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