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Independence Day: Details of AU message to Nigerian govt

The African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for Africa’s Development/African Peer Review Mechanism, AUDA-NEPAD/APRM, on Tuesday called for the elimination of the country’s deficiencies in order to move it forward.

Mrs Gloria Akobundu, National Coordinator of the agency, made the call in a statement signed by Abolade Ogundimu, Media Assistant to AU-NEPAD’s boss in Abuja to salute the nation’s 59th independence, NAN reports.

According to Akobundu, every nation has its positive and negative sides, Nigeria is not an exception in any challenge might be confronting it, therefore, Nigerians’ focus should be on how to move forward from the past.

“As the nation marks its 59th independence, let us focus more on what we are getting right in order to confront what we need to do better.

“The nation may not have got to where it ought to be, but obviously, it is on a serious move to get there.

“In spite of the economic downturn that had been confronting Nigerians and Nigerian state for some time, there are still causes to be proud of our nation and ourselves as a people,” she said.

She said efforts by President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to fix the nation’s economy and restore peace within the country should be seen as shining example for good governance in the sub-region.

She noted that in the last four years, critical infrastructure that used to receive insignificant portion of national budget had started receiving better attention.

“Roads are getting fixed, standard rail gauges are rigorously coming up in Nigeria.

“The Federal Government is on the verge of finding lasting solution to overabundance of problems in the power sector for economic growth,” she said.

The AU-NEPAD national coordinator also used the opportunity as part of her goodwill message to commend Buhari for steps taken to approve the transformation of NEPAD to AUDA to enhance its services to Nigerians.

“This year, the President approved transformation of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) to African Union Development Agency (AUDA) for more effective functioning delivery on its new mandates.

“Similarly, our nation has positioned itself for advantages that will come with continental economic corridor as President Buhari signed African Continental Free Trade Areas (AfCFTA) agreement in July, at the AU extraordinary summit held in Niamey, Republic of Niger,” she said.

Akobundu further commended Mr President for the Home Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP) initiative in the country.

She said that the programme has made over 9 million public school pupils to be assured of nourishing meal each school day, while attracting dropout pupils back to school in some regions of the country.

“This has not been achieved by accident but deliberate plans. Already, governments of sister nations are already engaging Nigeria on how to domesticate such noble programme in their various countries.

“This is in line with Malabo declaration on Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), a frame work of AUDA-NEPAD,”she added.

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