The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) has said that Open Government Partnership (OGP) joined by the Federal Government in 2016, has enabled citizens to have more access to information and improved the transparency in the governance of the present administration.
Malami who was the coordinating Minister of Nigeria’s OGP and the outgoing Co-Chair was speaking in Abuja while handing over co-chairmanship of the OGP National Steering Committee to the Minister of Budget and National Planning at the 8th OGP meeting.
The AGF, who was represented by the S. A to the President, Barrister Avoiding Aikhomo said the OGP contributed to government’s drive for transparency in the areas of open budget, open contracting, extractive industry, tax transparency, access to information and citizens’ engagement in governance processes as well as reformation of the Bureau of Public Service.
The AGF said, “The Budget Office of the Federation, through a consultative process with relevant government agencies and citizens published the Pre-Budget statement (2018-2020 MTEF/FSP) and has consistently published a Citizen’s Guide to the Budget since 2018.
“The Budget Office of the Federation in line with global best practices and Open Budget Survey Index developed the citizens ‘iMonitor’ portal which enables citizens across the country to access budget information in real-time to monitor projects while encouraging proactive feedback to the government,” he added.
The minister noted that in order to ensure improved transparency, prevent corruption and enhanced citizens’ participation in Nigeria through increased disclosure of information, the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) developed the Nigerian Open Contracting Portal (NOCOPO).
He said OGP also saw to the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and publication of oil and Gas Audit Reports, noting that the Procedure Guide for the Determination of the Quantity and Quality of Petroleum and Petroleum Products in Nigeria were also published by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and made available to the public.
The AGF said the Procedure Guide for the Determination of the Quantity and Quality of Petroleum and Petroleum Products in Nigeria were also published by the DPR and made available to the public.
According to him, the Federal Inland Revenue Service has also singed unto the Tax Administration Diagnostic Assessment Tool in order to assist the agency to assess the extent of efficiency of the tax administration at the federal and state levels as well as to determine the efficiency of the transparency of tax assessments.
He said in order to sustain the OGP implementation in the country, the Federal Executive Council approved the establishment of OGP implementation units in all public institutions. He said 14 states have joined the OGP in the past two years and there are signs that more states will sign onto the process in view of the impact of the OGP at the national level.
In his speech, the incoming co-chair of the OGP in Nigeria, who is the minister of state, Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba said he understood the achievements and challenges of the OGP in Nigeria, adding that the federal government will ensure transparency in governance in order to restore public confidence in the government.