CSOs Pledge to Ensure Effective Implementation of OGP National Action Plan

Mr. Edetaen Ojo,           Co-Chair of OGP Nigeria Steering Committee
Mr. Edetaen Ojo, Co-Chair of OGP Nigeria Steering Committee

Representatives of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) at a two-day Training of Trainers’ (ToT) workshop on Open Government Partnership (OGP) have committed to monitor and ensure effective implementation of the OGP Nigeria National Action Plan (NAP). They Pledged to take the OGP campaign to their respective regions, states and localities to ensure that state governments as well as regional institutions sign on to the OGP initiative.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Edetaen Ojo, the Executive Director of MRA and Co-Chair of OGP Nigeria Steering Committee, who facilitated the two-day intensive training noted that, the objectives of the workshop was to bring together participants from diverse CSOs in different parts of Nigeria to sensitize them about the OGP, how it operates and their role in the effective implementation of Nigeria’s OGP National Action Plan (NAP.)

He said that the training sought to encourage and facilitate the participation of more CSOs in the OGP process by sharing information about OGP structures, processes, engagement tools and mechanisms as well as other OGP resources which would enable them become more effective in their engagement of the OGP; and to develop strategies and approaches for civil society engagement of the OGP process at the national and sub-national levels.”

Mrs. Kehinde Osotimehin-Olorunleke, representative of the UNDP at the workshop also noted that the EU-funded Project on “Support to Anti-Corruption in Nigeria” was aimed at strengthening Anti-corruption Agencies (ACAs) and CSOs coordination and effectiveness in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.

She said that the UNDP was proud to work with CSO stakeholders in expanding the scope of their anti-corruption engagements with each other, with the ACAs and the National Assembly adding that the main goal is to expand opportunities for CSOs to make a positive impact in the Anti-Corruption crusade. These, she said, form the basis of UNDP’s partnership with MRA on the OGP training.

The ToT saw the attendance of government officials and representatives of CSOs both as facilitators and trainees.

Ten plenary sessions spread across the two days were dedicated to various issue-areas on OGP and OGP Nigeria. Participants were trained on the history of the OGP, its objectives and processes internationally and in Nigeria; key partners in the OGP process and their respective roles; the development of the NAP, OGP Nigeria’s thematic areas and the 14 commitments; structure, management and organograms of OGP international and OGP Nigeria as well as their functions.

Other plenary sessions at the ToT workshops included history and objectives of Open Alliance (the civil society platform for engaging the OGP processes in Nigeria), its relationship with OGP Nigeria and its membership criteria and processes; roles of states and state governments in the OGP process; open contracting and public procurement in the OGP process; how the civil society can effectively engage the OGP process to advance their issues and tools available for such engagement; OGP and the Open Budget campaign, among others.

The ToT which saw the recruitment of many additional local as well as national civil society actors into the OGP process was held at Bolton White Hotel, Abuja on July 10 and 11, 2017. It was organised by Media Rights Agenda (MRA) in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).