18 January 2021. During the APRM virtual Support Mission to Nigeria, the CEO of NEPAD/APRM Nigeria, Honourable Princess Gloria Akunbundu, welcomed participants and expressed her deep appreciation to H.E. Muhammadu Buhari for this historic occasion marking the official signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the APRM and the Government of Nigeria, paving the way for a second review of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. She extended her gratitude to Excellency Barrister Boss MUSTAPHA, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and APRM Focal Point for Nigeria, Professor Ibrahim GAMBARI, Chief of Staff of the President, Senator Abba ALI, Chairperson of the Nigerian National Governing Council (NGC), Ambassador Mona Omar ATTIA, Lead Panel Member for Nigeria and Professor Eddy MALOKA, for their outstanding leadership and dedication to the country review of Nigeria.
In his opening remarks, Senator Abba Ali recalled that the APRM process is participatory and inclusive bringing together many state and non-state actors to facilitate information exchange, experience sharing and national dialogue on governance and socio-economic development issues. As a perquisite for undertaking its second review, Nigeria established national structures and recruited technical research institutes. The signing of the MoU is the culmination of sustained efforts of all national structures and civil society organisations.
For his part, the CEO of the APRM Continental Secretariat, Professor Eddy Maloka, expressed gratitude to H.E. Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Republic, the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as well as the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, for their trust in the Mechanism and for investing in a governance-led continent, promoted by the APRM, an African initiative for fostering good governance.
According to Professor Maloka, as a founding member of the APRM, Nigeria can pride itself as one of the most supportive Member States of the APRM, even at a time when the Mechanism was at crossroads. The completion of the Country Self-Assessment amid these challenging times of Covid-19 is further indication of the country’s continued and strong commitment to undergo a second review.
The CEO concluded by stating that Nigeria was set to become the first country to be reviewed this year and the fourth APRM Member State to undergo a second-generation review. In this regard, he reiterated the availability of the APRM Continental Secretariat to make the Second-generation review of Nigeria a success upon receipt of the CSAR.
Ambassador Mona Omar ATTIA, the Lead Panel member for Nigeria conveyed the APR Panel of Eminent Persons’ gratitude and congratulations to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, on the landmark step of undergoing a second country review exercise. Underscoring Nigeria’s commitment to the process, the Lead Panel member recalled that it was in Abuja, Nigeria in 2003, that African Heads of State and Government took the bold and unprecedented decision to voluntarily subject themselves to a self-assessment process in order to peer-review progress achieved by their respective countries and comply with mutually agreed standards and codes of governance. Ambassador Mona commended H.E. Muhammadu Buhari for keeping up the momentum.
Ambassador Mona Attia expressed satisfaction that Nigeria was swelling the ranks of a growing number of member States such as Kenya, Uganda and Mozambique that have undergone an APRM second generation review. She further lauded the courage and determination of the Government of Nigeria in carrying out remarkable changes in the country through the implementation of the APRM national Programme of Action. The Lead Panel member finally thanked, the CEO of NEPAD/APRM Nigeria, Honourable Princess Gloria Akobundu, the Chairperson of the National Governing Council (NGC), Senator Abba Ali, and their respective teams for outstanding achievement in completing the Country Self-Assessment Report.
Prior to signing the MoU, H.E. Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, expressed appreciation for the holding of the virtual meeting dedicated to signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Nigeria and the Committee of Heads of State and Government participating in the African Peer Review Mechanism. He recalled that the Government of Nigeria has consistently supported the strengthening of democracy and good governance throughout the African continent, especially under the umbrella of the APRM. He reaffirmed Nigeria’s full commitment to promoting good governance practices. To this end, Nigeria will continue to support Africa’s renewal and rebirth as evidenced by the collective commitment of all national stakeholders to this review in order to enhance democracy and sustainable growth. The President emphasized that Nigeria was first reviewed in 2008 and has made some significant achievements in implementing the National Programme of Action, especially in the areas of security, economy, institution and anticorruption which are the main thrusts of national change agenda. Accordingly, his consent in signing the MoU further attests to Nigeria’s commitment in promoting good governance and sustainable growth.