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Be committed to open governance, CSO urges FG, states

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Godsgift Onyedinefu

A civil Society Organization, the African Centre for Leadership, strategy and Development (Center LSD) has tasked the Federal Government of Nigeria to show more level of political support and commitment to the Open Government Partnership (OGP), which the it signed into in 2016.

The center stressed that the Buhari led government  has not achieved much in the first two and half year National Action Plan (NAP) of the OGP which expires June.

The programme Cordinator, Center LSD, Uchenna Arisukwu speaking at a media briefing on Friday to commemorate the 2019 OGP week recalled that Nigeria became the 70th member and the 12th African country to join the OGP process committed to open contracting. “An approach that ensures that transparency frameworks are applied to procurement systems.” he explained.

Arisukwu said since the signing into the OGP by president Muhamnadu Buhari, Nigeria has recorded modest achievements in the area of open budgeting, assets recovery, open procurement, access to information, citizens engagement and use of technology.

He however stressed that despite the “achievements”  there is much still left to be achieved with the OGP in Nigeria especially as the process for the development of the second NAP is underway.

To this end, the center stressed the need for the federal government to demonstrate a high level political commitment to the process by ensuring that the policy objectives  of the government draws from and supports the commitments of the OGP NAP and that high-level commitment officials prioritize OGP events and programmes.

The center also called for an increased access to government programmes and policies around anti corruption, fiscal management, social investments and that technology platforms and systems needs to enhance access be improved upon.

Further the Center also stressed the need to deepen citizen participation with budget process, procurement process and  Anti-Corruption strategy implementation and to for government to ensure high level engagement with citizens in the development of the second OGP NAP

“There should be a strategic and systematic approach for citizens at all levels to be actively involved in the process from start to finish.” Arisukwu said.

He added, ” there should be a dedicated avenue in form of websites and at form where citizens can engage the process by making inputs into what they want see in the plan.

“A thorough review of the  first NAP should be carried out to identify areas of weakness than can be strengthened in the second plan.” Arisukwu advised.

The center commended Kaduna, Kano, Anambra, Ebonyi, Abia, Enugu, Niger, Edo , Adamawa for signing up and domesticating the OGP  and developing states action plan.

The Centre also called on other states and newly elected governments at both states and federal levels to prioritize the OGP in their agenda and domesticate the OGP in their respective 

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