• Sunday, June 16, 2024
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BusinessDay

Nigeria moves to join OGP in anti graft war

buhariiii

As part of its continued efforts to bring corruption to the barest minimum, Nigeria has signified its intention to be enlisted as the latest member nation of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), a global coalition in the fight against corruption.

The move was made official through a letter to the OGP steering committee titled, ‘Letter of Intention to Join the Open Government Partnership’ signed by the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN.

The letter was addressed jointly to Ayanda Dlodlo, Deputy Minister for Public Service Administration, Jean-Vincent Place, Secretary of State for State Reform and Simplification, Government of France, Alejandro Gonzalez Arreola, Executive Director, GESCO, Gestion Socialy Cooperacion A.C. and Manish Bapna, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, World Resource Institute.

According to Salihu Isah, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the AGF and Minister of Justice, the Minister was quoted to have stated how pleased the Nigerian government was to have made such a move to join the partnership, having met the eligibility criteria set out by the OGP.

“By joining OGP, the government of Nigeria commits to transparency and accountability in the management of public office. We believe that the OGP membership will enhance innovation, economic development and accelerate the transformation of our public service”, Malami had stressed.

He further revealed that Nigeria is already participating actively in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) process and implementing the EITI Standards, with emphasis on the fact that Nigeria has also enacted the Public Procurement Act and the Fiscal Responsibility Act with a view to enhancing transparency in public contracting, public procurement as well as the management of public finance.

“Nigeria has also improved access to information through the enactment of the Freedom of Information Act and the Code of Conduct Bureau Act. The requirement for the disclosure of assets by public officials is embedded in the Constitution and all public officers are required to declare their assets every four years.

“Against the background, Nigeria is committed to working with you and other countries within the OGP framework to implement the OGP initiatives with major focus on accountability of government institutions, enhancing freedom of information and corporate ownership transparency, particularly in the extractive industry”, the letter concluded

It will be recalled that, since OGP was launch in 2011, its membership has grown from eight to 69 countries; and currently, only eight are from the Africa namely, South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Tunisia, with this move, Nigeria intends to become the ninth African nation to join the coalition with the intention that it would aid the anti-graft war.