President Muhammadu Buhari has called on member states of African Union (AU) to imbibe the culture of peer review and peer to peer learning for proactive and strong leadership in the continent.
The President made the call on Tuesday at the State House, Abuja, at the launch of the Second Country Review Report (CRR) and the National Programme of Action (NPoA) of Nigeria.
He 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.
According to him: ‘‘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 Ten Year Development Plan to consolidate and seek the acceleration of better society”.
The President 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.
‘‘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, therefore, directed the relevant Agencies to coordinate the proper use of the Report, adding that it should be institutionalized at the Learning Centres for academic work and archived for future references.
President Buhari expressed delight that electoral, pension, tax and monetary policy reforms undertaken by his administration have received high commendations from African policy experts, who have also recommended that such best practices are worthy of emulation.
He 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.’’
Describing 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.
The President 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.
He said: ‘‘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.’’
Earlier in her speech, National Coordinator/Chief Executive Officer, AUDA-NEPAD/APRM Nigeria, Princess Gloria Akobundu, said the launch of 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.
Deji Elumoye in Abuja