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ECA, African Peer Review Mechanism Sign MoU for Improved Cooperation

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ECA, African Peer Review Mechanism Sign MoU for Improved Cooperation

ECA, African Peer Review Mechanism Sign MoU for Improved Cooperation

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The Economic Commission for Africa’s Acting Executive Secretary, Abdalla Hamdok, on Saturday signed a Memorandum of Understating with the African Peer Review Mechanism to establish a continuous partnership in support of the objectives and priorities of the African Union and the United Nations.

The APRM was established in 2003 by the New Partnership forAfrica (NEPAD) Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee (HSGIC) as an instrument for monitoring performance in governance among Member States. The APRM is a self-monitoring instrument and its membership is voluntary.

The mechanism’s primary objective is to foster the adoption of policies, values, standards and practices of political and economic governance that lead to political stability, accelerated sub-regional and continental economic integration, economic growth and sustainable development.

According to the MoU, the parties will, from time to time, agree on programmes and activities that will be carried out jointly, or by APRM with the support of ECA, as they seek to promote issues that will lead to good governance and inclusive growth on the Africa continent.

Mr Hamdok said the key areas of cooperation will focus on ECA’s support to the implementation of the APRM mandate, including implementation of the APRM Strategic Plan 2016-2020 and subsequent plans as may be developed in the future and all activities and missions relating to country review processes falling within the mandate of the APRM.

The activities will also include the monitoring and evaluation of the state of governance in reviewed countries, reinforcement of the role of the APRM as the monitoring organ for Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals, campaign towards universal accession, enhanced role of the APRM in the effort to tackle illicit financial flows out of Africa and any other activities as may be agreed in the future.

“We are excited by the MoU and the prospects it brings for cooperation between the two organisations as we seek the best for Africa,” said Mr Hamdok.

The relationship between the two organisations in the MoU will be guided by principles including equality of partners, African-led and owned development, the pursuit of the AU and UN shared values and aspirations; and pursuit of the African transformation agenda.

The Executive Secretary of ECA and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the APRM Secretariat will ensure that appropriate arrangements are made for the satisfactory implementation of this MoU and to promote close collaboration between the two institutions.

Meanwhile, President Uhuru Kenyatta earlier on Saturday chaired the 26th APRM Forum where he said Africa should take pride in the progress it has achieved in promoting good governance.

He said despite all the challenges facing Africa, there was so much to celebrate on the continent in terms of improved governance and rapid development especially in countries that are participating in the APRM forum.

“Various APRM member states continue to implement mega infrastructural projects with a regional and even continental dimension. These programs are a critical part of our regional integration agenda,” said Mr Kenyatta.

Earlier in the week Mr Steven Karingi, the Director of the ECA’s Capacity Development Division said in line with its mandate of promoting good governance in the continent and its comparative advantage in the UN system, in 2016 the ECA made strategic contributions in knowledge generation and capacity building to the APRM.

These include the secondment of a senior regional advisor to the APRM and undertook three studies on the impact of the APRM on Governance in APRM Participating African Countries; worked on a training manual on the harmonization of the APRM National Plan of Actions into other existing national development strategies and study on a Continental Monitoring, Evaluation & Reporting (MER) system.

Mr Karingi was speaking on behalf of Mr Hamdok at the 13th Meeting of the APRM Strategic Partners.

“It is exactly one year, since the launching of the revitalisation of the mechanism. Since then, under the leadership of his Excellency Mr Uhuru Kenyatta, and Chair of the APR Forum, with the strong support of the CEO of the Secretariat and the Panel of Eminent Persons, the mechanism has been injected with energy by reaching remarkable milestones in twelve months,” said Mr Karingi.

Five new countries were peer-reviewed this weekend such as Chad, Djibouti, Kenya, Senegal, and Sudan. This will be the first time in the APRM history that the second generation of reviews was launched and Kenya will be the pioneer the 2nd review generation.

The APRM is meant to encourage participating States to ensure that the policies and practices of those States conform to the agreed political, economic and corporate governance values, codes and standards, and achieve mutually agreed objectives in socio-economic development contained in the declaration on Democracy, Political Economic and Corporate Governance;

By joining the APRM, Member States agree to voluntarily and independently review their compliance with African and international governance commitments. Performance and progress are measured in four thematic areas: democracy and political governance; economic governance and management; corporate governance; and socio-economic development.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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Reps Invite PenCom, PTAD Over Failure to Pay Pensioners

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PTAD

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The Director-General of the National Pension Commission (PenCom) and the Executive Secretary of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) have been asked to explain to the House of Representatives Committees on Pension and Public Service Matters why they have failed to pay federal civil service retirees their pensions for nine months.

This directive was given to the officials after a lawmaker from Edo State, Mr Sergius Ose-Ogun, moved a motion on the matter on the floor of the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja on Tuesday.

Also to appear before the panels are the Head of Service (HoS) of the federation and the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGoF).

Presiding over the plenary today, the Speaker of the House of Reps, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, directed the teams to investigate the alleged non-payment of pension to the retirees by PTAD within four weeks and report back to the lower parliament with their findings.

While moving his motion today, Mr Ose-Ogun described as “unacceptable” the claims by PTAD that the non-payment was caused by technological glitches, specifically from the AGoF and the Government Integrated Financial Management System (GIFMIS).

According to him, the failure of the agency to pay pensioners’ monthly pensions and gratuities under the “Defined Benefits Scheme for the said period of nine months…amounts “to gross incompetence and ineffectiveness” as Section 32(b) of the Pension Reform Act Cap P4 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 saddles PTAD with the responsibility of carrying out functions aimed at ensuring the welfare of pensioners.

He said emphasised that Section 14(2) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) provides that the security and welfare of the people of Nigeria shall be the primary purpose of government.

He used the opportunity for the House to look into the matter based on Section 88 (1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), which empowers the National Assembly to conduct investigations into the activities of any authority executing or administering laws made by the National Assembly.

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INEC Gives Tinubu, Obi July 15 Deadline to Confirm Running Mates

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inec electoral bill

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has given presidential candidates of the various political parties partaking in the 2023 general elections until July 16, 2022, to confirm their running mates.

Nigerians head to the polls next year to elect someone to replace President Muhammadu Buhari, who leaves office on May 29, 2023, after he must have served a two-term of eight years.

Early this month, most political parties held their presidential primaries and while names have been submitted to the electoral umpire, there are speculations that things may still change.

The latest announcement is coming after the electoral body released the list of candidates of political parties for the 2023 general elections and it includes names of presidential candidates and their vice-presidential selections, as well as senatorial and House of Representatives candidates.

Presidential candidates on the list are Mr Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and his running mate, Mr Ibrahim Masari; and Mr Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and his running mate, Mr Ifeanyi Okowa.

Others are Mr Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) and his running mate, Mr Doyin Okupe; and Mr Osita Nnadi of the Action Peoples Party (APP) and his running mate, Mr Isa Hamisu.

The other presidential candidates are Mr Abiola Kolawole of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) and his running mate, Mr Ribi Marshal; Mr Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) and his running mate, Mr Johnson Oladipupo; Mr Yabagi Sani of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) and his running mate, Mr Udo Okey-Okoro; Mr Ado-Ibrahim Abdulmalik of the Young Progressives Party (YPP) and his running mate, Mr Enyinna Kasarachi.

Also are Mr Omoyele Sowore of the African Action Congress (AAC) and his running mate, Mr Garba Magashi; Mr Mamman Dantalle of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) and his running mate, Mrs Ojei Princess; Mr Chukwudi Umeadi of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and his running mate, Mr Koli Mohammed; Mr Oluwafemi Adenuga of the Boot Party (BP) and his running mate, Mr Turaku Mustapha; Mr Daberechukwu Nwanyanwu of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) and his running mate, Mr Ramalan Abubakar; Mr Dumebi Kachikwu of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) and his running mate, Mr Ahmed Mani; and Mr Hamsa Almustafa, presidential candidate, Action Alliance (AA) and his running mate, Mr Chukwuka Johnson.

The duo of Mr Tinubu and Mr Obi, while submitting their running mates, claimed they may still change them after consultations with key stakeholders.

The timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 general elections released by INEC indicate that political parties have less than 20 days to withdraw or replace their candidates and running mates for the presidential and National Assembly elections.

Nigeria’s presidential and National Assembly elections have been slated for February 25, 2023, while governorship and state assembly elections will be held on March 11, 2023.

Initially, February 18, 2023, was chosen for the presidential poll but the date was amended after the signing of the amendments to the Electoral Bill by President Buhari.

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Eaton Calls for Stoppage of Sulphur Hexafluoride Gas 

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Sulphur hexafluoride gas

By Adedapo Adesanya

Leading power management company, Eaton Nigeria, has advocated the regulation of sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) gas usage in electrical power distribution networks.

This call was made during the company’s Power & Water Nigeria Exhibition and Conference 2022, an event that connects the Nigerian utility industry.

The event which was organised by Vertex Global services saw the participation of experts and exhibitors from over 20 countries.

The gathering enabled global stakeholders to access engaging technical discussions, on-the-spot assessment of the region’s opportunities in power generation, distribution, renewables, and water & utility sectors; as well as exhibitions from leading local and international suppliers.

During his presentation on the topic, A Call to Action on the ‘dirtiest’ greenhouse gas in clean energy, Mr Charles Iyo, Regional Sales Manager Eaton West Africa said “Sulphur hexafluoride gas which is used in the production of most switchgears remains one of the world’s potent greenhouse gases that adversely affect the environment. 1kg of SF6 is equivalent to 23,500 Kg of CO2 in global warming potential, and each unit of switchgear is estimated to use 2.5 kg of SF6 gas; which makes it devastatingly dangerous to the climate.”

“Government in Africa, especially Nigeria needs to take proactive measures such as implementing new regulations to ban the use of SF6 Gas in switchgear production. Also, regulatory bodies and industry stakeholders need to collaborate and elevate industry practice and policies to implement the use of SF6 free technology thereby creating a safe and sustainable future,” he added.

Mr Iyo further highlighted SF6-free alternatives that could positively combat climate change, saying the adoption of vacuum technology is considered a safe, compact and reliable alternative to SF6 gas in the production of switchgears.

Eaton has been at the forefront of advocating the elimination of SF6 gas globally. The power management company pioneered SF₆ free medium voltage switchgear production in 1960 with Magnefix, a compact solution for distribution system operators.

The various range of SF6 free switchgears are produced with environmentally friendly technology in comparison with the methods used by many other suppliers, which use SF6 as insulation gas.

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