By Favour Nnabugwu
Abuja—The Director-General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms, BPSR, Dr. Joe Abah, yesterday, disclosed that the various reforms put in place by the agency has saved the country a whooping N650 billion.
Abbah called on other agencies of government in the country, including the Fiscal Responsibility Commission, FRC, to use their platforms to assist the government in fighting corruption.
Speaking at the Lunch-Time Reform Seminar on Open Government and Transparency, organized by the BPSR in Abuja, Dr. Joe Abah, said time had come for total reforms that would cut across the Legislature, Executive and in Judicial arms of government.
He called on BPP to step up its planning processes for better achievements for the nation, adding that efforts put together by the current administration would enable institutions of government to be more accountable and transparent in the interest of Nigerians.
He said government had amply demonstrated zero tolerance for corrupt practices in all sectors of the economy.
According to him, this is largely responsible for the social and economic problems which the country is facing today but which must not continue.
Abbah said: ‘’It is in this regard that President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to signing the Open Government Partnership initiatives, alongside the immediate Prime Minister of Great Britain, Mr. David Cameron, during the London anti-corruption summit in May, 2016.
‘’It is, therefore, important that public servants are fully aware of the objectives and essential elements of the Open Government Partnership, OGP.
“BPSR considers Open government and freedom of information to be extremely important mechanisms in fighting the scourge of corruption.
‘’The more open and accountable we are to the public, the more public support that government will receive for its initiatives. It is for this reason that we have championed this cause and BPSR was recently rated as the government agency with the most open and transparent procurement system in Nigeria.”
He said the Lunch-Time Seminar was also being organized to raise the capacity of public servants on Freedom of Information, FOI.”
Also speaking, the Head, FOI Act Unit, Ministry of Justice Mr. Benjamin Okolo, said it was regrettable that over 500 Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, are not compliant to the submission of annual reports to government authorities as at when due.
Okolo warned that government would soon begin to punish erring MDAs who failed to submit their Annual Reports for scrutiny as at when due .
In her contribution, the National Co-Coordinator, ‘’Right To Know” a civil society organization, Mrs. Eneh Nwanpa, called on government to improve the relationship between NGOs and all the MDAs to make the FOI bill work better.