The National Coordinator, African Union Development Agency/New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA/NEPAD), Princess Gloria Akobundu, has urged politicians to strengthen good governance at the grassroots to achieve objectives of democracy and national development.
She made the call on Thursday in Abuja, when members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) political group, ‘National Integrity Movement (ANIM)’ visited her in the office.
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She said that prioritising governance at the grassroots would go a long way to curb numerous challenges ranging from insecurity, unemployment and under-development, among others.
According to her, the AUDA/NEPAD focuses on localizing governance by taking it to the grassroots.
“Like we are going for election, some of us don’t vote in the cities, you go back to your local government, that is where you are coming from. So, if you take the three tiers of government and put it to four or five tiers of governance.
“You will see that you have addressed numerous challenges in area of insecurity, development, employment and that is one of the challenges our nation is facing, even in Africa, our continent,” Akobundu said.
She also said that the country and some of those at the helm of affairs were not getting it right in some cases because decisions affecting the citizens were taken at the city.
Akobundu, who at the event was conferred as a National Patron of ANIM, said, “Governance begins from the grassroots level, which includes the home and family. Then you extend it to community meetings, to wards, local governments, those are tiers of governance, once it starts coming from there, then rest assured that the top will grow.”
The AUDA/NEPAD boss said her office was striving to positively impact the grassroots by adopting the grassroots-governance-approach to achieve its key mandates.
She said that this is to alleviate poverty, having established the desk officers across the 774 local governments of the federation.
“Since the assumption of office as the National Coordinator/Chief Executive Officer of AUDA-NEPAD/APRM I have left no stone unturned in ensuring that the Mandate of the Agency is effectively actualized through the introduction of innovative framework of 4Rs (Restructure, Reposition, Realign and Relaunch) to re- integrate and metamorphose the Agency into standardization.
“Having realized the objectives of the ‘4Rs’ we have consolidated it with the ‘3Ps’ tool – Productivity, Partnership and Prosperity to further boost efficiency and effective service delivery through Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) engagements for the actualization of Social Development Goal (SDG) 2030 and Agenda 2063.
“AUDA-NEPAD Nigeria in its developmental stride had impacted greatly on the Nation through numerous activities and programmes,” she added.
On capacity building, Princess Akobundu said that in line with goal 17 of AU Agenda 2063 which seeks to engage and empower Africans with the aspiration to build an Africa developed and driven by its citizens, AUDA-NEPAD Nigeria embarked on several Entrepreneurial initiative through her Human Capacity Building and Skills Acquisition projects.
She said that the projects were geared towards Job creation, income generation, improve livelihood, address youth restiveness in Nigerian.
“The programmes have benefited over 10,530 Nigerians across the country. These programmes are targeted mostly at youth, women and vulnerable people in the society and focused on areas such as agriculture, information communication and technology, art and craft, production and processing as well as other business value chain,” she said.
On his part, the National Leader of ANIM, Mr Abubakar Sadiq, said the visit was to appreciate Akobundu for the numerous programmes she had initiated at the grassroots.
According to him, ANIM was a group borne out of genuine passion by critical stakeholders of the APC, who believe in the party and the credibility of all the candidates for the 2023 General Elections.
He also said that ANIM as a group believed in the integrity of people who could deliver on the dividends of governance for the well-being of the citizenry.