Senator Ken Nnamani, Chairman of the National Steering Committee (NSC) on the Second Peer Review of Nigeria, says the country has made progress in various ways despite the Boko Haram insurgency.Senator-Ken-Nnamani

He said this on Friday in Abuja while addressing stakeholders at the validation workshop of the Draft Country Self-Assessment Report for Nigeria’s second African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).

Nnamani said that the mechanism offered the opportunity for Nigeria to assess its progress and governance.

“It is important to note that the National Steering Committee worked very hard and discovered in the process that the nation has actually progressed notwithstanding the attendant challenges of Boko Haram and similar insurgents.

“This concept of peer review mechanism is peculiar to our continent where countries are willingly subjected to peers to come and assess how the country is performing.

“All this is aimed at stabilising governance and stimulating good governance.”

He said Nigeria was one of the countries that had opened itself up to be assessed through the review in order to boos its democracy.

NAN reports that the NSC was inaugurated on May 14, 2013 to perform oversight functions on behalf of the national focal point on APRM.

This is with a view to submitting a credible and reliable periodic report on Nigeria, liaise with NEPAD and consultants on the implementation of national plan of action since 2008.

It is to also identify and suggest ways of addressing deficits in the areas of focus in the review process, among others.

In his keynote address, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim, whose office is the national focal point for APRM, said development was about the people and not just objects.

Anyim, who was represented by Mr Ferdinand Agu, said that the APRM was about sharing of ideas on the management of political governance.

“We need a mutual and reciprocal accountability of all stakeholders in order to achieve the objectives and aspirations of the Nigerian people.

“Development is about people and not just about things.

“Governance is about good service delivery with the view to improving the quality of lives of the people.

“In other words, both development and governance call for the firm commitments to ownership, shared values and effective leadership in order to guarantee better life for all citizens.

“Therefore, the main purpose of APRM is to foster the adoption of policies, standards and commendable practices that will create political stability.

“High economic growth and sustainable development through sharing of experiences.”

According to him, the mechanism encourages the re-enforcement of successful practices towards ensuring that African people are rescued from the clutches of poverty and in some cases the rainstorms of racism.

Amb. Fidelia Njeze, Special Adviser to the President Goodluck Jonathan on New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), said Nigeria’s self-assessment brought to limelight the critical and emerging overriding issues of governance.

“In the long run, we would all congratulate ourselves for subjecting our dear country to an international searchlight after a robust self-assessment and a subsequent peer review that will draw out Nigeria’s strength, best practices and governance challenges.

“Our successful validation of this report today will go a long way in placing Nigeria in the history of being the first APRM member country to voluntarily undergo a second country review.”

In his remarks, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmoud Mohammed, said good governance implied transparency, equity, justice, promotion and respect for human rights.

The CJN, who was represented by Justice Chima Nweze, said that the role of the judiciary in development process was to enact anti-corruption laws and apportion power among the three state institutions, among others.

“The mechanism has been characterised as the most ambitious piece of innovation to come out of Africa since colonisation.

“It aims to promote democracy, good governance alongside economic and corporate governance.”

He assured that the Nigerian judiciary will always remain steadfast as the last bastion of succour to all and sundry.

NAN reports that the Nigeria’s first country review was carried out in 2008.

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