Abuja, NIGERIA, 8 October 2021 – In collaboration with the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) undertook a mission to Abuja, Nigeria, from 3 to 9 October 2021. The purpose of the mission was to undertake a series of consultations with key stakeholders in Abuja and debrief the Nigerian Authorities about the preliminary findings of the Mission, as a close up for the second Country Review Mission to Nigeria. The APRM delegation was composed of H.E Dr. Aboulie Janneh, Lead APR Member for Nigeria, Mr. Ferdinand Katendeko, Country Coordinator for Nigeria, assisted by Dr. Valery Yao, Dr. Misheck Mutize and Mr. Sampson Osei. Senator Abba Ali, Chairperson of National Governing Council (NGC) together with his deputy, Dr. Louis Solomon Mandama (Mni), Hon. Princess Gloria Akobundu, CEO and National Coordinator APRM/NEPAD participated in the consultative meetings in Abuja. On the last day of the meetings, Dr. Abdoulie Janneh and his Team paid a Courtesy Call on H.E. Barr. Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and APRM National Focal Point, to debrief him of the preliminary findings of the Country Review Mission.In her opening remarks, Hon. Princess Gloria Akobundu thanked H.E. President Muhammadu Buhari and Barr. Boss Mustapha, for the outstanding support that her Team received throughout the process which led to the success of the mission. She further reported that key milestones were achieved, and these will culminate in the production of the Country Review Report, whose preliminary findings were to be presented by the Panel Member to the SGF. She extended her appreciation to Dr. Abdoulie Janneh and Prof. Eddy Maloka for exemplary leadership for the Mission and Secretariat, respectively.
On behalf of Senator Abba Ali, Dr. Louis Mandama informed that the entire review process was driven by the NGC who benefitted from the leadership, responsiveness, and support of the SGF. The NGC committed to undertaking the necessary activities upon the peer-review of the Report at the forthcoming APR Forum.
The Lead Panel Member Dr. Abdoulie Janneh expressed his gratitude to the authorities for the opportunity accorded to undertake a Country Review Mission in Nigeria. He further expressed his profound gratitude to the SGF for his continuous support and cooperation with the APRM under the leadership of H.E. President Muhammadu Buhari. He further extended his appreciation to the Chairperson of the NGC, Senator Abba Ali, and his fellow NGC members, as well as Hon. Princess Gloria Akobundu, CEO/ National Coordinator of the APRM Secretariat, who provided the APRM with the conducive environment for the review despite the Covid-19 challenges.
According to the lead Panel member, the findings are the true reflection of nationwide consultations held by the Country review Team both in Abuja and in the 6 Geo-political Zones of Nigeria, namely North Central (Nasarawa), North-East, (Gombe), North-West (Kaduna), South-South (Akwa Ibom) Southwest (Lagos), Southeast (Imo), and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
He congratulated Nigeria for the best practices identified by the Country Review Team, but also encouraged the country to address challenges such as insecurity, unemployment, early child marriages, non-payment of pension funds and incapacity in some vital government agencies etc.
Dr. Abdoulie expressed confidence that the 2nd Country Review Report will bring more positive changes as well as collective action to address the current challenges faced by the country.
In his response, H.E. Barr. Boss Mustapha apologised that the President was unable to receive the Mission due to an urgent and equally competing meeting. He however congratulated the APRM for their commitment and resilience amid the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic to undertake this Review Mission. Having welcomed the findings, Barr. Boss Mustapha assured the Panel member of Nigeria’s commitment to immediate implementation of the NPoA. The SGF also promised to capacitate the national structures to ensure a continuous internal peer review process in Nigeria, and reiterated that the identified challenges, indeed, formed the government’s nine (9) priority areas, which need attention.