The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN has re-emphasised the Federal Government’s commitment to fight corruption to standstill and make Nigeria more open, accountable and responsive to citizens through several important reforms and initiatives such as the Open Government Partnership (OGP).
This is contained in a press statement made available to newsmen Wednesday by Special Adviser to the AGF on Media and Publicity, Comrade Salihu Othman Isah, adding that Malami revealed the Federal Government’s position in his goodwill message at the Open Government Partnership Working Group Planning meeting, on Tuesday in Abuja.
The AGF disclosed at the meeting that Nigeria has been recognised as one of the largest economies in Africa despite the recession, which is notable from the significant drop in oil price.
Malami who was represented at the programme by the Special Assistant to the President on Justice Sector Reform, Mrs. Juliet Ibekaku explained that the OGP is a multi-global initiative focused on improving initiative accountability, citizen participation and responsiveness to citizens through technology and innovation.
According to him, following the membership, the President approved the constitution of the OGP National Steering Committee made up of representatives of government Ministries, Agencies and Departments, Civil Society Organisations, Organised Private Sector and Professional Associations, with the Federal Ministry of Justice as the lead Ministry.
The Minister pointed out that these organisations worked hand-in-hand to co-create a two-year National Action Plan (NAP) at a retreat held in Kaduna in October 2016.
Following the draft plan, the NAP was submitted and approved by the OGP Secretariat during the Global Submit held in Paris in December 2016.
He said that the objective of the meeting was to set out a plan on the implementation of the National Action Plan document.
According to him, “now what we have here before us is the document that requires implementation. We’ve made the commitment, we have set out the plan and we are here to implement”.
The National Action Plan is hinged on four thematic areas namely: Fiscal transparency, Access to information, Anti-corruption and citizen’s engagement.
Finally the uniqueness of the OGP process lies in the implementation of the National Action Plan as it provides an organising frame work for networking in addition to establishing a domestic policy mechanism through which government and civil society can have an on-going dialogue”, the AGF stressed.
Malami also expressed confidence in the ability of the working group members to articulate action plans as well as develop the implementation strategies that would support the work.
“I have every confidence that your hard work in drafting plans will undertake the implementation in a manner that will produce anticipated result in the shortest possible plan”, he affirmed.
He therefore expressed gratitude to the OGP for honouring the invitation to the meeting. He acknowledged the presence of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and other relevant stakeholders for their support in making the gathering possible.
In his address, the representative of the British Government at the event, Mr Emma Uche reiterated the commitment of the donor agencies, especially, the British Government to OGP.
He gave assurance of British Government’s total commitment to ensure that the process is successful.
Uche explained that the OGP is a model of democracy with equal representatives of all government agencies, adding that the step taken by the Nigerian government to become a member of OGP is a critical one which could have been taken long ago.
“It is a great opportunity for the Nigerian government to be part of this gesture”, he affirmed.
Nigeria was formally accepted as the 70th OGP member nation in July, 2016