The federal government have commended the Partnership to Engage, reform and Learn (PERL) a programme funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO), for their support in advancing and sustaining the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Initiative in Nigeria. Minister for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba who is the Co-chair of the OGP steering committee in Nigeria gave the commendation on Friday at a Media Parley marking the end of the 2022 OGP Week in Nigeria.
In the Minister’s words; “I will not also forget to thank our partners who have stood by us and supported us all through the OGP journey from inception. Worthy of mention here is the Partnership to Engage, reform and Learn (PERL) a programme funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO). PERL has consistently supported the development of our NAPs I and II and the implementation. They also have supported in stabilizing the OGP National Secretariat by recruiting the Civil Society Adviser who is providing enormous support to the OGP National Coordinator.”
Other donor agencies the Minister appreciated includes the MacArthur Foundation, United State Agency for International Development (USAID), Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA, now Open Society Initiative), Trust Africa and Ford Foundation.
The minister further reel out the gains of the OGP in Nigeria which according to him where made possible by the support of these donor agencies.
Some of the gains includes; a more simplified and participatory budget process where citizens now engage and participate effectively, Open Procurement process which made the Bureau for Public Procurement developed the NOCOPO Portal during the implementation of the National Action Plan 1 (NAP 1). The “NOCOPO portal is where all government procurement processes are available and accessible at the click of a button…. NOCOPO portal can be accessed at nocopo.bpp.gov.ng” the Minister said.
For his part, co-chair of the OGP steering committee Tayo Aduloju, the gains of the OGP are visible in the country. Aduloju believes bringing together Civil Society, private sector and government together for the purpose of co-creation is pathway towards development. In his words; “…. When we mobilize the collective capacity of government, private sector, civil society to energise citizens to participate in governance, the transformation can be seen, the transformation can be tracked” “and so what we try to do is accentuate success stories in the media in the last few years…we have told success stories in plateau state…Kaduna state, we have told success stories in the federal government’s action on Mineral Developments”. He added.
The sustenance and advancement of the OGP process in Nigeria continues with the ongoing draft of the NAP III which the minister and members of the OGP secretariat called on Nigerians to make their input. Uche Arisukwu the Civil Society Adviser at the OGP secretariat, said “….It is very important that Nigerians own this process of NAP III, learning from our experiences from NAPs I & II, so the link is on our twitter page and our website, Nigerians should go there and make inputs, different levels of Nigerians, the website is www.ogpnigeria.gov.ng the twitter page is @ogpnigeria, it is important your voice is captured so that when we are implementing the NAP III, we know that we are carrying the wishes and aspirations of Nigerians”