I want to use this opportunity to thank the Professor Akpan Hogan Ekpo Centre for Public Policy (AHECPP) for extending an invitation for me as the Special Guest of Honour at the launching of this centre. Let me commend Professor Akapn Ekpo, one of our hugely accomplished academics for establishing this centre.
Public policy is an important element in the art of governance. It represents the intellectual layer of the government and those who are invested in formulating policies for government must be knowledgeable and have a deeper understanding about the workings and the mechanics of governance.
A good policy can lift up a people and have them soar on a wing of progress and prosperity; a bad policy can create a huge disconnect between the leaders and the governed which would lead to alienation and apathy , and the people having a dim view about government’s ability to meet their expectations . A good public policy should, in my opinion, be based on the cost and benefit layer of analysis. The benefit should, at all times trump the cost.
The need to have a lean and enlightened set of professionals who would advise government and help come up with good policies informed my establishing the Technical Committees on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Agriculture and Food Sufficiency respectively, few weeks after my inauguration. So far, these committees have acted like tink-tanks and have come up with great policies on how to use our comparative advantage especially in agriculture to drive our agenda of rapid industrialization of the state and the lifting of up of our people from the depth of despondency and poverty to wealth creation and self-actualization. This centre I am optimistic, will come in handy in our efforts to bring our policy makers up to speed with contemporary realities in public policy formulation.
All over mature or developed democracies, thinks abound, and the primary role of these think-tanks is to advise government on how to serve the people better through the implementation of sound policies. Even though our democracy is not yet anchored on a strong ideological bent as we have in the United States- conservatism and unbridled capitalism with staring accent on the individual which the Republican Party represents and liberalism with a strong role of government in the affairs of the people which the Democratic Party embodies, we can combine these two ideological strands and create opportunities for our people to rise up and claim the faith of their greatness,
I want to thank you again for the invitation and congratulations on the launching of this centre. God bless you all.
Being text of speech delivered by His Excellency, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, the Akwa Ibom State Governor, on the occasion of the launching of the Professor Akpan Hogan Ekpo Centre for Public Policy (AHECPP), Tetfund Lecture Theatre, Universituy of Uyo, on June 24, 2016.