The President of Liberia, George Weah, is expected in Lagos to speak on the practice of democracy in Africa on February 6, at a conference organised by the Centre for Values in Leadership.
Mr Rasheed Adegbenro, Senior Vice President, CVL, made the disclosure during a courtesy visit to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Lagos office on Thursday.
The Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Hassan Kukah, is also expected to speak on the practice of democracy in Africa at the conference, with the theme “Is Democracy Making Life Better in Africa?”
Adegbenro said the conference was part of the organisation’s social service initiatives in the last 15 years to enhance national development and make life better for the citizenry.
“One of our objectives is to make policy interventions.
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“When we make policy interventions, the government is more likely to listen to us and make policy changes that will benefit the lives of the citizens.
“This year, we are taking a look at a very sensitive issue which borders on democracy.
“We are asking the big question: Is Democracy making life better for us in Africa?’’
“We were told by the Western World that democracy would ensure new investments and make life better for everybody in the developing world by attracting Foreign Direct Investment.
“We have been practising democracy for over 20 years now in Nigeria and we have not moved forward the way we ought to.
“Questions are arising and we really need to know if democracy is bringing us the desired development,” he said.
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Adegbenro disclosed that a panel of six discussants will talk extensively on the practice of democracy in Nigeria and Africa at the roundtable.
They include Mr Femi Falana (SAN); a former Managing Director of Guardian Newspapers, Mr Emeka Izeze; and the proprietor of an NGO, Mrs Toyin Akerele.
He said CVL was providing a platform outside the normal intervention frameworks available to government to generate ideas.
Adegbenro, who was accompanied with Mrs Francisca Ukabiala, Director, Corporate Services, CVL, said the group, over the years, had also provided support for widows through the widows support centre.
He said that they had also helped in transforming some youth and empowering them to become entrepreneurs as part of efforts to make the society better.
Adegbenro said that 100 youths in Ajegunle, Lagos State and 400 in Delta State had benefited from such transformation, and there were plans to extend it to other parts of the country.
He thanked NAN for the support it had been giving to the organisation through coverage of its activities and called for continuation of such assistance, especially on the forthcoming conference on democracy.
Receiving the two CVL officers, Managing Editor/Head, Lagos Office of NAN, Mr Ibrahim Mammaga, welcomed and briefed them on the operations of the agency.
He said that there was a saying, ” Talk to NAN, Talk to All” which explained the strength of the agency in terms of mileage.
Mammaga said the agency had transformed over the years from producing only text to providing news content in form of photo, voice and video to its subscribers, as it now boasts of a full-fledged multi-media unit.
He said the agency also had partnerships with some foreign news agencies.
The managing editor assured the CVL officers that the agency would continue to provide coverage when required in line with its mandate.