Countdown to Ottawa, Canada: ANEEJ Holds Pre-OGP Summit National Dialogue, May 14.

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ABUJA, NIGERIA. May 8, 2019… Ahead of the 6th Open Government Partnership Global Summit scheduled for Ottawa, Canada from May 29-31, 2019 the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice and Lead Civil Society Organisation implementing the Mantra Project will on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 organise a Pre-OGP Summit National Dialogue in Abuja.

The one -day dialogue with the theme “Open Government Partnership (OGP) and Asset Recovery; Exploring Best Practice,” according to ANEEJ Executive Director, the Rev David Ugolor is expected to bring together stakeholders from the Nigeria OGP community drawn from Government, Civil Society, OGP Secretariat, Canadian Embassy, World Bank, DFID and members of the diplomatic community. It will hold at the Rockview (Royale) Hotel, Abuja beginning 9.00am. A former Country Director of ActionAid Nigeria and Founder of Centre LSD, Otive Igbuzor, PhD will moderate the Pre-OGP Summit dialogue.

MANTRA is a project designed to address issues of corruption within the broader objectives of the Anti-Corruption in Nigeria (ACORN) program of the British Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) which aims to strengthen the anticorruption regime in Nigeria. The MANTRA project aims to ensure that assets recovered are disbursed or invested in programmes in line with the country agreements on the recovered assets. The project is also designed to address the lack of clear policy framework for the recovery and management of looted assets in Nigeria.

 “We hope to bring stakeholders to review the 2017-2019 National Action Plan (NAP) in Nigeria with particular focus to commitment 8 (Asset Recovery) of Anti-Corruption sub-theme of the Nigeria OGP. We also want to identify potential and opportunities in the OGP summit in Ottawa, Canada as well as learn and draw lessons from global experience.

“We want to have collective input on agreed guidelines, principles and direction for the next NAP on the implementation of asset recovery utilization and management in Nigeria and use the opportunity to strategise for ANEEJ’s side event planned for the OGP Global Summit in Ottawa, Canada. The Abuja dialogue will also seek to harness some best practice to advance peer-learning on recovery, return and utilization at the Canada Summit,” says Rev David Ugolor.

The Canada Summit will bring together the 79-member countries and 20 local governments of the Open Government Partnership (OGP). It will also bring together participants from local and regional governments, civil society groups, academia, and beyond.  Our goal is to share knowledge and together create solutions for more open and transparent governments around the globe.

The Open government Partnership (OGP) is multilateral and multi-stakeholder initiative that brings together government and Civil Society Organizations to create action plans that make government more inclusive, responsive and accountable at national and subnational level. OGP is a platform that promotes transparency, empower citizens, tackle corruption and harness innovation and technology to strengthen governance.

OGP was established in September 20, 2011, when the 8 founding governments; Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, the Philippines, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States) endorsed the Open Government Declaration and announced their country action plans. Since 2011, 79 OGP participating countries and 20 subnational governments have made over 3,100 commitments to make their governments more open and accountable.

It will be recalled that Nigeria joined the OGP in July 2016 after the president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari expressed the commitment of the country to the principles of OGP at the London Anti-Corruption Summit which held in May 2016. The country reputation for transparency and anti-corruption efforts has received marked recognition internationally.

Nigeria, thereafter, developed its first National Action Plan spanning January 2017-June 2019 with 14 commitments under four thematic areas; Fiscal Transparency, Anti-Corruption, Access to information and Citizen engagement.

The Anti-Corruption thematic area consists of 4 commitments of which Asset Recovery is an integral part under commitment 8 with the sole objective to strengthen Nigeria Assets recovery legislation including non-conviction-based confiscation powers and the introduction of unexplained wealth orders. ANEEJ is one of the CSOs working on this thematic area and strongly leading on Asset Recovery commitments.

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