September 11, 2018
Benin City, Nigeria…The Africa Network for Environment & Economic Justice, ANEEJ, has hailed the Edo State government on her expression of interest to participate as a key sub-national Open Government Partnership, OGP, player in Nigeria.
Since signing on to the Open Government Partnership in 2016, Nigeria and the OGP have worked assiduously to get subnational governments in the 36 states of the Federation to domesticate OGP thematic areas of fiscal accountability, access to information, citizen participation and zero-tolerance to corruption. ANEEJ has been on the fore campaigning for sub-national governments across the country to sign on to the global initiative.
‘As co-chair of the anti-corruption working group working on asset recovery, beneficial ownership of companies, promoting synergy among the anti-corruption agencies in Nigeria, ANEEJ is delighted at the prospect of, and with the Edo state government decision to get aboard the OGP mainstream. Long before other subnational governments signed on to the OGP, the Edo government already ran a website which opened up its procurement processes to the scrutiny of Edo people. That in itself is worthy of commendation at a time when public finances, and the way they are spent is shrouded in secrecy’, ANEEJ executive director the Rev David Ugolor has said.
With the Edo expression of interest, ANEEJ is hopeful that other states still at the periphery of open governance would take a cue from Edo and take the plunge to ensure that citizens enjoy the dividends of their collective investment on the government of their states.
‘With this development, ANEEJ believes that Edo state would soon occupy its pride of place in Nigeria as a government committed to attaining sustainable development through citizen participation, access to information and zero-tolerance to corruption’, the Rev Ugolor maintained.
It would be recalled that states like Kano, Kaduna, Anambra, Niger and Ebonyi which have signed on to the OGP are in various stages of developing their state action plans.