President Muhammadu_Buhari,

President Buhari extols African peer review, says it is good for democracy

President Muhammadu Buhari pledged in Abuja on Tuesday that Nigeria would continue to support the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).

This, he said, would promote democracy and good governance.

He was speaking at the inauguration of Nigeria’s Second Review Country Self-Assessment report and flag-off of the validation of the Report at the six geo-political zones and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The president described the review as ‘‘timely and handy’’ and said that the present administration, with its “Change’’ mantra, had overhauled, revitalised and institutionalised its machinery for a successful conduct of the review.

He recalled that Nigeria was first peer reviewed in 2008 and since then had recorded tremendous successes in the implementation of the National Programme of Action as recommended.

He reiterated the commitment of his administration to the implementation of the new National Programme of Action that would come up after the review.

‘‘Agenda 2063 is a strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the African continent over the next 50 years with a strong mandate on the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and APRM.

“This is in an attempt to build on and seek the acceleration of the implementation of past and present continental initiatives for the growth and sustainable development of the African continent.

‘‘This exercise will be a strong reference point in the nation’s history, a source of courage and positive drive for the initiative that is aimed at consolidating the strides of this present administration.

‘‘This administration has been very supportive and will continue to support the APRM process knowing its importance which enhances transparency and good governance, strengthens our democracy, identifies and addresses critical challenges as well as promotes all-inclusiveness,’’ he said.

The president urged all stakeholders to produce more vital strategies and mechanisms that would enable diligent implementation of the new National Programme of Action for accelerated Economic Growth and Sustainable Development in Nigeria and in Africa.

In her remarks, Gloria Akobundu, National Coordinator/Chief Executive Officer of the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD, thanked President Buhari for his transparency and courageous leadership.

She also thanked the president for consenting to the conduct of the Second Peer Review of Nigeria and his consistency in achieving the desired goal.

“African Peer Review Mechanism is a mirror for member states to encourage one another and to build resilience to challenges and foster solutions to underdevelopment and promote good governance on the continent,’’ she said.

She said after the validation of the Country Self-Assessment Report, there are other activities to be effectively accomplished to ensure effectual completion of the process.

She listed the activities to include: the Issue Paper, New National Programme of Action, Presentation of Report and Peer Review of Nigeria at the African Peer Review Forum of Heads of State and Governments.

Others are: the Institutionalisation of the Country Review Report (CRR), Launch of the CRR and Continuous Assessment of the Progress and Presentation of Progress Report to the AU-APRM.