By Nana Musa
The Minister of State, Finance, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clement Agba has called for urged new approach in implementation of second phase of the National Action Plan (NAP II).
Agba made the call on Tuesday in Abuja at the 2021 Open Government Partnership (OGP) Week for “Nigeria OGP National Steering Committee on interactive dialogue with all the Thematic Working Group Co-Chairs.
He urged all government partners in OGP in Nigeria to work hard towards achieving the set goals and objectives of NAP for accelerated progress on OGP.
The minister said the Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) of the OGP published a review of the implementation of the first phase of National Action Plan (NAP l) with rich recommendations that the committee needed to reflect on.
“The IRM review of NAP I found that Nigeria substantially implemented three out of 14 commitments in the action plan.
“Nigeria, notably advanced commitments in the areas of open budget, ease of doing business and reviewing open government laws.
“ Nine commitments saw limited implementation, two of these were not started during the implementation period.
”The two relate to information-sharing among anti-corruption agencies and building technology for citizen engagement and have been carried over to the next action plan.
“ For some of the commitments, the details of IRM findings and recommendations are damning and calls for deep reflection from all of us,” the minister said.
Agba said the committee must immediately get to the work of implementing the second action plan for better outcomes, seeing that we have about one year left of our implementation cycle.
“ We cannot use the pandemic as an excuse, especially as the action plan has been extended by one year,” he said.
The minister suggested some new approaches including early warning signs of the possibility of not fully implementing any commitment and measure impact of the work by working closely with the M&E Specialist.
Others included, incorporating plans for the sustainability of the reforms Nigeria was implementing to ensure the impact of the committee work outlived the implementation cycle and more importantly, affected the lives of ordinary citizens.
“ For better implementation of the NAP II, we at the National Steering Committee, will review quarterly implementation reports which will be prepared by the secretariat with input from you.
“This will begin from the third NSC Meeting, to allow you time to prepare this report.”
He stressed the need for direct intervention with relevant MDAs when needed to ensure the partnership was not strained and implementation continued seamlessly, resource mobilisation from donors and bilateral partners which was dwindling.
“ However, we have for the first time, secured funding for some OGP activities in the 2021 Budget of the Federal Government and increase collaboration and peer learning from countries implementing similar commitments as Nigeria,” Agba said.
The Minister for Youths and Sport Development, Mr Sunday Dare, said the aspect of inclusiveness was very vital to achieving government’s plan.
He said the strength of the partnership was to come up creating open government reforms, identify stakeholders to help in advancing thematic priorities.
Dare said it would help to device means to evaluate Nigeria efforts and new ways to better the process and strengthen the action plan.
Mrs Nkem Ilo, CEO, Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC) said there was need to go beyond the boundaries that held them.
“ We need to ensure security and welfare of all Nigerians and to create a pathway for all to succeed.
“I am going to ask that we commit ourselves to this process. If we are able to deliver on the first NAP we will be able to deliver on the second NAP,” she said. (NAN)