President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday restated the commitment of the Nigerian Government to the enthronement of democracy and good governance on the African continent.
He gave the assurance while speaking at the Virtual Support Mission and Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Committee of Heads of State and Government participating in the African Peer Review Mechanism (APR Forum) and the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the on-going Second Peer Review Process.
While nothing that the Nigerian Government has consistently supported the strengthening of democracy, and good governance throughout the African continent, including under the umbrella of the African Peer Review Mechanism, President Buhari said, Nigeria remain fully committed to promoting the good governance practice enshrined in the ideals and vision of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development which gave birth to this review mechanism.
Lauding the progress made so far in the Africa Peer Review Mechanism, which he described as a self-monitoring tool to address governance deficit in Africa, Buhari said Africa conforms to its shared values in the areas of democracy and political governance, economic governance, corporate governance and socio-economic development.
Since Nigeria had the first Peer Review in 2008, Buhari noted that it has since then covered appreciable ground in implementing the National Programme of Action.
“Our administration has continued to vigorously pursue Security, Economic Diversification and Anti-Corruption as the main thrust of national change agenda. The totality of this strategy is premised on the promotion of democracy, respect for the Rule of Law and Human Rights, gender equality and by far the largest investment in social change in Nigeria’s post-independence history," he added.
He also stated that his Government is ready to submit to the review exercise. This, he said, is a firm demonstration of the belief in the dividends of democracy through the unique peer review system.
"We have learned valuable lessons and gained a wealth of experience in our journey to entrenching democracy and good governance in all manifestations since the restoration to democracy in 1999. We must stay the course and continue on this pathway to a peaceful, secure and more democratic Nigeria."
The Chairperson of the APRM National Governing Council, Senator Abba Ali listed the benefits of the second review to include the invigoration and institutionalization of the APRM process in Nigeria and entrenchment of good governance, as well as the appraisal of the extent of implementation of the National Programme of Action in the first review and its continued relevance to consolidate the gains of democracy.
The Chief Executive Officer, African Union Development Agency (AUDA) - NEPAD/APRM Nigeria, Princess Gloria Akobundu, in her welcome remark noted that since the adoption of NEPAD in 2001, and the establishment of the APRM in 2003 by African Heads of State and Government, the current review under Buhari is the second for Nigeria.