For two days in the later part of january this year memebers of the Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN) were in calabar for this year’s annual Presidential Retreat for members of the foremost professioanl body in Nigeria.
In attendance at teh Retreat were the APBN President, Mr. Foluso Fasoto, Council members, Past President of APBN, Board members, President and members of the twenty-eight (28) member bodies, Government officials, Political office holders, Captains and Chieftains of Industries.
Objectives of the Retreat
A. As adumbrated to by the President of APBN, the chief objective of the Retreat was to evaluate the development strides and value added special skills of professionals in various disciplines which will ultimately improve their practices and serves as well as grow members’ influences.
B. Other include collaboration of Government at all levels with APBN using its multitude of Profesionals to address and proffer solution to the multifarious challenges confronting the country in her drive for socio-economic, infrastructural, technological, scientific and health development in the 21st Century.
C. The Retreat also examined the state of the Nigerian socio-economy space of which the management of the nation’s resources and institutions is a critical part.
The Retreat commended the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR for addressing some of these issues frontally. It called on Nigerian and Business partners, and governement at all levels in the country to co-operate with the Federal Government to achieve her laudable goals for the overalls develeopment of the nation.
At the end of the Retreat, APBN RESOLVED and made the following recommendations:
1. That ethics and professional code of conducts shall be strictly adhered to by members of member-bodies. Where there is need for redressor harmonization, this shall be seamlessly done for the overall interest of our nation, applying best practices. Appropriate professional and legal sanctions shall be applied to any erring professional for breach of their Professional code of conduct and ethics;
2. Professionals are identified and charged to be visionary, focused, courageous, humble, tactful, skilful, disciplined, unbiased, diplomatic, dynamic and inspirational to make good judgement in the interest of the profession and nation. There is the growing desire for intra and inter professional colloboration to enhance shared professional competence, experience, collective responsibility, communication, training, resarch and service delivery to the clients and business partner;
3. There is growing need for health investment by the public sector, private sector and also public private sectors. There was a call for holistic implementation of the provisions of the National Health Act and Financing option therein for Primary Health care and Health Insurance;
4. Effective taxation policy and compliance was identified as sine qua non to the growth and advancement of the Nigerian Nation. More attention to the taxation of informal sector especially the actualization of the Presumptive tax regime bringing to the tax net most of the companies and individuals that are not yet paying taxes as gap must be closed between companies and enterprises that are registered with Corporate Affairs Commission and that of the Tax Authorities.
5. The need for a change of governement’s strategy and direction to run the affairs of the country based on informed Judgement that is transparent and accountable, with practical use of professional competence;
6. The need for wide consultation in the Nation”s legislative process so as to among others avoid inter and intra professional conflicts that will impinge on training, research and services;
7. Government as a sensitive and responsible organ is called upon to ensure that professional Regulatory Bodies are no longer dissolved indiscriminiately without immediate re-composition, as the extant practice pave ways fo avoidable infractions within the period of dissolution of such bodies, while the supervising Ministries are not always capable of taking full responsibilities of the affected regulatory bodies;
8. Government was called upon to earmark a set percentage for infrastructure funding to go to projects which increase physical activities, similar to the 10% of infrastucture funding currently designated by the US Federal Government;
9. The Need for a National Policy statement, which through produced by government, will help to give reasons for policy set out on how to better the lot of the citizenry;
10. APBN and its member-bodies shall key into the change agenda of President Muhamadu Buhari administration though with a view to professionalizing the relevant areas of the nation’s activities;
APBN thanks and appreciates the Presidents and representatives of member-bodies, National Retreat Committee, State Chapter APBN especially Cross River State Chapter, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Staff and Managemenet of Tinapa Lakeside Hotel and Resort, APBN Council an Board members for making the Retreat a Success.
Jacqueline Odiadi(Mrs) FCIS