Nigeria joins Open Government Partnership to improve governance
By Florence Adidi, Abuja
The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, says President Muhammadu Buhari committed to joining the Open Government Partnership (OGP) global family as its 70th member as part of efforts to fight corruption and improve governance in the country.
The Minister said since joining in 2016, the country had developed and implemented two action plans organised around transparency, access to information, anti-corruption, citizen engagement, service delivery, inclusion and extractive transparency.
Agba disclosed this at the official signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Corporate Affairs Commission CAC) and the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
He said that the signing ceremony was an affirmation of CAC’s commitment to the principles of open governance in Nigeria.
Agba explained that the signing of the MoU would enable the OGP Secretariat to formally take “physical possession of the property that the Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission offered for the release of the Commission’s Zone 5 office, with a view to ensuring its judicious use”.
He noted that the spacious and conducive office would be “promotive of the onerous duties and responsibilities of the Secretariat of the OGP”.
He appreciated the CAC, especially its Registrar General for their benevolent gesture which would, “in no small measure, contribute to the entrenchment of the workings of the OGP revolution” which was kickstarted in Nigeria in 2016 when
He said Nigeria had also been accepted into the membership of the Beneficial Ownership Leadership Group because of its avowed commitment to stamp out corruption and block illicit financial flows.
He added that the country’s aspiration in joining the Leadership Group was to strengthen “our international alliances towards a more seamless coordination for tracking illicit flows from Nigeria to anywhere around the world.”
“I take this opportunity to appreciate the collaborative efforts of the Registrar General in ensuring that Nigeria sets the pace in the development of a Beneficial Ownership Register in the African sub-region,” the Minister enthused.
Agba noted that for its tenacity in fighting corruption, Nigeria at the last OGP Global Summit in Seoul, South Korea, which held from December 15 to 17, 2021, won the OGP Impact Award – “for our commitment to Beneficial Ownership.”
This Global Award was in recognition of the nation’s resolve to press forward with OGP reforms, the Minister said.
He emphasised that the nation was striving to make the OGP work in Nigeria, saying “I assure you that we will ensure that the facility will be put to good use in fostering the institutionalisation of openness, transparency, accountability and inclusiveness in the Nigerian governance process.
“With the imminent roll out of the NAP III, these achievements will be consolidated upon by facilitating the full deployment and optimisation of the Beneficial Ownership Register.”
He reiterated that the OGP as a co-creation idea found this partnership with the CAC exemplary, while challenging other stakeholders to take a cue from the CAC in co-creatively advancing the OGP cause in Nigeria.
The Registrar General of the CAC, Alhaji Abubakar Garba said the CAC felt a sense of responsibility to support the OGP initiative.
He said that OGP needed all the support so that it could do more.