A communiqué issued at the end of the 25thAnnual LAPO Development
Forum held at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos State
on Friday, August 24th 2018, under the theme: Towards Sustainable
Socio-Economic Transformation of Nigeria: Options for Non-State
The 24th Annual LAPO Development Forum of the Lift Above Poverty
Organisation (LAPO), a frontline development organization, was chaired
by Chief Philip C. Asiodu, Diplomat and former Permanent Secretary and
Petroleum Minister.
Stakeholders within the public and private sector including members of
the civil society, government representatives, entrepreneurs,
policymakers and regulatory agencies, key players in the financial
sector, trade groups and professional associations, academic
institutions and the media, converged to discuss the keynote paper
delivered by Prof. Mike Obadan, a renowned Professor of Economics and
Non-Executive Director of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
After a diligent deliberation of the keynote paper, the Forum came up
with the following 11-point communiqué as follows:
1.    The participants congratulated LAPO for sustaining the Annual
LAPO Development Forum since 1994, addressing human development
challenges with a range of financial, health and social empowerment
products and services and for providing 9,159 Nigerians with gainful
2.    The Forum averred that Non-state actors are fundamental agents
in helping to achieve both national and international development
goals, such as the Sustainable Development Goals and those around
climate change. It therefore recommended synergy between the public
and private sector in the pursuit of national development.
3.    The Forum expressed concern that no meaningful efforts has been
made to diversify the economy despite successive governments’ promises
to that end.
4.    NSAs should be vibrant and active in the promotion of human
rights, democracy and good governance, especially in the fight against
corruption which has underdeveloped Nigeria.
5.    The participants affirmed that there can be no socio-economic
transformation in Nigeria and indeed in any developing nation without
the active participation of non-state actors such as business
leaders,scholars, labour, and civil society organizations.
6.    The LAPO Forum enjoined government to create social safety nets
and enabling environment for peace; security and stability, just as it
canvassed the formulation of a new National Vision and Agenda 2040
that would gravitate Nigeria out of poverty and engender
progress,unity and greatness.
7.    Government should create a conducive environment for the private
sector to thrive and participate in the policy and development process
and complement the state in its quest to achieve socio-economic
transformation of the country.
8.    Government at all levels should change their adversarial
perception of NSAs and rather see them as partners in progress.
9.    On their part, Non-Sate Actors/Civil Society Organizations
should make conscious efforts to address issues affecting their
credibility and acceptability as partners in development such as weak
institutional capacity, lack of internal democracy, non-collaboration
among themselves, limited transparency and accountability in their
operations. They should forge alliances and common front to attract
better funding to implement developmental activities.
10.    Non-state security actors should complement the formal security
agencies towards addressing the current challenging security situation
in the country. They should however be well trained and regulated so
that they operate within the ambits of the law.
11.    The private sector should key into the Global Compact, launched
by the United Nations Secretary-General at the 1999 annual meeting of
the World Economic Forum, which challenges individual corporations and
representative business associations to support the nine principles
which relate to human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

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