Tasks FG on careful handling of regional agitations
Says economic indicators yet to show 0.55% rise in GDP
The Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN) has called on governments at all level to rise up to the challenge of rejuvenating the economy by putting in place, strategies that will checkmate low productivity across sectors of the country’s economy.
The thirty-member body stressed the need for leadership at federal and state levels to exercise political will needed to actualise holistic restructuring of some MDAs for better service delivery, stating that “this can be done with minimal administrative and bureaucratic bottlenecks.”
National President of the association, Dr. Omede Idris who gave the charge in Lagos, at the 33rd Annual General Assembly and Awards ceremony of the association emphasised the need for government to pay particular attention to health and education sectors. He called on government to “practically demonstrate interest and actively pay attention to recurrent and capital investments in health and education sectors among others,” adding that there is need for development collaboration between government, and professional bodies as a strategy that will facilitate the actualisation of professional thoughts and proposal.
He said professional institutions across sectors such as power, infrastructure, healthcare, housing, education, telecommunications/ICT and others are able to proffer workable solutions to challenges of the country.
According to the former President of the Nigeria Medical Association who later served as Kogi State Commissioner for Health, “the various sectors of the economy are passing through challenging times,” adding that Nigeria’s GDP and other economic indicators particularly in Agriculture and Telecommunications have although shown some positive trends technically, but are yet to practically demonstrate the 0.55% rise in GDP in the second quarter of 2017. “In this regard, we look forward to a sustained raise and resultant positive impact on the economy, to address the nation’s many challenges,” he added.
These challenges he said poverty, low or stagnant industrial production, unemployment, high inflation, poor infrastructure and utilities such as bad roads, poor electricity supply, telecommunication and security challenges among others.
The APBN President further explained that some states of the federation are in financial crisis, owing to backlogs of unpaid salaries with resultant collapse of economic activities, and which have multiplier effects on the life of the average Nigerian. “Most Nigerians are living through very tough economic environment,” he said and quickly added that various agitations and protestation across the country require careful and ingenious handling for peace, tranquility and security to thrive for a positive growth.
Proffering solutions to the predicament, the President said: “To address these challenges, there should be a sincere and committed interface between professional bodies, APBN, government, labor organisations, organised private sector and other critical stakeholders.”
This, he said will impact on Nigeria’s developmental and infrastructural challenges positively adding, “as professionals, we are optimistic that, with genuine recourse to electricity generation, production and distribution, and other visibly viable areas, the GDP will rise to address these challenges and improve the economic outlook of our country.”
He said the non-implementation of extant laws and Acts which exist to make governance system more effective, efficient and functional is worrisome and needs to be addressed with all sincerity. According to Omede, the non-recourse to APBN and its array of professional member bodies by the government on issues of our various professions and professionalism is not in the best interest of the Nation.
Commenting on some policies of the administration, Omede said: “We salute the Federal Government, for her August 2017 Executive order on Foreign Professional practicing in Nigeria without certification by relevant regulatory Body. Government should enlist and support relevant MDAs and professional bodies to enforce this laudable order.”
He called on regulatory bodies to live up to the expectation of government and its people saying that APBN desires to collaborate with relevant government MDAs to constitute task-teams of APBN member-bodies across states of the federation including the FCT.
He said the proposed professional task-teams will function to track and monitor projects and upload details of the particular professional engaged in such projects and that it will serve as an operative indicator or tool for the order.
“This excellent policy if genuinely implemented, will build capacity of the professional, ensure youth employment in the service sector of the economy, reduce cost of bridging the infrastructure gap and therefore, stimulate the economy.
He commended government’s policy of three to five years tax rebate for pioneer industries as “a great incentive” and expressed the hope that there will be equitable and fair patronage of the industries and clear records by concerned bodies.
While congratulating the 2017 recipients of the APBN Professional Excellence Awards, he said: “This award ceremony is in recognition of Professional excellence over the years by the recipients, as duly recognised by their Parent Professional member body, assessed by the Award Committee and approved by the Council for the award,” adding that the recipients have contributed immensely to the development of their professions and the Nation at large.
“The APBN award for professional excellence is an endorsement by all professional bodies in Nigeria under the auspices of APBN cutting across various disciplines in different sectors. It is a unique way of identifying and celebrating professionals for their feat in their respective professions and in service to the Nation.”