From From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The United Kingdom, has said Nigeria must remain on the path of democratic consolidation.
British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, stated this while delivering her goodwill message at the 3rd Ministerial Performance Review Retreat at the State House Conference Centre, Abuja.
Laing also said democracy matters greatly to the world and democracy matters for the socio-economic development of Nigeria.
The event was organised by the United Kingdom funded Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL) programme.
The retreat, according to the British High Commission, Abuja, is the UK’s flagship governance programme in Nigeria.
The British High Commission added that through the programme, the United Kingdom is working with the Federal Government, as well as with civil societies in Nigeria to improve accountability and effective use of public resources.
Laing, in her remarks, reflected on consolidating democracy, economic resilience and institutionalising a culture of accountability.
On the 2023 general elections and the opportunity it presents to entrench democratic principles of inclusion and equality, Laing said: “At a time when some countries in West Africa are experiencing democratic regression and illegal removal of elected governments, I commend His Excellency, President Buhari for his commitment at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly to leave a legacy of free-and-fair elections in Nigeria. Nigeria must remain on the path of democratic consolidation because democracy matters greatly to the world. And democracy matters for the socio-economic development of Nigeria.”
In the area of economic resilience, Laing said: “Nigeria’s economy is more resilient than most. But this global context has exacerbated Nigeria’s challenges even though it is a net exporter of oil and gas. Nigeria stands to benefit from taking difficult and brave decisions, which can free up fiscal space for its infrastructure and development priorities, unlock investment that will create better jobs in agriculture and the digital sector, and help realise Nigeria’s energy transition goals.”