The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has committed to partnering with Civil Society organizations to ensure robust and effective implementation of Open Government Partnership (OGP) in the country.
NOA Director General, Dr. Garba Abari made this known when he received the Executive Director, African Centre for Leadership Strategy and Development (Centre-LSD), Dr. Otive Igbuzor on an advocacy visit.
Abari said the Agency was especially committed to driving the implementation of Commitments 12 of the OGP which aims to “Develop a Permanent Dialogue Mechanism on transparency, accountability and good governance between citizens and government to facilitate a culture of openness”. He said NOA had already laid foundation for implementing that Commitment through its Local Government Assembly platform, adding that the Agency was evolving more effective strategies to educate citizens on the power at their disposal through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to ensure transparency in government business.
He also stressed the need for religious leaders to actively support OGP efforts by emphasizing ethics and transparency in their sermons.
On the request by Centre LSD for NOA to join in managing the MacArthur Foundation grants for the promotion of OGP in Nigeria, Dr. Abari said the Agency will participate in the implementation of the of the agreement not just as chair of the Commitment 12 but as lead member of both commitment 13 and 14 along with the Ministry of Justice and other stakeholders.
In his remarks, Dr. Igbuzor noted that Nigeria joined other countries to sign the 14-point commitments of the OGP which, among other things, promotes Co-creation, a global initiative to help strengthen government and civil society collaborations on the Open Government agenda.
He said the NOA/Civil Society partnership will ensure the achievement of the OGP objectives, urging NOA to focus its FOIA advocacy on other Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government with a view to encouraging them to adopt proactive disclosure as provided for in the Act.
The OGP was launched in 2011 to provide an international platform for domestic reformers committed to making their governments more open, accountable, and responsive to citizens.