When Dr. Bukola Saraki assumed leadership of the NGF, he recognized the need for an induction programme for Governors as is the case in most developed countries. The idea was to acquaint Governors with the prospects and challenges of governance so as to make them better prepared for the work ahead. The Induction Programme for new and re-elected governors is expected to be held at the beginning of every political dispensation.
The first ever induction for newly elected and re-elected Governors took place from 18th to 20th May, 2011, at the Presidential Banquet Hall, Aso Villa, Abuja. The theme of the event was “The Art of Governance and Experience-Sharing” and it was attended by 233 participants, comprising newly elected, re-elected and returning Governors, some past State Governors of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and development partners, as well as national and international resource persons.
The event which was declared open by His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, featured presentations from Dr. Bukola Saraki, Chairman of the Forum, Goodwill Messages from DFID, the World Bank and the United Nations as well as inspirational messages from three elder Statesmen, Ambassador (Dr.) Maitama Sule, Rev (Dr.) Matthew Kukah and Chief Emeka Anyaoku. It was also attended by a delegation of former Governors and Chiefs of Staff from the US such as Bill Richardson Governor of New Mexico (2003-2010), Douglas Wilder Governor of Virginia (1990-1994), Brian Condit, Chief of Staff to Governor Bill Richardson, Cynthia Eisenhauer Chief of Staff to Governor Tom Vilsack and William H. Leighty, Chief of Staff to Governors Tim Kaine and Mark Warner.
After the official opening, there were presentations from representatives of the National Governors Association and various other experts in governance and related issues. They also engaged in experience sharing with former Governors on issues that would lead to better governance, accountability and ultimately greater dividends for all Nigerians.
The key focus of all the presentations was on how new and returning Governors could establish policies, set priorities and manage programmes using the best practices shared by their counterparts. The leaders of various Nigerian institutions, such as the EFCC, the Millennium Development Goals Office, the Security and Exchange Commission, the Code of Conduct Bureau and the Federal Inland Revenue Service also made presentations on the economy and key governance issues. It was a hugely successful event with positive feedback especially from participants and governors.