The Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN), an umbrella body of professionals in the country, has advised that Governments across all cadres in Nigeria should look inwards and enlist the services of professionals to ensure the development of the nation’s economy.
This call was made by the leadership of the APBN, led by Surv. Akinloye Oyegbola, FNIS, President/Chairman of Board and Council, during the association’s first 2022 board meeting sponsored by the Institute of Chartered Secretaries & Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN)
The body noted at the meeting which held at the NECA House, CBD, Ikeja, Lagos, “Any economy that wants to develop must find a way of enlisting the services of its professionals. We believe the Nigerian governments – national and sub-nationals, are not doing that enough. The Board will, therefore, like to use this opportunity to once again call on those in government to begin to look inwards. For instance, APBN boasts of an array of qualified professionals, that can rub shoulders with their peers anywhere in the world, and we are very ready for national assignments”.
Underscoring the year 2022 as it precedes the 2023 election year, the President noted that APBN as the umbrella Association of all recognized and chartered professional Institutes, Institutions, Associations and Societies in Nigeria presently made up 30 professional bodies, expects to see more political activities in the months ahead and has high hopes that campaigns will be devoid of hate speeches and languages that may heat up the polity while advising that “the government will not abandon governance for politics”.
The Association showed its displeasure with the current scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS). Although, the body claimed it has “no problem with the excuse offered by the government for the cause of the scarcity”, it, however, noted that the recent experience re-emphasizes the need for local production of petrol. “We must revive our refineries. We believe this is the way out of the incessant cases of petrol scarcity”, the President said, while calling on relevant government agencies “to investigate individuals involved in the importation of adulterated petrol and if found culpable, should be sanctioned” as it noted that the economic losses due to this scarcity are massive.
As the umbrella body for not less than 30 chartered institutes and professional bodies and associations, issues on the nation’s economy and the high cost of food are also of critical concern to APBN. Hence, the President noted with concern the “free fall of the naira against the dollar” and “astronomically increase in the cost of food” describing the situations as “worrisome”.
“Our country is fast degenerating into a land plagued with hunger. We call on the government to put in place measures to halt this trend and intensify efforts to ensure that Nigerians have access to affordable food”, Mr. Oyegbola enthused.
Also on the issue of insecurity, the Association had revealed in its 2021 December Board meeting considered the seemingly intractable nature of the country’s security as stifling the nation’s economy and “may not attract the much-needed investments as long as there are these palpable feelings of insecurity in the land”. The Board, therefore, urged the federal government to sustain its onslaught against bandits, kidnappers and criminal elements across the country.
As the continent’s largest economy, APBN also advised that the federal government must provide opportunities and incentives that will spur Nigerian investors and brands to leverage the over $1.2billion African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) market deal to expand their business frontiers and enhance the nation’s economy.
Earlier in his welcome address the host of the meeting, Taiwo Owokalade, FCI, President/Chairman in Council, ICSAN, while expressing his association’s love and respect for APBN, especially for the opportunity to host the Board Meeting, advised members that “APBN is not strong when members do not support the body”.
According to the ICSAN President, when APBN is strong, the government will often defer to the body on important national issues, unlike the current situation when the government speaks to individual professional bodies, and most often, it ends in chaos. He noted that only deliberate advocacy can make the body become a dependable and powerful voice.
Some of the key personalities and Presidents of the professional Associations and bodies present at the Board Meeting include Lanre Olusola, Secretary-General, APBN; Mrs. Comfort Eyitayo, FCA, President, ICAN; Bayo Olugbemi, CIBN President; Mr. Olumuyiwa Ajibola, APBN’s immediate past president and Mrs. Taiwo Olusesi, FCIS, Registrar/CEO, ICSAN among others.