•Says peer review good for strong leadership

From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

Yesterday in Abuja, President Muhammadu Buhari urged African Union (AU) members to adopt a culture of peer review and peer-to-peer learning to provide the continent with proactive and powerful leadership. He made the appeal at the launch of the second Country Review Report (CRR) and the National Programme of Action (NPoA) of Nigeria.

He expressed delight that electoral, pension, tax and monetary policy reforms undertaken by his administration received high commendations from African policy experts, who also recommended that “such best practices are worthy of emulation.”

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said the President explained that his commitment to the Second Review of Nigeria was borne out of his “undiluted resolve to entrench democracy, and quality leadership in all aspects of governance, and further ensure that Nigeria does not lag behind other nations.”

He described the document as important to Nigeria as a country built on true federalism and good governance, the President directed ministries, departments and agencies to implement the report.

Buhari noted that the report would strengthen the implementation of African Union Agenda 2063, the strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the continent over the next 50 years.

“It comes with a strong mandate on New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), especially now that the continent is gearing towards the implementation of the Second 10-Year Development Plan to consolidate and seek the acceleration of better society,” he said.

President Buhari pledged that Nigeria would continue to support Africa’s renewal and rebirth in line with the collective commitment to the principles and guidelines of the APRM in order to consolidate Africa’s path to healthy democracy, sustainable growth and development:

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“As a government, we are proud of the steady progress being made in the country as stated by the report and will continue to support the APRM Process and to ensure adequate monitoring and evaluation of the report implementation.”

He directed the relevant agencies to coordinate the proper use of the report, adding that it should be institutionalised at the learning centres for academic work and archived for future references. 

Buhari recognised the pragmatic role of the Panel of Eminent Persons of the African Peer Review Mechanism, led by Dr. Abdoulie Janneh, who doubles as the Nigerian lead panelist and the entire team members who in one way or the other lent their helping hands for the successful conduct.

‘‘I am very much aware of the five pillars of APRM: Democracy and Political Governance, Economic Governance, Socio-Economic Governance, Corporate Governance and Cross-Cutting Issues which are the nucleus of good governance and upon which the Second Review was conducted.

‘‘This process has further strengthened the values and gains of our democracy so far, while reporting on the gaps of which most of this administration’s reforms and policies including the Executive Orders signed into law are poised to address.

“I am aware of the high commendations of Nigerian best practices worthy of emulation such as: Electoral Reform; Pension Reform; Tax Law Reform; Digitalization of Performance Management System; Judiciary

Reform; Institutionalization of corporate governance; Monetary policy Reform and Fight Against Corruption.”

National Coordinator/Chief Executive Officer, AUDA-NEPAD/APRM Nigeria, Princess Gloria Akobundu, said the report would pave the way for experience sharing, reinforcement of successful best practices in promoting good governance and sustainable development at the national, regional and continental level.