Former President of Botswana, Mr. Festus Mogae, has charged the Federal Government that for democracy to work, the natural resources at the state disposal has to be managed in transparent and accountable manner.
Mogae made the call at the just concluded Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, (ICAN) annual conference in Abuja.
Speaking at the conference with the theme: “Governance and Sustainable Development,” Mogae said people should benefit from the resources available in the state because they belong to them.
He noted that for democracy to gain roots in Africa, leaders should commit to handing over power after the expiration of their term of office.
Commending the accountants’ body on the choice of the theme, which centers on governance, he said good governance is about adherence to a legitimate constitution, upholding the rule of law as well as broad based participation of the people in the way they are governed.
He also added that good governance is about establishing clear rules and procedures that facilitates speedy and timely decision making, adding that checks and balances are also needed to ensure that the various arms of government operate within limits of authority as well as being accountable to the people.
According to him, the management of natural resources is of particular interest to him because all over the world, Africa is endowed with natural resources, such as oil and gas, which Nigeria is blessed with, but because of poor governance, the wealth accruing from these resources does not benefit millions of the people.
On corruption, he said it is not only costly but, cripples development, among other things undermines the rule of law as well as the foundation on which economic growth and developments rely.
He, therefore, charged African leaders in general that strong, efficient and transparent government is fundamental to economic growth and sustainable development.
He concluded: “Good governance is the single most important factor in eradicating poverty and promoting development.”