Copenhagen-Often time, Heads of State of different countries attend Anti-corruption summits where several commitments are made to tackle the scourge of corruption, regardless of these commitments, implementation has somewhat been a herculean task for these political leaders to achieve.
With this issue of lack of implementation, little progress has been made by countries that have made commitments to fight corruption,despite the numerous anti-corruption summits attended by the leaders of these countries.
Speaking to our reporter on this issue, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Open Government Partnership(OGP) Support Unit, Joe Powell, emphasised the need for heads of state engagement. “We need top level political leadership to own this agenda, to push it through governance, to work with civil societies on implementation, because this can’t just be done as a technical discussion”, he said.
Powell who moderated a session at the ongoing 18th International Anti-Corruption Conference(IACC), in Copenhagen Denmark, titled, “Gone but not Forgotten: Beyond the Legacy of the Anti-corruption Summit”, noted that heads of state are supposed to be at these summits, committing their countries to some of these transformational reforms, adding that without them, implementation would be much harder.
“We know that these anti-corruption issues are fundamentally political. These issues are political and they are tackling vested interest. I think in the future, we need heads of state at these summits”, he said.
speaking further on the change agenda in Nigeria, Powell pointed out that change can take time.
“In the Nigerian case, president Buhari came to the 2016 London anti-corruption summit, and he signed Nigeria up to the Open Government Partnership. I think we can use OGP as a tracking mechanism, to ensure that when statements are made in global forum, there is follow through and accountability at the national level.
“I hope OGP can help with that, I realise it is not perfect in any country but at least, it can be a start, so that we make this relevant to the Nigerian citizens. We need to take this directly to the citizens, so they understand the impact of anti-corruption reforms on their daily lives” he added.
The Open Government action plan in Nigeria covers issues like open contracting, beneficial ownership, extractive transparency, and giving citizens a voice on public service delivery.