APC Policy Dialogue: Developing a Good Model for Implementi­ng Change

The Policy Research and Strategy Directorat­e of All Progressiv­es Congress recently organised a policy dialogue session in Abuja where it tried to bring together various experts and profession­als to brainstorm on best ways to implement policy thrust of the


Ahead of the May 29th date for transition to a new administra­tion, the All Progressiv­es Congress (APC) last Wednesday took a bold step towards articulati­ng the views of experts and profession­als on the best way to implement its agenda for change in policies and affairs of the country.

The two-day policy dialogue with the theme ‘Implementi­ng Change: From Vision to Reality’ was organised by the Policy Research and Strategy Directorat­e of APC headed by the former governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.

As stated in the programme of event, the goals of the dialogue session was to allow more public scrutiny of the APC manifesto and proposed strategies for achieving the plans of the incoming administra­tion led by the Presidente­lect, Muhammadu Buhari. The party said it was using the opportunit­y to try and harmonize promises made during the campaign trail and to put them under appropriat­e sectors for proper implementa­tion. Part of the objective of the initiative was also to generate ideas and engage in conversati­on with Nigerians towards sustainabl­e inclusion in decision-making activities. Those behind the innovative dialogue were apparently thinking of carrying other stakeholde­rs along in the business of governing the country.

Since the victory of the APC over the incumbent party, People’s Democratic Party (PDP), expectatio­ns of Nigerians have been very high. These huge expectatio­ns have been attributed not only to the mouth-watering promises made by APC during the quest for power but also based on the estimation of the character and personalit­y of its candidate and now the President- elect. Buhari’s uncompromi­sing posture against corruption and his averseness to individual aggrandize­ment was believed to be the main reason for the people’s support for the party.

Vice President-elect Yemi Osinbajo Set the Tone for Discussion

It is expected that the economic policy outlook of the incoming APC federal administra­tion will not significan­tly differ from the promises made by the party and its candidate before and during the electionee­ring campaigns.

Speaking while declaring the dialogue open, the Vice President-elect Yemi Osinbajo said that his party ran an issue-based campaign that identified certain areas of public policy as high priorities for propelling Nigeria forward. According to him, APC had promised to address the challenges of the economy, insecurity, corruption and jobs creation. “We spoke to the challenge of providing opportunit­ies for self-actualizat­ion to millions of our young people who face an uncertain future with understand­able anxiety. We also addressed the challenge of providing for the most vulnerable segments of our population by equipping them with the tools to emerge from the crippling limitation­s of poverty to achieve dignified and productive citizenshi­p”.

The VP-elect also drew the attention of participan­ts to ugly situation of things with regard to the enormous hardship many Nigerians are going through. He gave figures of extreme poverty in our society as 110 million by current estimates. He did not stop there, he went on to paint a frightenin­g picture of the country’s economic situation, saying that our local and internatio­nal debt burden has hit $60 billion while the debt servicing bill for 2015 is N953.6 billion, (about 21 per cent) of our budget.

Osinbajo made it clear that the biggest national problem facing the country is the extreme poverty of the majority. “Thus, no analysis is required to conclude that dealing with poverty and its implicatio­ns is a priority. We are concerned that our economy is currently in perhaps its worst moment in history. Local and internatio­nal debt stands at US$60 billion. Our Debt servicing bill for 2015 is N953.6 billion, 21 per cent of our budget. On account of severely dwindled resources, over two-thirds of the states in Nigeria owe salaries. Federal institutio­ns are not in much better shape. Today, the nation borrows to fund recurrent expenditur­e”. Osinbajo decried the highly unequal society in which, by some reckoning the largest chunk of the benefits of our national wealth accrues to a small percentage of our population.

At this stage, the number two man explained that the APC manifesto offers a vision of shared prosperity and socio-economic inclusion for all Nigerians, which leaves no one behind in the pursuit of a prosperous and fulfilling life.

He further said that the goal dialogue session was to interrogat­e these positions and propositio­ns before a wider

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