- Nigeria is now a member of the global steering committee of the Open Government Partnership
- Reacting to this development, the Nigerian government said it looks forward to working with other countries
- The global OGP steering committee is the executive decision-making body of OGP
Nigeria has been elected into the global steering committee of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) alongside France, Argentina and Romania for a period of three years beginning in October 2018.
This was announced on Tuesday, April 3, by the OGP in Washington DC, United States of America.
Reacting to the news, minister for justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), stated that the Nigerian government is grateful for the opportunity and is determined to advance the open government agenda.
“The government of Nigeria is excited at the opportunity to serve as a member of the OGP Steering Committee. Nigeria is committed to improving anti-corruption measures on asset recovery and the establishment of beneficial ownership register as well as citizen engagement through the use of technology. We look forward to working with other countries, particularly in Africa, to further the OGP principles,” Malami said.
Briefing journalists on Tuesday, April 10, on behalf of the minister, the permanent secretary in the ministry of justice, Taiwo Abidogun, promised that Nigeria would take advantage of its membership in the committee as the only African country, “to uphold the ideals of open government through regular sharing of experience and cross fertilization of ideas with other countries of Africa.”
The federal government joined the OGP in July 2016 to further deepen the reforms already initiated by President Muhammadu Buhari to confront the monster of corruption and block leakages of resources which otherwise should have been used to fund development.
His words: “Our experience over the past two years has shown that enduring vertical and horizontal structures can be built to reverse distrust among governmental institutions in the first instance between government and citizens.
“As a government, we hope to continue to build on the momentum as we continue to aact in ways consistent with the Open Government Declaration that we signed to promote a government that fosters the culture of openness, empowers and delivers for citizens and advances the ideals of transparency and participatory governance.
“We will continue to support the expansion of civic space, fostering innovation and promotion of improved access to information and disclosure. With the advancement of technology and the use of social media, government can now receive real time feedback on our policy initiatives and projects directly from citizens.”
NAIJ.com gathered that the global OGP steering committee is the executive decision-making body of OGP. The main role of the committee is to develop, promote and safeguard the values, principles and rules of partnership and oversee its functioning.
It is comprised of governments and civil society representatives that together guide the ongoing development and direction of OGP, maintaining high standards for the initiative and ensuring long term sustainability. The four seats in the global steering committee became vacant last year with Indonesia rotating after serving two consecutive terms and Chile, France and Romania finishing their terms.
A call for candidacy was issued by the OGPP support unit from Friday, January 26 to Monday, March 12. Four countries were endorsed as replacements including Nigeria - representing he African continent, with France and Romania running a second consecutive term.
Since 2011, the OGP has grown rapidly from just eight countries to 75 national and 20 local governments alongside thousands of civil society organisations.
In September 2017, the federal government kick-started plans to establish a public beneficial ownership register.
In a meeting held in Abuja, key agencies of the government fine-tuned strategies for the implementation of the policy.
The meeting which was held under the auspices of the OGP had in attendance the representatives of the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, the Corporate Affairs Commission, the Bureau for Public Enterprises, the Security and Exchange Commission, the Federal Ministry of Justice, CSOs amongst others.
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