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Membership of Open Govt Partnership good for anti-graft fight, say civil societies

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Corruption
A Coalition of Nigerian civil society groups under the aegis of Open Alliance yesterday said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to join the global Open Government Partnership (OGP) has a strong potential to end systemic corrupt practices of contract inflation, mismanagement and non-implementation of policies in the public service.

Nigeria became the 12th African nation to join the voluntary partnership when the president committed the country to the OGP at the Anti-corruption Summit hosted by UK Premier David Cameron.

Open Alliance, which include BudgIT Nigeria, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), CLEEN Foundation, Connected Development, EiE Nigeria, Media Rights Agenda, Natural Resources Governance Institute, Partners Global and Public Private Development Centre, in its statement yesterday, “welcomed Nigerian government to the distinguished cohort of 69 of its peers across the world already committed to accountability in their dealings.”

Executive Director of Media Rights Agenda, Edeatan Ojo, said, “The news of Nigeria joining the OGP is quite gratifying for us as it represents a commitment by the Buhari Administration to Nigerians and the international community to run an open and participatory government in a country in desperate need of good governance, after decades of denial.”

“We in civil society stand ready to play our part in this process, firstly to hold the government accountable to this commitment but more importantly to work with the government and its agencies to achieve the promise that Nigeria’s membership of the OGP holds for the people of this country,” Ojo assured.

Seember Nyager of Public Private Development Centre said whilst the OGP enables multilateral collaboration in the sharing of best practices for the implementation of Open Data principles, the initiative simultaneously allows each country to align her commitments to its national priority, as identified by government and the public.

Oluseun Onigbinde, Lead Partner, BudgIT said, “We respectfully advise the Nigerian government to take further steps as needed, to ensure that there is an inclusive framework with extensive input from civil society, to achieve the development, and subsequent implementation of a bold action plan for the Open Government Partnership. This will validate the Buhari government’s interest in doing things differently and making a break with the past.”


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