PRESS RELEASE: Buhari submits Nigeria’s OGP national action plan in Paris

President Muhammadu Buhari formally submitted the National Action Plan for the implementation of the Open Government Partnership(OGP) principles on behalf of the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Paris this morning.

This is part of an ongoing effort by the Federal Government to enthrone a culture transparency and accountability in conducting its affairs.

According to a press statement issued by Comrade Salihu Othman Isah, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, the AGF who is leader of the Nigerian delegation to the fourth submit of the OGP in France represented President Buhari at the event.

In his speech at the OGP 4th Global Summit in Paris, France, National Work Plan, the President frowned at how corruption has allowed the public resources originally made for development of the country to fritter away.

Buhari reiterated the commitment of his government to do away with the culture of opacity through transparent management of public resources and responsiveness to the aspiration of his citizens.

He expressed the determination of his leadership to continue to strenghten public institutions in the country and to foster inclusiveness in order to regain the trust of citizens and stakeholders in the public sector.

The Nigeria OGP National Action Plan spans into four key thematic areas, namely: fiscal transparency, anti-corruption, access to information, and citizen engagement. The commitments were co-created through a robust collaboration between government and civil society.

Some of the key deliverables are open budgeting, open contracting, revenue transparency, and a publication of a register of beneficial ownership especially in the extractive industry among others. These arose from the issues that Mr. President committed to during the Anti-Corruption Summit in London in May, 2016 aimed at consolidating ongoing reform efforts over the next two years.

To recount, “The OGP is an international multi-stakeholder initiative focused on improving transparency, accountability, citizen participation and responsiveness to citizens through technology and innovation.

“It brings together government and civil society champions of reforms who recognizes that governments are more likely to be more effective and credible when governance is subjected to public scrutiny, input and oversight.

At the national level, OGP introduces a domestic policy mechanism through which the government and civil society can have an ongoing dialogue. At the international level, it provides a global platform to connect, empower and support domestic reformers committed to transforming governments and societies through openness.

Malami, who is also the Co-Chair of OGP in Nigeria, noted that the Federal Government of Nigeria will work assiduously to ensure that all the fourteen commitments contained in the plan are realized within the timeline set in the National Action Plan.

He re-echoed with delight that Nigeria has now joined the global elite club of reformers and that the principles of OGP are consistent with the policies embarked upon by the Buhari administration.

The Minister praised the leadership of the civil society who participated in co-creating the OGP National Action Plan for their collaboration and promised that government will continue to partner with them all through the implementation period.

On a related note the Executive Director of Media Rights Agenda and Co-Chair of Nigeria OGP, Mr. Edetean Ojo, who led Nigerian civil society organisations attending the summit, commended the Federal Government for the bold initiative of joining OGP.

Ojo assured that civil society organisations, business groups and other non-state actors in the country will continue to monitor implementation process and provide the necessary feedback from citizens.

Also on the FG delegation are the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Special Assistant to the President on Justice Reform, Mrs Juliet Ibekaku, Director-General, Bureau for Public Service Reform, Dr. Joe Abbah as well as other top officials of government and representatives of the civil society organizations who worked together in the past six months to co-create the National Action Plan for open government in Nigeria.

The Global OGP Summit is expected to end on 9th December 2016.

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