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Nigerians urged to leverage on open government partnership

The African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD) has urged Nigerians to utilize the opportunities of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) initiative to…

The African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD) has urged Nigerians to utilize the opportunities of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) initiative to hold government accountable and curb corruption.

The Executive Director of the centre, Dr Otive Igbuzor, made the call on Thursday in Abuja at the Town Hall Meeting as part of activities to mark the Nigerian OGP week organised by the centre and MacArthur Foundation.

He said the OGP was an international initiative meant to ensure that governance was not masked in secrecy thereby enabling citizens to be fully aware of the activities of government and to also ensure that government engaged in reforms and used the process to promote open and transparent governance to enhance accountability.

According to him, Nigeria joined the OGP as the 70th country in 2016 and the national action plan in Nigeria was approved in December 2016 while the implementation in Nigeria started in January 2017.

He said there were 14 commitments under the national action plan spread to four thematic areas of Fiscal Transparency, Anti-Corruption, Access to Information, and Citizens engagement.

“The problem of corruption is as old as society itself and cuts across nations, cultures, races and classes of people. It is undoubtedly one of the greatest challenges of our times leading to underdevelopment and poor service delivery. Corruption has a lot of negative consequences on every sphere of societal development whether social, economic or political. Corruption not only leads to poor service delivery but loss of lives.

“We can distinguish between four forms of accountability: political accountability, administrative accountability, professional accountability and democratic accountability. Political accountability requires government to act following the political and programmatic provisions adopted by the government. In practice, these positions are usually encapsulated in the annual budgets, declarations and commitments,” Igbuzor said.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Gida Mustapha who was represented by the Permanent Secretary General Services Office (GSO) Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) Olusegun Adekunle, and the Director General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) Dr Garba Abari among others attended the event.

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