Nigerian governors on devolution tour

Nigeria’s Plateau State Governor Simon Bako (middle) tasting Murang’a County Cremaries product when he visited. [Boniface Gikandi/Standard]
Nigerian governors are in Kenya for an exchange programme with their local counterparts.

Simon Bako, the chairman of the West African nation's council of governors, said they want to learn agriculture and tourism best practice from Kenya.

"Nigeria introduced the federal system many years ago. However, we want to learn the best agricultural practice because we want to diversify from the oil business," Mr Bako said yesterday after touring Murang’a County Creameries.

Bako, the Plateau State governor who was accompanied by his host Mwangi wa Iria, said: "We are keen on transforming the lives of our people. That is why we are in Kenya to learn from counties' achievements since devolution was introduced in 2010."

Dairy farming

"In Murang'a, the county government has done very well as far as dairy farming is concerned. We love the idea of giving dairy cows to families," he continued.

Bako added: "Currently, perennial conflicts between farmers and herders is a big problem in Nigeria. We are looking for ways to bolster peace among communities and end the conflicts as we seek to develop agriculture further. We have many unemployed youths in Nigeria. It is a major concern. Federal states in Nigeria need to explore ways of creating employment, one of which is investing in development of the agricultural sector."

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Mr Iria said the county executive and county assembly would visit Nigeria in January to study its governance structure.

He added that they are preparing a policy paper that will see his government roll out a one-home-one-cow programme in January as they seek to empower residents.

"The plan will target poor households, who will be required to give Sh20 daily until they fully pay for the cows," Iria said.

Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony, who accompanied Bako, said the team would also visit Nakuru, Kericho and Narok.

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Nigerian Governors in KenyaBenchmarking tour