Sunday, October 30, 2016 6:15 pm
Experts at the weekend harped on the need to structure the practice of political consultancy as one of the strategies to improve political engagements in Nigeria.
Speakers and participants at the inaugural meeting of the Africa Political Consultants Association (Nigerian Chapter) who gathered at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos agreed that Nigeria has been long overdue to have structured political consultancy to engender enhanced chances of politicians in elections and also improve their performances while in offices.
Some of those who spoke at the meeting which include former Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Tokunbo Afikuyomi, the Chief Executive Officer of the RTC Advisory Limited, Opeyemi Agbaje, former Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Dele Alake and others explained why it is high time that Nigeria embraced services of political consultants instead of hiring foreign political consultants who are also not in tune with the Nigerian political and cultural terrains.
Afikuyomi, a two time senator from Lagos, lamented that over the years, foreign experts had been hired for purposes of positioning Nigerian politicians to win elections adding that it is high time the skills of the local consultants are promoted.
“This is a special field and it takes the advantage of different professionals -journalists, lawyers, statisticians, accountants etc, to do these. This is because this body must help to improve accountability and governance in Nigeria,” Afikuyomi said at the meeting.
Opeyemi Agbaje, a former Chief Operating Officer of one of the new generation banks in Nigeria in his submission, said his company, RTC Advisory Limited, has been involved in political consultancy since inception but added that it is a field that must be structured and expanded for the good of the country.
Alake, who explained that political consultancy transcends managing the image of an individual said it is a total management concept which goal is to ensure and attain achievement of the goals of political engagements. Alake was announced the proem chairman of the Nigerian chapter.
Speaking earlier, Protem Chairman of the Africa Chapter, Mr. Kehinde Bamgbetan announced that the Nigeria has been slated to host the next African conference of the body in 2017.
He regretted that while professional political consultants have improved political engagements in America and Europe especially, African countries have relied heavily on foreign consultants to help them handle challenges they encounter on the field of political on African soil.
Protem Secretary of the Nigerian chapter Semiu Okanlawon, who was also announced as the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee of the APCA Conference holding in Lagos in 2017, said foreign political consultants at different international conferences had expressed willingness to work with local consultancy firms adding that this also explains the need for a structure based on international best practices to be encouraged.
Other members of the steering committee announced on Saturday include Mr. Kurtis Adigba, who is the Vice Chairman and Ms Temitope Lakisokun, who is the Treasurer.