African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD), has called on the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration to consider as a matter of urgent national importance, the Institutionalization of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in the country, even as it joined other Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), and well-meaning citizens in commending Buhari’s administration for signing the Proceeds of Crime Bill (POCA) into law.
According to a recent statement by the Executive Director of the Centre, Mr. Monday Osasah since Nigeria was confirmed as a participating country of the OGP in 2016, the need to get it institutionalized to usher in the desired reforms cannot be overemphasized.
Continuing, Osasah stated, “OGP will provide the Nigeria state an opportunity to make improvement in transparency, accountability, and citizens engagement in governance, which indirectly impact citizens’ trust in government and its programmes.”
He further stated that POCA would ensure a more collaborative work among the anti-corruption agencies to addressing the problems of corruption in Nigeria.
Osasah, called on the Nigerian government, particularly the National Assembly, to consider other pending bills like the Whistle-blower Protection Bill, and the Witness Protection Bill for passage into law.
“The Institutionalization of the OGP and the passage of the relevant bills will not only help in the country’s ongoing anti-corruption drive, but also help to pass a strong message to the international community, especially those countries or the jurisdictions hosting and withholding our stolen funds,” he noted, even as he urged the anti-corruption agencies, including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), and the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), not to allow the law to become one of those beautiful pieces of legislation lying on the shelf to gather dust, but to put it to good use in the discharge of their responsibilities.
In the same vein, Osasah, charged citizens to close ranks with anti-corruption agencies to push for reforms, and also advocate for the passage of pending anti-corruption bills, as well as mainstreaming of anti-corruption issues into elections in Nigeria.