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Building For Tomorrow: A Strategic Review of Governor Mutfwang’s First 100 Days in Plateau State

The Oasis Reporters

September 7, 2023


Caleb Manasseh Mutfwang, Plateau State governor.

The first 100 days in office have often been heralded in Nigeria as a critical period for showcasing the projects and initiatives undertaken by a new administration. For many Nigerians, the expectation is to witness tangible outcomes, such as the construction of roads and buildings, and in recent times, palliatives like foodstuffs and relief materials, particularly given the prevailing economic challenges.

Any administration falling short of delivering these “tangible” results is often deemed as lacking in strength.

This narrative ignores the fact that a Government is a service organization and some of its deliverables are intangible and may have long-term benefits.

A policy enactment for example no matter how laudable takes time to take effect.

In this article, we delve into the origin of the 100 days in office concept and evaluate the performance of Governor Mutfwang during his initial 100 days as the Executive Governor of Plateau State.

To grasp the perspective of the 100 days in office phenomenon, it is crucial to understand its historical roots. During the 1930s, the United States grappled with a severe economic downturn known as the Great Depression, which had far-reaching global repercussions.

This crisis was characterized by extensive unemployment, financial turmoil, and a significant decline in industrial output. It was a period marked by widespread suffering and adversity that endured throughout the entire 1930s, influencing economic policies and societal dynamics for years to come.

It was against this backdrop that Franklin D. Roosevelt assumed the presidency on March 4, 1933, in the midst of the global financial crisis, which then was considered an emergency of monumental proportions.

Roosevelt embarked on an array of legislative reforms intended to address the immediate economic crisis, offer assistance to those in need, and establish the groundwork for long-term economic recovery and stability.

Remarkably, he accomplished this within his first 100 days, setting the standard for measuring achievements during this period.

From this historical context, it becomes evident that the 100 days were initially tied to Roosevelt’s efforts to stabilize dire economic circumstances. The “Hundred Days” was chosen somewhat arbitrarily and lacks a scientific methodology for its selection. Equally notable from Roosevelt’s first 100 days is the focus on addressing an emergency through legislative and policy reforms, rather than the construction of physical infrastructure.

These reforms laid the groundwork for the world to recover from the recession. It is crucial to emphasize that the world did not exit the recession within Roosevelt’s first 100 days, but his actions set the stage for recovery.

From a strategic standpoint, the initial 100 days are ideally dedicated to creating a strategic direction for a new administration. This period involves developing and sharing this strategy with government actors and announcing the areas of governance concentration for the coming months or years. Additionally, this symbolic period should lay the foundation for addressing any emergencies negatively impacting the populace.

Given this understanding of the origin and significance of the 100 days, it is my opinion that any capital projects conceived and completed within the first hundred days in office, unless aimed at addressing an emergency, may lack strategic depth. Strategy necessitates a deep understanding of the problem, thorough consideration of available courses of action, and the selection of the most appropriate solution. Without this approach, actions taken may appear spontaneous.

Governor Mutfwang, like many other Governors, assumed office in Plateau State on May 29th 2023. The public has been eagerly anticipating tangible projects completed during this period, but such expectations may not capture the strategic dimensions of the Governor’s actions. A strategic assessment of the Governor’s actions reveals significant visibility.

First and foremost, the Governor faced an immediate emergency upon assuming office – the security situation in Plateau State. Unfortunately, this insecurity was in his very constituency. Beyond his assertive statements on state security, the Governor pursued strategic actions around security, including:

1. A meeting with the President, the Chief Security Officer of the Country, to seek support in resolving the security crisis. This led to the extensive deployment of military personnel on the ground and in the air to alleviate the security situation.

2. The establishment of a Security and Information Center (SIC), offering residents a free-of-charge call platform to report concerns that extended beyond security issues, creating a centralized clearinghouse.

3. A commitment to revitalizing the State’s security response outfit, codenamed Operation Rainbow, ensuring swift responses to distress calls.

Another visible strategic action taken by the Governor was the appointment of a team of professionals, including professors and PhDs, to develop a strategic document for the State.

This document aimed to streamline the State’s operations over the next four years and focused on key themes such as Citizens’ Participation in Governance, Peace and Security, Agriculture, Public Health, and Resource Mobilization.

To ensure buy-in from his appointees, who are pivotal to his administration, a five-day seminar was held at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), where the strategic document was discussed, with directives to cascade it across all government departments and agencies.

Furthermore, this vision and strategy were shared with the Ministry of Budget and Planning during another five-day retreat. This move is particularly significant as the Ministry serves as the custodian of the State’s developmental strategy. Aligning the budget with funding from various revenue streams, thereby linking strategy, budget, and funding, is a fundamental aspect of strategic management.

One notable move by the Governor was his three-day hosting of the World Bank in Jos, Plateau State, to deliberate on development opportunities and potential funding sources. This commendable initiative demonstrates a forward-looking approach. While the outcomes of such engagements may not yield immediate results, they hold significant strategic value for the region’s long-term development.

A look at the line-up of a few actions taken above shows a strong leadership acumen with a logical array of steps that will certainly lead to long lasting outcomes. A summary of the action can be said to have began with development of a strategy, communicating the strategy and also developing partnerships with development organizations to explore areas to fund the strategy over the period.

It’s essential to underscore that the government’s role should be that of a facilitator for businesses rather than functioning as a business entity in its own right. Regrettably, many Nigerians seem to be primarily fixated on the construction of physical infrastructure, often neglecting the fact that the government is a service provider.

There appears to be a prevailing inclination to transform the government into something akin to a construction company, regardless of whether such activities align strategically or not. This situation raises legitimate concerns about the qualifications of those analyzing the first 100 days of government administrations, as they may inadvertently misguide the public.

In conclusion, I would like to commend Governor Mutfwang for these strategic initiatives, which are poised to have a lasting impact on the State’s development. It is important to recognize that strategic governance extends beyond physical projects and encompasses comprehensive planning and effective response to crises. Governor Mutfwang’s actions during his first 100 days demonstrate a commitment to addressing the critical issues facing Plateau State strategically.

Datong, Dominic Gwaman
Conflict, Security and Development Expert


Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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