Abuja:The Executive Director, Center for Leadership Strategy and Development, Center LSD, Otive Igbuzor said that the recent economic recovery declared by National Bureau of Statistics, NBS will mean nothing to the citizens except government abides by the principles of the Open Governance Partnership, OGP.
Addressing journalists in Abuja at the Government – CSOs Roundtable on Review on Open Government Partnership, OGP in Nigeria, Dr. Igbuzor pointed out that the country must not stop at just recording positive economic growth, saying that over the years, with trillions of naira made by Nigeria from crude oil sales, the lives of Nigerians were never impacted meaningfully.
He said “for the ordinary citizens, coming out of recession will only be meaningful to them if it translates to quality service delivery. Recognising that over the years, from 1999 to 2014, Nigeria received over 70 trillion naira from oil but it has not been translated into services for the citizens. And the reason is really that there is lack of transparency, accountability, and effective delivery of these services to citizens”.
“That’s why this government joined the OGP as the 70th member of the OGP process. And the OGP offers an opportunity for citizens and government to sit together and plan so that the resources of government delivers services to citizens.Government has made declarations in the past, made commitment in the past, but the uniqueness of the OGP process is the concept of co-creation that both government and civil society will come together to see how government resources can deliver services to the citizens”, he said.
The Center LSD Executive Director however noted that the roundtable was converged to look at ways the country can get it right by validating the review carried out by Center with funding from the MacArthur foundation on certain laws and legislations which are aimed at aiding the implementation of the OGP process in Nigeria.
“This roundtable will review Laws and legislations relevant to the OGP process like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Act, Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) Act, Money Laundering Prohibition Act (2011) and others. That is why we are here today to look at the laws that can help Nigeria deliver services to its citizens”.
On his part, the Team Leader at the OGP Secretariat in Abuja, Sulayman Dawodu, who also represented the Ministry of Justice, said that “at the end of the roundtable, recommendations will be made to the National Assembly in order to ensure that the workshop does not “end up in the trash”.
“We will come up with an advocacy team that will make a strong recommendation to the national Assembly for the implementation of this review of the laws in accordance with international best practices”.