Open Govt Partnership: Nigeria Has Made Remarkable Progress- Minister

Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami

Nigeria has made remarkable progress in Open Government Partnership (OGP), Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has said.

Malami who is also the Coordinating Minister of OGP, Nigeria said this during the Country visit of OGP International Support Unit to Nigeria on Tuesday.

He said that Nigeria has made progress in Open Budget, Open Contracting, Extractive Industries, Tax Transparency and Anti-Corruption and establishing Beneficial Register of Owners of Companies through the OGP.

“In open budget, the Budget Office in line with global best practice and open budget survey index, developed the citizens’ imonitor portal which enables citizens across the country to access budget information in real time and to monitor projects while encouraging proactive feedback to the government.

“The open contracting led to the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) developing the Nigerian Open Contracting Portal (NOCOPO) which is designed to ensure improved transparency, prevent corruption and enhance active citizens’ participation through increased disclosure of information to stakeholders’.

Malami said Nigeria joined the OGP in July 2016 to further deepen institutional and policy reforms already initiated by President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

“The Nigeria OGP first National Action Plan (NAP) is made up of 14 commitments around 4 thematic areas namely 1.Fiscal Transparency, 2. Anti-Corruption 3. Access to Information, and 4. Citizen Engagement.

“A lot of progress and achievements were recorded in the implementation of the first NAP, Lessons and learning also took place during the period of implementation.

“Nigeria experience with OGP has shown that technology and innovation play great roles in OGP process which leads to openness and accountability.

“While changing the ways in which citizens engage with government, empowering them and non-state actors to take a more active role in holding government accountable.

He added that as noted by the Support Unit, Nigeria under the first NAP has set high standards for consultations with civil society and ambitious commitments that other countries aim to follow.

He said that the federal government had approved the harmonized National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) and Asset Recovery and Management Unit (ARMU) that serve as the secretariat for the implementation of National Anti-Corruption Strategy.

“To ensure citizens’ engagement in government processes/ different government agencies and CSOs continued to deploy tech-based interactive platforms to engage citizens and government on various aspects of governance and service delivery.

Mr Sanjay Pradhan, the CEO of OGP congratulated Nigeria for being elected to join the global Steering committee of OGP which is a global leadership role that represents more than two billion people on the planet.

He encouraged them to embrace all the attributes of leadership.

“One of the attributes of leadership is to be discontent with the status quo; you want to go further so as a leader and supporter on the global stage, I urge you to raise your ambition further.

“If you continue to raise your ambition further in the implementation of the action plan, this will deliver dividend for Nigerians both domestically and internationally. (NAN)

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