The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a multilateral initiative that was launched in 2011 to provide a platform for domestic reformers to secure concrete commitments and make their governments more responsive, accountable and transparent to their citizens.
ONE in Africa would like to congratulate President Buhari and the Government of Nigeria for joining the Open Government Partnership on 23 June 2016. This is taking forward the commitment made by Government at the Abuja Anti-corruption summit organized by the Ministry of Justice, Open Society Foundation for West Africa (OSIWA) and ONE in May; further reiterated by President Buhari at the London Anti-corruption summit in the same month.
Being part of the OGP creates an opportunity for the Government of Nigeria together with CSOs, Private Sector and Citizens to raise the collective ambition and transformative power of OGP to collectively tackle the biggest societal challenges facing the country at the moment like poverty, inequality, corruption, human rights violations, and poor service delivery.
The success of a country’s OGP rests in the quality of commitments and their implementation. President Buhari and the Government of Nigeria have made commitments to stamp out corruption, increase transparency and improve service delivery. Including at the London Anti-corruption Summit President Buhari made commitments we hope will be the highlights of the National Action Plan:
- Establishing a public central register of company beneficial ownership information;
- Ensure transparency of the ownership and control of all companies involved in property purchase and public contracting;
- Full implementation of the principles of Open Contracting Data Standard, focusing on major projects like building of Health Centres and the improvement of Health Services;
- Enhance company disclosure on the payments to governments for the sale of oil, gas and minerals, complementing ongoing work through EITI;
- Strengthening asset recovery legislation.
Implementing these commitments will be a vehicle through which public and private entities will work together to deliver services and infrastructure that matters for social and economic development. These investments will promote sustainable development and fulfil the rights of citizens. We believe that requiring beneficial ownership disclosure, open contracting and asset recovery are steps that can help prevent further corruption, reduce impunity for those that hide behind anonymity, and ensure that public funds are efficiently used.
By Mwambu Wanendeya
ONE Africa Executive Director