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February 23, 2024
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Cross section of participants at a one-day ensitisation workshop on the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy, organised by the Bureau of Public Service Reforms.

Bureau to collaborate with states on governance reforms

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By Philomina Attah

The Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) says it will collaborate with states through its governance reforms initiatives in order to replicate the same milestones at the sub-national.

Mr Dasuki Arabi, the Executive Director, BPSR, made this known on Tuesday in Abuja, at a one-day sensitisation workshop on the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) organised by BPSR.

Arabi said that the bureau had introduced various policies and programmes aimed at mainstreaming anti-corruption principles in governance and service delivery.

He said that the policies would also escalate anti- corruption principles into sub- national public administration through reforms in the Public Financial Management.

“They will help in deepening awareness of the code of conduct for Public Officers, Asset Declaration and the National Ethics and Integrity Policy (NEIP) across public institutions.’’

According to him, the bureau, through its governance reforms initiatives, is collaborating with states to replicate reforms milestones achieved at the federal level, build capacities and strengthen institutions for better service delivery.

He explained that the workshop was designed to bring together relevant stakeholders to acquaint them on the understanding of the objectives, pillars, indicators, and implementation mechanisms of NACs among others.

“The signing of the NACs by Nigeria in 2004 is part of the effort by the Federal Government to strengthen institutions, enhance transparency and promote accountability against corruption.

“This will, as well fulfill our commitments to international agreements and conventions in line with the United Nations Convention against Anti-Corruption (UNCAC).

“As a central agency established to initiate, coordinate and monitor reforms across the public sector, we are mindful of the impact of the implementation of NACs in terms of promoting good governance, fostering economic growth, and adherence to best practices and standards.’’

The director-general said that Nigeria had recently made significant strides towards fostering transparency, accountability, and citizen engagement through its commitment to the Open Government Partnership (OGP).

The OGP initiative, according to him, has become a beacon of hope, providing a platform for collaboration between the government and civil society to collectively address the challenges that hinder sustainable development.

“As we gather here today, we recognise that an open government is a fundamental cornerstone for democracy and good governance.

“It is through transparency and the active involvement of citizens that we can build trust and ensure that government actions align with the needs and aspirations of the people.

“The fight against corruption requires a multi-faceted approach that involves not only robust legal frameworks and law enforcement but also active citizen participation, accountability, and a commitment to ethical leadership.’’

He, however, encouraged the participants to contribute to the deliberations, share insights, and collaborate towards building a more open, accountable, and corruption-free Nigeria.

“Together, we can create a future where the principles of good governance and integrity guide our nation towards sustainable development and prosperity,” he said.

Ms Jane Onwumere, the Head, Technical Unit on Governance and Anti-Corruption Reforms (TUGAR), said that the aim of the workshop was to see a Nigeria free of corruption for sustainable human development.

In a presentation titled, “Implementation of National Anti-Corruption Strategy in Nigeria (2017-2022) Progress, Challenges and Way Forward,” Onwumere added that the workshop would provide a holistic National Anti-Corruption Strategy for all sectors and stakeholders in the fight against corruption.

“One of the critical gaps and peculiarity in the National Anti-Corruption agenda is the location of the accountability and anti-corruption mandates within multiple and operationally diverse institutions with limited interface and cooperation.

“As a result, there is very limited synergy and coordination of the overall anti-corruption effort and an ineffective use of resources,” she said.

She recommended the need for all MDAs to align their Strategic Plans and Workplans with NACS for effective monitoring and productivity.

On her part, Obialunanma Nnaobi-Ayodele, the Executive Director, OGP, Nigeria, expressed optimism that the workshop would yield positive result.

“It is our hope that at the end of this workshop, we will come up with innovative ways to fully implement NACs as well as engage other stakeholders who are not on board already with this campaign towards good governance and anti-corruption.

“The workshop will  present opportunity for us to look at the work we have done so far; where we are now as well come up with innovative solutions that will take us to achieve the vision for which the OGP NACs action plan wants,” she said.(NAN)

Edited by Chijioke Okoronkwo

Philip Daniel Yatai

Principal Correspondent, NAN Abuja
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