FG Declares 2nd National Action Plan to Strengthen anti- Corruption Reform
The Honorable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice/Coordinating Minister, OGP Nigeria, Malami Abubakar, SAN has declared opened, the validation retreat of Open Government Partnership (OGP) draft on 2nd National Action Plan.
The retreat that took place at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja was to validate the draft of the 2nd National Action Plan ahead of its submission by the end of September 2019 to the OGP International Secretariat to ensure that Nigeria maintains an uninterrupted membership of the global body.
He said that OGP, was initiated by the administration of President Mohammadu Buhari to demonstrate his commitment to further strengthen anti- corruption reform. The 1st NAP was approved by the President and unveiled at the OGP Global Summit held in Paris in December, 2016 which after was delivered to the OGP International Secretariat.
“Nigeria joined the Open Government Partnership in July 2016 as a tool to foster transparency and accountability through targeted measures, this is to promote fiscal transparency, improve public procurement and open contracting, access to information, asset disclosure, citizen engagement and empowerment thereby consolidating on-going reform efforts within and outside the public service”.
Malami added that, for proper coordination of OGP, President Buhari named the Federal Ministry of Justice as the coordinating Ministry for the implementation. “Ministry has played that role effectively in the past two years and would continue to do so unless otherwise directed by the President”, he emphasized.
In his response to the Journalists on the achievements of the 1st NAP, the Attorney General said, the 1st National Action Plan had 14 commitments that were hinged on Fiscal Transparency, Access to Information, Anti-Corruption and Citizens Engagement amongst others.
He said, the Budget Office of the Federation through consultative process with relevant government agencies and citizens published the Pre-Budget Statement (2018-2020 MTEF/FSP) and has consistently published a Citizen’s Guide to the Budget since 2018. It has also developed the iMonitor platform for citizens’ feedback to government with respect to implementation of projects within communities’’.
Speaking on Anti-corruption, Malami said, “the commitment under anti-corruption thematic, the Federal Government has approved the harmonised National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS). The Asset Recovery and Management Unit (ARMU) in the Federal Ministry of Justice serve as the Secretariat for the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy. The ARMU also serves as the central coordinating unit for asset recovery and has been mandated with ensuring proper record keeping of assets recovered by the FMOJ”.
He revealed that the Freedom of Information (FOI) Unit of the Federal Ministry of Justice has trained and continues to train public officials in various MDAs on the provisions of the FOI Act. He added that the Unit has through several measures, encouraged MDAs to comply with the proactive disclosure obligations under the FOI Act. Currently FOI Desk Officers have been designated in 135 Ministries, Departments and Agencies
On citizens engagement in government, Malami said, “the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) had developed the Nigerian Open Contracting Portal (NOCOPO). This made the BPP to win the Government Innovation Award in a competition organized by the Washington, DC-based Open
Contracting Partnership and the London-based Open Data Institute. He said currently eight Pilot MDAs namely the Federal Ministry of Education, Health, Transport, Agriculture, Works and Petroleum Resources are spearheading the use of the Portal. The Bureau has trained these Agencies on how to upload data on the portal”.
The HAGF highlighted that the journey for the development of the draft 2nd NAP began when the NSC at its 4th meeting constituted a 2nd NAP committee under the leadership of the incoming Co-chair for non -State Actors to oversee the development of the 2nd NAP and to undertake the preliminary consultations required to deliver a 2nd draft NAP.
He disclosed that the National Steering Committee (NSC), and the NAP Drafting Committee as well as the OGP Secretariat worked assiduously over the past ten months through multi stakeholders’ consultative process involving Government and Civil Society Organisations to co-create the draft 2nd NAP.
He explained that the 1st NAP that has four thematic areas and fourteen commitments while the draft 2nd National Action Plan has seven (7) thematic areas with sixteen (16) commitments taking into consideration the need to roll over outstanding commitments from the 1st NAP, that have been identified through consultative processes and current OGP globally priorities as very critical in deepening OGP principles.
He urged the participants to ensure that at the end of the retreat, Nigeria would achieve a validated 2nd NAP to enable it present to the President for signature before submission to the OGP Global Secretariat at the end of September, 2019.
Malami expressed appreciation to MDAS and CSOs who have developed and deployed technology-based platforms to engage with citizens and government on governance and service delivery.
In his remarks, the Senior Fellow, Nigeria Economic Summit Group, (NESG) Dr Tayo Aduloju represented by Mr Seun Ojo said, that the 2nd OGP National Action Plan came at a time when the national fiscal gap between development resources requirements and the revenue mobilisation capacity indicate a fiscal deficit that needed to be closed. He prayed for strength and fortitude to translate NAP into tangible, measurable results and outcome that the Citizens can feel and experience.
In his opening address, the Executive Director, Media Rights Agenda (MRA) and Co-Chair, National Steering Committee of OGP Nigeria, Mr. Edetaen Ojo hoped that the 2nd NAP would deliver many benefits of OGP to the country and the people. “It is only in this way that all the efforts, time and resources that have been put into this initiative over the last three years will be meaningful”, he added.
Also present at the retreat were Minister of Finance, represented by Dr. Anne Nzegwu, Mr Edet Ojo Executive Director, Media Right Agenda Non- State Actor and Co-Chair OGP, Nigeria, representatives of MDAS, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) amongst others..
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