By Lawrence Olaoye
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed the willingness of the Federal Government to partner with relevant stakeholders towards achieving a transparent national second peer review process of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).
In a statement made available to newsmen yesterday by his spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, Buhari gave the assurance while receiving a team from AU-APRM led by Senator Abba Ali, the Chairman, National Governing Council (NGC), APRM Nigeria, President Buhari pledged that Nigeria, through the APRM Nigeria Secretariat will organize a participatory and transparent national process for self- assessment and country review.
The President said the Federal Government will partner with states, local governments and the private sector in the process aimed at entrenching good governance, democracy and inclusive development among participating African countries.
‘’Nigeria will also provide all the necessary and required support to the Country Secretariat of the APRM in accordance with the recommendation of the Forum of Heads of State and Governments of the AU,’’ he said.
He welcomed the remarks of the leader of the delegation acknowledging Nigeria’s significant progress in the ideals and shared values of good governance and accountability which are at the heart of APRM.
‘’Since its inception, this government has further pursued with vigour programmes that promote democratic values, participatory governance and probity in public life.
‘’We introduced policies, programmes and projects that focus on creating an inclusive and diversified economy, eliminating corruption and restoring peace to conflict areas.
‘’Since our decision to establish the African Union Development Agency (AUDA) here in Nigeria, government has been implementing programmes and policies that focus on the domestication of the AUDA reforms.
‘’We constituted a Repositioning Committee on AUDA whose terms of reference are to restructure and reposition NEPAD, taking into account our local laws and regulations, to AUDA,’’ he said.
The President added that pertinent to the current mission to Nigeria and in accordance with the guidelines of the Peer Review, a 15-member Nigerian National Governing Council (NGC) of the APRM has been constituted and inaugurated.
In his remarks, Senator Ali said the second review process has commenced in Nigeria and will be concluded in August.
‘’The second Review has become a necessity due to the fact that our last Review was conducted in 2008. The goal is to promote, strengthen and increase the effectiveness of governance Standards and socio-economic development in the country,’’ he said.
According to the NGC Chairman, the APRM has four thematic Areas, namely democracy and political governance, economic governance and management, corporate governance and socio-economic development.
In her remarks, the lead panel member in-charge of Nigeria, Amb Omar Mona of Egypt, said since the first review in 2008, Nigeria has submitted two progress reports on the implementation of the National Action Plan, paving the way for the preparation of the second cycle of review.
The lead panel member also commended Nigeria for the legislative amendment to the Constitution to clarify the provisions for orderly succession and dealing with temporary absence of elected executives, among others.