…..urges him to maintain the strong alliance between the Government and Citizens.
Abuja (Min. of Justice) – The Honourable Attorney General of Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN has urged the in-coming Co-chair, Open Government Partnership (OGP), to maintain the strong alliance between the government and the citizen representatives towards ensuring that the commitments in the 2nd NAP are seamlessly achieved.
Malami, the out-gone Co-chair, OGP Nigeria, represented by the Special Assistant to the President on Financial Crimes Compliance and Contract Implementation, Mr. Biodun Aikomo, gave the advice during the handing over to the Hon. Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba at the 8th National Steering Committee Meeting of OGP Nigeria in Abuja on Wednesday 19th December, 2019.
Malami noted that, Nigeria’s experience with OGP has shown that technology and innovation play great roles in OGP process. This 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 to account. “As noted by the Support Unit, recently Nigeria under the 1st NAP has set high standards for consultations with Civil Society and ambitious commitments that other countries aim to follow’’, he further stressed.
Speaking on OGP progress so far, the HAGF said they were able to achieve success on Open Budget, Open Contracting, Extractive Industry and Tax Transparency. Among the achievements are Federal Inland Revenue Service who signed unto the TADAT (Tax Admin Diagnostic Assessment Tool), Anti- Corruption and Access to Information by Citizens.
He disclosed progress made at the OGP Sub-national / Local Program level, mentioning that, 12 States was at various stages of engagement processes including Kaduna State being an International Sub-National OGP member, but at the expiration of 1ST NAP the number has increase to 14 States.
”Let me note that recently I have received two letters of intent to join OGP from Delta and Ekiti States. The letters of intent have been forwarded to the co-chairs by the Secretariat for acceptance or rejection based on the framework and processes for Sub-national engagement”, he hinted.
Malami revealed that the 2nd OGP NAP which was validated in September 2019 and currently awaiting the President’s approval, is an improvement of the 1st NAP with 7 thematic areas and 16 commitments taking into great consideration current OGP global priorities on as Service Delivery and Inclusiveness.
He encouraged the Incoming NSC to continue to render the necessary leadership guidance and directives that will ensure uninterrupted operations of activities and also remain focused on Nigeria’s membership of International Steering Committee and the implementation of OGP principles.
In his address, he explained that Nigeria joined OGP in July 2016 to further deepen institutional and policy reforms already initiated by President Muhammadu Buhari Administration. He said OGP 1st NAP was implemented from January, 2017-June 2019 and it was made up of 14 Commitments around 4 thematic areas namely, Fiscal Transparency, Anti- Corruption, Access to Information and Citizen Engagement.”
The new Co-chair, Hon. Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba in his acceptance speech said, “My vision in the next two years is to ensure a faithful implementation of the NAP 2. We truly want to be transparent. We want to strengthen the National Monitoring and Evaluation mechanism allowing for citizen’s feedback on project implementation through the use of appropriate technology”.
He continued, “We will strive to involve citizens in the entire gamut of the budget process through the soon to be adopted participatory budget model. We will be open to the critique of government projects and actions. Overall, we want the Civil Society to see us as partners in the overall service to the nation”.
In his Remarks, the Executive Director, Media Rights Agenda (MRA) and Civil Society Co-chair of the OGP Nigeria, Mr. Edetaen Ojo urged the Incoming NSC to strengthen and deepen in some areas like ensuring more participation of women, supporting the NSC with resources and an institutional framework to operate.
For: Deputy Director