiveness serving all stakeholders within a reasonable timeframe; Consensus oriented mediation of the different interests in a society to reach a broad consensus in the overall interest of the whole community; Equity and inclusiveness all members of the society are availed the opportunity of sense of belonging; Effectiveness and Efficiency processes and institutions produce results that meet the needs of the society while making the best use of available resources; and Accountability governmental institutions, private sector and civil society organisations are accountable their institutional stakeholders.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in a 1997 policy document described good governance as a measure that defines the processes and structures that guide political and socio-economic relationships. While adopting all the eight elements accentuated by UNESCAP above, UNDP added a ninth element as part of the features of good governance to include strategic vision which in my view is synonymous with leadership quality. The UNDP suggested that leaders and the public should have a broad and long-term perspective on good governance and human development, together with a sense of what is needed for such development. There should be an understanding of the historical, cultural and social complexities in which that perspective is grounded. Yet, what is popular in the media is to approach good governance from a different prism emphasizing the components of the Western-style democracies predicated on multiparty elections, virile parliament, strong and remarkably independent judiciary. The World Bank has identified three distinct aspects of governance that need to be considered in determining how affairs of nation-states are managed. The first is the form of the political regime; then the process by which authority is exercised in the management of a countrys economic and social resources for development; and finally the capacity of governments to design, formulate and implement policies and discharge functions. The Bank then identified four governance parameters that are enablers of societal progress and national development. They are: (a) Public-sector management: entailing changing the organisational structure of agencies to reflect new objectives, making budgets work better, sharpening civil service objectives and placing public-enterprise managers under performance contracts. Accountability: requiring governments and their employees to be held responsible for their actions by the citizenry. Legal framework for development that is appropriate and essential in creating an environment in which business can thrive with opportunity to assess the risks thereof. Information transparency essential for the smooth functioning of competitive markets that is accessible to the various participants.
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(b) (c)

(d)

Even at that, we might have to consider the added effect of globalisation. It has been argued that considering the present world order wherein international law is taking a center stage in the affairs of nations through the instrumentality of the United Nations and other international agencies, courts and tribunals, it is apparent that, good governance would now include other issues beyond national borders. It is now adopted as a yardstick to assess issues such as:
Universal protection of human rights; non-discriminatory laws, efficient, impartial and rapid judicial process; transparent public agencies; accountability for decisions by public officials, devolution of resources and decision making to local levels from the capital; and meaningful participation by citizens in debating public policies and choices.5

In multi-ethnic communities, such as Nigeria, good governance requires that the government fosters an inclusive strategy to give all groups a sense of belonging. Special interests of the minority and vulnerable groups should be protected by granting them access to make inputs in decision making and the elaboration of the policies affecting them. These can only be achieved if there is transparency built on rule of law, and free, fair and credible elections enabling periodic regime changes. The existence of these not only organically links public leaders and the citizenry but enhances extensive consultations within the political landscape and the nation at large. In summary, good governance must meet certain thresholds comprising the eight major portals6: It must be participatory, consensus oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive and follows the rule of law. It assures that corruption is minimized, the views of minorities are taken into account and that the voices of the most vulnerable in society are heard in decision-making. It is also responsive to the present and future needs of society.


Figure 1: Characteristics of good governance
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Ibid http://www.unescap.org/pdd/prs/ProjectActivities/Ongoing/gg/governance.asp

Participation: Participation by both men and women is a key cornerstone of good governance. Participation could be either direct or through legitimate intermediate institutions or representatives. It is important to point out that representative democracy does not necessarily mean that the concerns of the most vulnerable in society would be taken into consideration in decision making. Participation needs to be informed and organized. This means freedom of association and expression on the one hand and an organized civil society on the other hand. Rule of law: Good governance requires fair legal frameworks that are enforced impartially. It also requires full protection of human rights, particularly those of minorities. Impartial enforcement of laws requires an independent judiciary and an impartial and incorruptible police force. Transparency: Transparency means that decisions taken and their enforcement are done in a manner that follows rules and regulations. It also means that information is freely available and directly accessible to those who will be affected by such decisions and their enforcement. It also means that enough information is provided and that it is provided in easily understandable forms and media. Responsiveness: Good governance requires that institutions and processes try to serve all stakeholders within a reasonable timeframe. Consensus oriented: There are several actors and as many view-points in a given society. Good governance requires mediation of the different interests in society to reach a broad consensus in society on what is in the best interest of the whole community and how this can be achieved. It also requires a broad and long-term perspective on what is needed for sustainable human development and how to achieve the goals of such development. This can only result from an understanding of the historical, cultural and social contexts of a given society or community. Equity and inclusiveness: A societys well-being depends on ensuring that all its members feel that they have a stake in it and do not feel excluded from the mainstream of society. This requires all groups, but particularly the most vulnerable, have opportunities to improve or maintain their well-being. Effectiveness and efficiency: Good governance means that processes and institutions produce results that meet the needs of society while making the best use of resources at their disposal. The concept of efficiency in the context of good governance also covers the sustainable use of natural resources and the protection of the environment. Accountability: Accountability is a key requirement of good governance. Not only governmental institutions but also the private sector and civil society organizations must be
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accountable to the public and to their institutional stakeholders. Who is accountable to who varies depending on whether decisions or actions taken are internal or external to an organization or institution. In general an organization or an institution is accountable to those who will be affected by its decisions or actions. Accountability cannot be enforced without transparency and the rule of law. I believe we have done enough of theoretical and empirical postulations. What do all these mean for national development? How do these relate to our country situation? What is the linkage, if any, between democracy, good governance and development? Why is our country not working, and what can we do to make it work?

How Do Nations Develop and their Citizens Prosper?


In 2003, when we were constituted into the Presidential Economic Team, we grappled with a series of questions that sought to identify how nations develop and the citizens prosper. What is wrong with us as a country? What is wrong with Africa and why are some countries doing so well and others doing poorly? How can we, like thousands of other Nigerians, go to the best universities in the world graduate at the top of our classes and yet our home countries do not work? What 'good' policies, programmes and attitudes differentiate the performing countries from the non-performers? What bad policies, programmes and habits are prevalent in the poorly- performing economies? What can we do as a country to leapfrog to the ranks of middle- income nations within the shortest possible time? After a lot of research, discussion, debate and reflection, we came up with what we identified as six country conditions that successful developing nations had in common: 1. Basic levels of political stability a stable and legitimate government. This stability and legitimacy need not necessarily be achieved through democratic means. Very strong protection of rights across the board; whether they are property rights, human rights, contracts or any other. Consequences were predictable - there is "rule of law" and a fair, affordable and predictable legal system. Investment in human infrastructure - in education, healthcare and near equal opportunities available to all citizens, including affordable social safety nets. Investment in physical infrastructure - particularly electric power, communications and transport infrastructure like railways, roads, sea and airports and the like. Pragmatic reliance on markets allocating resources and pricing of goods and services in competitive sectors, as no sustainable development was found to exist under any conditions without economic freedom and political inclusion.
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2. 3. 4. 5.

6.

These six findings informed the design of the economic reform programme throughout President Obasanjos second term, which came to be known as the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy, or NEEDS. The implementation period between 2003 and 2007 recorded the fastest rates of economic growth in Nigerias history and while we like to say that was the evidence of our ingenuity and hard work, we also got extremely lucky in that oil prices also happened to reach historical highs during this period. The implementation of NEEDS further split out into the categories of economic stabilization, public sector reform, governance/anti-corruption reform measures and then finally investments in physical and human infrastructure all of them compliant with the indicators, parameters and components outlined above. During this period, we tried to change the incentive structure of a society in which a privileged few sit around extracting rents by doing nothing, to a society where hard work, innovation and an orientation toward results would become the norm. We knew that important people - particularly our parasitic political elites would fight us but we made the choice to engage the fight. Little did any of us know the lengths which, and for how long, this fight would continue. We were nevertheless determined to improve the state of Nigeria through sound economic reform policies. I think posterity would be the ultimate judge of our efforts in that regard. More than five years after leaving public service, some reading, researching and reflecting, we are all a little wiser. With the benefit of hindsight, I think we all made two huge mistakes. First, we failed to appreciate that the political leadership never really bought into the economic reforms we championed, but accepted them only out of necessity. Second, by insisting that we were technocrats, we failed to get deeply involved in the political process and therefore got easily marginalized and our policy directions reversed once we left the scene. Clever as we were deemed to be, we failed to realize that politics trumps everything, everyday! Clearly, we now know that alone, economic reforms are not the silver bullets we assumed. With the benefit of hindsight, equal or perhaps more effort should have been invested in political reforms. And the nexus between the political and the economic must be established from day one such that we should have had, not a Presidential Economic Team, but a Political and Economic Reform Team. Perhaps, this would have converted the technocrats into the political mainstream and enabled them to be better prepared obtain the buy-in of the political elite. I have personally concluded that it was this failure that led to schism between political and economic elite in the Obasanjo government, and led our nation to the deteriorating state we have all witnessed beginning from the latter end of 2007!

Democracy, Governance and National Development


Societies make progress when visionary leaders emerge to organize and direct collective actions for peaceful coexistence, with sensible rules, clear incentives and sanctions that
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enable individuals realize their full potentials. When the leadership emerges through a process that provides equal opportunity for all citizens to participate via free, fair and credible elections, accountability is highest, governance performance more likely to be assured and freedoms of citizens guaranteed. Such an inclusive process usually produces growth with development in both the economic and political realms. The Nigerian nation first elected its leaders at both national and regional levels in 1960. Around that period, Malaysia, Singapore Botswana and Indonesia had their first set of elected post-colonial leaders going into offices as well. The Japanese had elected the first LDP government five years earlier in the aftermath of the American Occupation. Forty years later, these five nations in Asia and Africa have enjoyed democratic continuity, protection of freedoms and basic rights, rapid economic development and improvement in the quality of life for their citizens. Nigeria has not, and we all know what went wrong the failure of political leadership. Nearly 30 years ago, Chinua Achebe observed in his book "The Trouble with Nigeria" that the problem of our nation was fully and squarely the failure of leadership. This remains true today in Nigeria and indeed in most of Africa. As observed earlier, leadership is important in any social grouping, but far more central in Africa to the overall success and wealth of nations than anywhere else in the world because we happen to have weak institutions in the continent. Within the last twelve months, two seminal works of political economy have been published which I recommend that everyone of us must read Why Nations Fail by Daren Acemoglu (MIT) and James Robinson (Harvard), and Capitalism Origins and Evolution as a System of Governance by Bruce R. Scott of Harvard Business School. These works clearly established the primacy of politics over economics in the sense that the choices made by the political leadership at every point in a nations lifecycle makes or mars the present, and in most cases even the future of the society in question. And for those of us old enough to know when Nigeria used to work, we not only know this but have lived it. At the root of our failure as a country is the absence of true democracy for most of our history. Rigged elections put in place unaccountable leaders with no organic link with the electorate, legitimized only by corruption in the Judiciary but not in the eyes of the citizens. Unelected leaders in power rule, not govern, and do so with impunity. They know the citizenry neither elected nor supported them. They know they are in power only because they paid massive amounts of money to staff of INEC, the Police and the SSS in the first instance. They then spent further amounts to persuade the judges to uphold the fake election results written by the first set of electoral and security officials. Their single-minded focus in power is therefore to make as much money as possible to pay to write the results of the next election. They do not care to fulfil any election promises, because they know that our votes have never counted. Is it therefore surprising that our national legislators moved their total annual budget from about N18bn in 2007 to N150bn in 2012? Is it surprising that our legislators are the highest
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paid in the world with a senator earning about N1 million every day even though 112 million Nigerians live on less than N300 a day? Is it shocking to us that President Jonathan will gleefully assert that all the respected Nigerians that came out to protest his New Year gift of fuel subsidy removal did so they will enjoy free pure water, bread and some music? And is it not consistent with character that such a leader will respond that he did not give a damn what people thought about declaring his assets publicly something he reluctantly did as Vice-President?

Conclusion: Elections with Integrity as Panacea


Once it is accepted that (1) the quality of a nations political leadership, (2) the choices it makes, and (3) the inclusiveness of the legal, economic and social institutions it develops determine whether a society prospers or stagnates to failure, it is clear what we need to do we need to entrench free, fair and credible elections as the sole determinant of the emergence of public leaders. Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annans Global Commission on Elections, Democracy and Security published a report7 recently titled Deepening Democracy A Strategy for Improving the Integrity of Elections Worldwide which has introduced a new phrase in electoral lexicon Elections with Integrity. I will summarize hereunder the main recommendations of the Global Commission, and reproduce copiously the reports key insights, which I think will be generally helpful to all the arms of the government of Nigeria, INEC and the political parties. I will then conclude with matters specific to Nigeria. The strengths of democracy as the best system of government are political equality, the empowerment of disenfranchised, and the ability to manage societal conflicts peacefully. Elections are the foundations of democracy, but only when conducted with integrity. Essentially according to the Annan Commission, this concept entails that: (1) The bedrock of political equality is honoured, with everyone of age allowed to vote and be voted for (universal suffrage) without discrimination on the basis of gender, ethnic or religious and other differences; (2) Citizens select their leaders and hold them accountable, and able to vote them out at the next election if they fail to live up to expectations. (3) Conduct of the elections by an independent election management body in a professional, impartial and transparent manner from the preparation stage to registration of voters to end of the electoral cycle. Elections with integrity therefore not only advance democratic values and human rights, but yield other tangible benefits for the citizens. Empirical evidence worldwide suggests that

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http://www.global-commission.org/sites/global-commission.org/files/DeepeningDemocracyFinalReport.pdf

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elections with integrity matter for empowering women, fighting corruption, delivering social services to the poor, improving governance and ending civil wars. The Global Commission admitted that elections with integrity alone, without more, cannot develop economies, create good governance, or make peace, but can act as important catalysts towards realizing democracys potential to transform the political economy of nations. Elections with integrity enhance the ability of societies to resolve conflicts without violence. This is because the electoral processes include campaigning, debate, information sharing, interaction among citizens, voting and meaningful participation in governance all these have the potential to change peoples minds and provide governments the legitimacy to take authoritative but fair decisions. The Global Commission has identified five challenges that must be overcome to conduct elections with integrity. Firstly, the nation must build a justice system based on the rule of law to substantiate claims to human rights and electoral justice. In this regard, the unlawful suspension of Justice Ayo Salami to facilitate the cover-up of the electoral fraud of April 2011 is proof that we have a lot of work in this area as a country. Secondly, we must build a professional, competent and impartial election management bodies with full independence of action to administer elections that are transparent and merit public confidence. The issue here is whether our INEC and the various state independent electoral commissions are up to these standards. Once again, it is my view that we have a lot to improve in this area as well. Thirdly, we need to create institutions and norms of multiparty competition and division of power that bolster democracy as a mutual security system among political contenders. Elections with integrity confer legitimacy on those who win fair and square, and political and physical security for those who lose, because each election is simply one round of a periodically-repeated game. Game theory dictates that in such situations, short-term loss can be overcome through long-term learning, organization and mobilization, so both winner and loser have stakes in the long-term survival of the system. As I have written before,8 democracy by its very nature ought not to make people to be frightened of the consequences of not being in power. With term limits, losers are guaranteed another stab in just a few years. And where the rule of law prevails, an electoral loss is not the same thing as exclusion from the political space and vigorous participation in the political process. But such political sophistication prospers only when there's certainty about electoral integrity and where the respect for the rule of law has become part of the DNA.


El-Rufai (2012) Civil Rule: Few Gains, Many Pains delivered at the Nigerian Bar Association, Warri Branch, 4th July 2012.
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Fourthly, we need to remove barriers to universal and equal political participation, whether covert or overt. In Nigeria, women in politics are sometimes perceived to be of easy virtue a covert form of discrimination which suppresses the political participation of half of our population. Some minorities and settler communities were either intimidated or not allowed to vote in the April 2011 elections in many parts of the country. These unlawful and unconstitutional barriers need to be eliminated nationwide. Fifthly, the role of money in politics particularly the uncontrolled, undisclosed and opaque sources of the ruling party, poses a fundamental threat to electoral integrity. In many countries, organized crime syndicates have found that campaign financing can buy political influence and protection. Here in Nigeria, we have seen the clear linkage between the fuel subsidy fraudsters and the financing of the 2011 elections, side by side with the reluctance of the justice system to prosecute them and obtain refunds. We must find ways not only to reduce the prevalence of cash in our economy, which gives a greater role in politics, but must rigorously regulate campaign financing. While the recommendations of Kofi Annans Global Commission are of general application, we have the report of the Justice Uwais Electoral Reform Committee that has been in the drawers of the presidency since December 2008. One of the most important recommendations that need to be implemented is the reversal of the burden of proof in election cases. In the determination of election petitions, the Uwais Committee recommended that constitution needs to be amended to shift the burden of proof in electoral disputes from the petitioners to INEC. It would be recalled that in the last Presidential elections, the burden of proof on the plaintiff gave room for the PDP and INEC to manoeuvre their way out of the CPC suit before the Presidential Election Tribunal. All efforts to gain access to electoral materials and the database as required by Section 77 of the Electoral Act, 2010 were thwarted by INEC thereby violating the law. While the CPC worked tirelessly to acquire proof of rigging and fraud from the INEC database, a cabal connived to unconstitutionally remove the President of the Court of Appeal Justice Ayo Salami. Even after getting away with the electoral heist, Salami still remains on unlawful suspension. Another Uwais Report recommendation sought to separate the executive arm completely from INEC in order to guarantee the latters autonomy. Most importantly, the report insisted that the President should not have powers to single-handedly appoint or remove the INEC Chairman. The process recommended by Uwais for appointment of INEC Chairman starts with the National Judicial Council (NJC) advertising to the public and spelling out the required qualifications. After receiving the applications, three persons are short-listed and the nominations sent to Council of State to select one person to be forwarded to the Senate for confirmation. Removal of the Chairman or commissioners of INEC should be on the
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recommendation of the NJC and approval by two-thirds of the Senate which shall include at least 10 members of minority parties. The logistical problems within INEC need to be solved and there is no better time than now to begin planning. Issues like election materials arriving late from Japan as was the case in the last elections are unacceptable. Attempting to register the expected 80 million-plus voters in three weeks will not happen. Using open source software and untested AFIS engines for "biometric" data capture won't cut it. Open voting booths to enable voters show ballots for payment before voting are unlawful. Virtual polling units to facilitate rigging must be abolished. All preparations need to be made and materials must be delivered to all polling units without delay. The restriction of movement of citizens a day before elections which has enabled security agencies and the ruling party to move freely and plan the rigging is not only unlawful and unconstitutional but also unjust. In summary, the game should be up for those who plan to rig, or facilitate rigging. Some schools of thought believe that electronic voting may be the solution to problems such as ballot box snatching and massive thumb printing by individuals to justify false vote records. In fact, the Uwais Report recommended that the Electoral Act be amended to lift prohibition on the use of electoral machines. As much as this seems like an implausible idea, a voting machine costing about $30 each has worked in India so similar rudimentary electronic systems could be employed to supplant the paper ballot system. At the very least, technologies exist to encrypt results from each polling unit and send them to an electronic collation platform via the 3G networks all over the country. This would eliminate paper- based collation centres and their susceptibility to manipulation. Implementing some of these general and specific recommendations will help improve the integrity of our elections. This would enhance accountability and establish an organic connection between the leaders and the citizens leading to the growth of inclusive political and economic institutions that create prosperity for all in the long term. It is my hope and prayer that the authorities will do what is right so that we can reclaim hope, peace and stability that our nation and its citizens badly need. Thank you for inviting me and God Bless you. God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Nasir Ahmade El-Rufai Email: elrufai@aol.com Twitter: @elrufai Skype: nelrufai Facebook: Nasir El-Rufai
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