BusinessDay

Group seeks engagement with politicians to deepen democracy

Ahead of next year’s general elections, professionals under the aegis of the Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN) have promised to engage stakeholders in the various political parties to deepen democracy in Africa’s biggest economy.

Members of the group spoke recently during their Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos, where the immediate past president, Akinloye Oyegbola, handed over the reins of power to the new president, Rubainu Masason.

Under the theme, ‘Professionalism, Democracy and Good Governance in Nigeria’, Iyiola Oni, who delivered the lecture, said the dearth of professionalism in the country has contributed in no small measure to the defective nature of governance that has pervaded the polity.

His words: “The deepest root of development failure is lack of good governance – the inability or unwillingness to apply public resources effectively to generate public goods.”

Read also: ‘We must focus on leadership, good governance, without which the purpose of democracy is defeated’

These, Oni added, include physical infrastructures like roads, bridges, potable water, telecommunications, and public transport among others. He said development requires appropriate government policies and institutions that improve human capital, foster social trust and stimulate production and exchange.

The university don identified some of the problems facing the country as large-scale unethical behaviour, which usually manifests as unprofessional politicking and politicisation of the top hierarchy of the civil service.

Others, he said, are institutionalization of corruption, and disregard for rules and regulations, adding that the pivotal element of professionalism was good governance.

Oni said governance will always be a perpetual topic until it is addressed. He added: “The task of any society is to reconstruct and revitalise itself, build its capabilities, educate, organize and mobilize the citizens to consolidate democratic space, adding that democracy requires a lot of work and effort to be sustained.”

 

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