Minister of Communications, Dr Adebayo Shittu
By Luminous Jannamike
ABUJA – The Federal Government has announced the approval of its e-government master plan to ensure all government processes across Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, are delivered electronically.
It also said an Executive Order on Open Government Partnership, OGP, has been drafted to strengthen the country’s capacity to rank higher in the next Global Open Budget Index.
Ministers of Communication and Justice, Adebayo Shittu and Abubakar Malami, stated these separately at the 4th National Steering Committee meeting of the OGP in Abuja on Tuesday.
Shittu also said the Federal Government would establish an e-government services company, through the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST), to provide platform for the masses to reach those in government and access direct information on all government activities.
He said: “Only recently, we received the Federal Government’s approval for the e-government master plan, which is a policy formulated drafted by the Ministry of Communication about two or three years ago. We are working on that to ensure that we internalise this policy throughout the spectrum of government.
“Through the NIPOST, we are trying to establish an e-government services company which would enable the ordinary masses of this country to be able to reach the government and be able to access all of government information apart from the services that the government offers in various ways.
“I want to assure this gathering that within the next couple of months, this new e-government services company would along with other new companies we plan to register and establish for the benefit of Nigerians.”
Speaking on the proposed Executive Order on OGP, Malami said the government would ensure that openness and transparency were embedded within the Federal Government’s reform agenda; so that OGP would remain an agenda of government beyond 2019.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice further said the Federal Government had also put measures in place to ensure that all federal MDAs set up OGP units under the Department of Reform Coordination and Service Improvement.
According to him, the OGP Secretariat has been directed to work with the Head of Service to ensure that a service-wide circular is issued with a view to implementing the recently approved Federal Executive Council memo on OGP.
He listed some of the progresses made by the country on the internalisation of OGP processes to include; publishing of more budget related documents than previous governments, release of the full audit report on 2016 budget, the improvement and pilot testing of the new National Open Contracting Platform, and the efforts made to publish Public Register of Beneficial Owners of Corporate Entities.
Malami, who was represented at the meeting by the Minister of state, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed said: “The OGP Secretariat has drafted an Executive Order on Open Government Partnership for your review and comments.
“The Executive Order seeks to strengthen the capacity and structure of the OGP Secretariat, ensure that it is fully embedded within the Federal Government’s reform agenda and provide it with quasi legal mandate pending when a legal framework can be developed and approved. This is with a view to ensuring that OGP remains an agenda of the Government of Nigeria beyond 2019.”
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