Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, on Monday disclosed that, as part of his efforts to entrench his fight against corruption, President Muhammadu Buhari will soon sign an executive order on transparency and efficiency in government.
Speaking at the National open government partnership retreat in Kaduna State, the Minister said “Corruption remains one of the biggest impediments to National development. It is illegal and illegitimate. It concerns actions that are often clandestine and practices that those who perpetrate it always try to conceal.”
He continued that, “Numerous scholars insist that many of the political, social and especially economic problems we face in Nigeria is still traceable to the problem of corruption.”
Malami also commended the Kaduna State Government, Governor Nasir El-Rufai, saying “We settled for hosting this event in Kaduna for many reasons including the fact that Governor Nasir El-Rufai has made significant efforts in engaging with the citizens and In the publication of Budget information as well as his desire to fast track the development of open government partnership principles in Kaduna State. It is my hope that Kaduna State can become a pilot state for the purpose of implementing OGP principles at the sub National level.”
“The open government partnership is a multi-stakeholders initiative focused on improving transparency accountability citizen participation and responsiveness to citizens through technology and innovation. OGP was formally launched in 2011 when the 8 founding governments Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, the Philippines, South Africa, the United Kingdom among others, saying Nigeria formally joined in in July 2016.
“Let me reiterate that the FGN will continue to pursue reform program on transparency and accountability through targeted measures based on the commitments that we have made to promote fiscal transparency open procurement open contracting access to information asset disclosure citizen engagement and empowerment.”
However he said “dwindling oil revenue government is desirous to continue to provide an enabling environment to attract foreign investors in order to diversify the economy. President Buhari has made it clear that Nigeria is open for business and has assured the world that illicit finance will have no hiding place in our country.
“In the coming weeks, the president will sign an executive order on promoting transparency and efficiency for the creation of an enabling business environment in Nigeria that will mandate all ministries, agencies and department to adopt openness in contracting procedures and publishing of contracts.”
In his own remarks, Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai, represented by his Deputy Barnabas Bala Bantex said, “This government believes that the governance standards embodied in the Open Government Partnership are very helpful in advancing the implementation of transparent and result-oriented government.
“In Kaduna State, we are cooperating with BudgIT on budget transparency, and everyone already knows that we insist on open competitive bidding for our contracts. Hardly a week passes without us publishing tenders in the newspapers. We have also established a platform for citizen engagement, with the Eyes and Ears project that confers on citizens the capacity to engage in real-time monitoring of our projects.”
According to him, “these efforts towards open government are being acknowledged by our development partners.”