From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
The Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria, APBN, has urged the federal government to fix professionals in strategic positions of the government for the nation’s economy growth.
The group made this call at their 2021 APBN Presidential Retreat held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, with the theme “Growing APBN As The Strategic Tool for Enhancing National Development.”
In his keynote address, Prof Clifford Obiyo Ofurum, stressed that for the nation’s economy to work better, the right people must be positioned in right offices. He urged APBN to liaise with the government at all levels of ensure that professionals are fixed in sensitive positions.
Speaking on the theme of the programme, Prof Ofurum advised the professional body to play an advocacy role for the development of the county’s economy.
Ofurum who was a former Dean Faculty of Management Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, described APBN as agent of change, promoter of standards and competencies and agent of unification and development
He said: ” APBN should be ready to advise governments on professional issues. The economy works better when the right people do the right jobs. APBN must liaise with the government when they make appointments to ensure that only professionals are appointed to sensitive positions.
“Today, there are a whole lot of conspiracy theories about the Covid-19 vaccine. The public is somehow confused and divided; some people are willing to take the vaccine, others are not. This is when APBN, through the Nigerian Medical Association, can step in to educate the public on the need for vaccination. In Covid-19 and other issues, most people will believe the Professionals more than any other person. APBN and Professional Associations under her should therefore play an advocacy role as a means of economic development.
“Every professional association contributes to the economic development of the country. The contributions of professional associations to economic development can be felt directly in job creation, payroll, and indirectly by their other activities in the country and states.”
Also in his address Surv. Akinloye Oyegbola, President of the organisation, explained that the annual retreat will avail APBN the opportunity to review their activities in the past year and by extension looking at areas they to need to improve upon.
He stressed that “the retreat endeavours to examine the policies of both government and the private sector as they concern professional practice”, expressing expectation that the outcome of the retreat would go a long way in developing the Association into a more formidable, cohesive and responsive one that will continue to make its required impact in the development of the nation.
Earlier, in his welcome address, Dr Idris Omede Chairman of the programme noted that the key to development lies with the professionals, adding that if the professionals are given opportunity to handle strategic positions, political activities in the nation would be strengthened.
He congratulated APBN for sustaining the programme years after it was established, adding that “APBN has brought together professionals to achieve success of professional and inter-professional relations”.
Some of the papers presented at the programme include; “The Role of Professionals in the Working and Development of the Economy”, by Prof Okey Onuchukwu, “Ways of employing Professional Ideologies for National Development”, by Prof Prince Chinedu Mmom and others.