By Jessica Dogo
The Public and Private Development Center (PPDC) revealed that the abuse of public procurement laws was responsible for Nigeria's infrastructure deficit.
PPDC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ms. Nkem Ilo said at a panel discussion Thursday in Abuja, which discussed "accountability mechanisms in Nigeria" and launched a scoping study in the states of Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Ekiti and Kaduna.
Ilo, who was represented by Gift Maxwell, the centre's chief operating officer (COO), said that in 2016, the center successfully championed and piloted Open Contracting Data (OCDS) standards in Nigeria through its platform- conformal form called Budeshi (www.budeshi.ng).
She explained that Budeshi assigns a unique identifier to contracts and ensures that contracts can be tracked from the design phase of the project to the delivery of the project.
“A disruption of this process, through fraudulent or corrupt practices, mismanagement of funds, ineffective enforcement of public procurement laws, would therefore lead to an infrastructure deficit.
“Over the past five years, we have supported seven states in Nigeria, including Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Ekiti and Kaduna states, in the development and deployment of their open contract portals.
“This is about ensuring transparency and accountability in public procurement processes in Nigeria, increasing citizen participation in governance, improving service delivery and ultimately, '' ensure value for money.
“Public procurement is the most important way the government provides basic social and social services,” she said.
It has stated that such services are necessary to accomplish government missions in a timely, prudent and efficient manner and that they are in many ways the lifeblood of most government programs and services.
“In the same vein, public contracts are carried out with taxpayers' money. Therefore, governments are expected to deliver them effectively and efficiently, with high standards of conduct to ensure high quality service delivery, ”she said.
She added that this would also protect the public interest, as citizens should at all times have unrestricted access to public information, especially information on public spending.
The Ilo noted that as part of the centre's continued efforts to improve public procurement practices in Nigeria, it had conducted research on tax transparency and accountability mechanisms in parts of the country.
“Between August and September 2021, PPDC, with support from the MacArthur Foundation, conducted research and scoping study on tax transparency and accountability mechanisms in Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Ekiti and Kaduna.
“The study assessed current levels of transparency and accountability in governance processes in states.
"The objective is to identify the main challenges that hinder the effective implementation of tax reforms and open contract data standards (OCDS), and to design strategies for effective engagement and sustainable implementation", she declared.
She added that the research findings provided a unique opportunity, as well as identified areas of support for states in improving their public procurement processes.
Likewise, achieve the indicators required for the World Bank's projects on State Fiscal Transparency and Accountability (SFTAS), their Open Government Partnership (OGP) commitments and other fiscal accountability milestones. 'she aims to achieve.
“However, to get there, we don't just have to have good intentions; we must also act intentionally. I would like to end by challenging everyone in this room to act intentionally by being the change we want to see in Nigeria. Let's open it up to fix it, ”she said.
Speaking on the report, Kaduna State Public Procurement Authority Director General Ingr. Sanusi Yero, said state governor Malam Nasir el-Rufai, does not interfere in procurement processes, adding that state procurement policy allows for the best execution of projects. .
Open Contracting Partnership (OCP) director Ms Andidiong Oko said government is the biggest spender of states because these people have to be careful about the government budget and the projects they are carrying out.
She said the state that has received an allocation from the federal government and generates revenue internally must be transparent and citizens must be involved in procurement from the planning stage.
In addition, the Executive Director of the Creative Minds Center for Youth and Community Development, Ms Ugochi Freeman, said that while citizens of Anambra State participate in procurement processes, civil society organizations must be encouraged to participate in the process.
The representative of the director general of the Ekiti State Procurement Office, Mr. Alabi Sunday, said the state had saved more than 20 billion naira on contracts, while the government was doing well in the matter. of physical transparency.
reports that PPDC is a citizen sector organization that seeks to promote increased citizen participation in governance to support better integrity in public sector governance.
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)(NAN)
By Folasade Akpan
The Federal Government and Public Service Institute of Nigeria (PSIN) have expressed their readiness to partner on strengthening fiscal transparency and accountability in states.
National Programme Coordinator, SFTAS Programme for Results, Mr Stephen Okon, made the disclosure on Tuesday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the partnership is under the federal government/World Bank-assisted States Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) programme.
A statement issued by Communications Specialist for SFTAS, Mr Ibrahim Mohammed, quoted Okon as stating this at a four-day pilot workshop for Curriculum Development on Public Financial Management and Open Government Principles (OGP).
He said that the workshop was organised by PSIN, in collaboration with West Africa Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM).
Okon said that strengthening fiscal transparency and accountability in states through SFTAS programme for results would go a long way in ensuring good fiscal governance for the sustainable development of Nigeria’s economy.
He explained that the technical assistance component of the programme required implementing agencies and partners to deliver capacity-building to states on the Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs).
This, according to him, is to ensure that they were supported to achieve results, a situation that would attract handsome financial benefits to the successful states.
Aside PSIN, Okoh listed other implementing agencies and partners to include: Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation (OAuGF), Debt Management Office (DMO), Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Open Government Partnership (OGP).
Earlier, Administrator of the institute, Mr Abdulganiyu Obatoyinbo, said that under the SFTAS programme, PSIN was assigned the mandate of providing capacity-building to the states in six core areas.
The core areas, according to him, are improved financial reporting and budget reliability, increased openness and citizens’ engagement in the budget process, improved cash management and reduced revenue leakages through implementation of state Treasury Single Account (TSA).
Others areas, he said, were strengthened internally- generated revenue collection, biometric registration and bank verification number used to reduce payroll fraud and improved procurement practices for increased transparency and value for money.
Obatoyinbo, however, restated the institute’s resolve to deliver on its mandate so as to enable the programme realise its objectives of engendering efficient and sustainable public financial management system in the country.
Director-General of WAIFEM, Mr Baba Musa, said the agency was hired by SFTAS programme coordination unit/PSIN to design curriculum-based and structured face-to-face learning courses on Public Financial Management (PFM) and OGP to ease delivery of capacity-building activities to states.
NAN reports that SFTAS is a programme which focuses on strengthening the fiscal sustainability, transparency and accountability of states across the federation. (NAN)(NAN)
By Habibu Harisu
The Kebbi government has established a partnership between Oxfam and the Open Government Partnership (OGP) initiative to improve the transparency of governance services in the state.
The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that the state is the 20th in the list of states that have subscribed to the European Union-supported program in Nigeria, aimed at promoting good participatory governance.
Speaking at the start of a three-day stakeholder training Friday in Sokoto, Mr. Usman Faleye of Oxfam, the European Union's OGP implementing partner, said Kebbi would attract many benefits by joining the program.
Faleye, who is Oxfam's governance and influence coordinator, told stakeholders that the action plan will be reviewed and presentations will be obtained from experts on the 2021-2022 action plan and His development.
“It will help the state improve service delivery, attract investors and donors.
"It will also restore trust between the government and the state's citizens, as citizens will now begin to make their voices heard in the budget and political process," Faleye said.
Regarding the state's commitment to the program, Faleye said that by joining the partnership, the state has shown its readiness and commitment to transparency and accountability for better service delivery.
Hajiya Aishat Usman, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning of Kebbi State, expressed the state government's commitment to programs that would promote transparency.
He noted that Governor Atiku Bagudu would always welcome such an initiative.
“When we have accountable and transparent government, we build the confidence of donors and investors,” she added.
She assured that the governor would continue to support the program and unveil more action plans in order to succeed.
NAN reports that various presentations were made and that the event witnessed questions and answers as well as engagement from civil society organizations in Kebbi. (NOPE)(NAN)
Rev. David Ugolor, ANEEJ Executive Director, gave the commendation on Thursday in Benin during his welcome speech at a two-day workshop for Civil Society Organizations and journalists.
The workshop was funded by the European Union and the British Council as part of the implementation of the “Rule of Law and Antic-Corruption (ROLAC) “programme in Nigeria.
Ugolor said such effort in advancing fiscal transparency through implementation of Open Government Partnership (OGP) commitments in Edo State would improve oversight, transparency and accountability in the management of resources.
The executive director said that the move would target corruption prevention measures.
“Recall that Edo State Government signed on to the Open Government Partnership in 2018 and is committed to a transparent, accountable and participatory government.
“The State Action Plan (SAP) has been developed and is currently before the government for approval. In the draft OGP State Action Plan, concrete commitment were proposed for the implementation across five thematic areas.
“These are fiscal transparency, anti-corruption, service delivery and inclusion, access to information and citizen engagement,” he said.
Mr Innocent Edemhanria, ANEEJ Programme Manager, said the state government had a vision to develop a modern and progressive society where every citizen would be empowered with opportunity to live life in its fullness.
According to Edemhanria, the state had launched some laudable initiatives as part of the effort to actualize the vision.
“Worthy of mention is Edo State Open Data Portal Initiative which is official data repository of the state government. This portal makes it possible for the public to access information on government activities undertaken in different MDAs.
“Since its launch, the portal has about 188 data sets obtained from the various MDAs in the state and has received 74,000 page views, 14,000 users and 5,000 users from 140,000 countries.
“Other key initiatives launched with the aim of ensuring an open government include the open contracting data standard portal, Edo State project monitoring system and the Edo internal revenue automation project,” he said.
Mrs Abiola Daisy, President, Conference of Non-Governmental Organisations in Edo State said the body would intensify efforts to promote integrity and dignity of the state and country at large.
Edited By: Razak Owolabi
The Kaduna State Government says it has allocated 63 per cent of the N237.5 billion 2021 draft budget to education, health and infrastructural development.
Mr Thomad Gyang, the state’s Commissioner for Planning and Budget Commission, made this known on Saturday, at a virtual 2021 Draft Budget Townhall Meeting, with the theme: “Budget of Recovery”.
Gyang said that education was allocated N59.6 billion, representing 25 per cent of the total budget size while infrastructural development got N55.1 billion, representing 23 per cent of the draft budget.
He added that health sector also got N35.8 billion representing 15 per cent of the total budget.
According to him, allocation to the sectors represent 63 per cent of the N237.5 billion draft budget for the 2021 fiscal year.
“The government allocated about 70 per cent of the total 2021 draft budget, to enable the economy of the state to recover quickly from the present difficulties occasioned by COVID-19,” he said.
Gyang explained that of the N237.5 billion proposed for the year, N157.6 billion was earmarked for capital projects while N79.96 billion for recurrent expenditure.
He noted that the highlight of the draft document showed that the economic sub-sector got N62.1 billion; agriculture N10.4 billion; business, innovation and technology N5.6 billion, housing and urban development N8.7 billion, public works and nfrastructure got N37.4 billion.
“The social sub-sector got a total of N62.2 billion with education allocated the lion share of N38.2 billion, health N22.6 billion and social development N1.4 billion.
“The regional sub-sector was allocated N5.4 billion of which Environment and Natural Resources got N2.8 billion and Water N2.7 billion.
“General administration sub-sector was allocated N27.8 billion, which include the allocation of N19 billion to the executive; governance got N5.5 billion, law and justice N802.96 million as well as legislature N2.5 billion,” he said.
The commissioner said that the government was making efforts to address structural issues that would make the state resilient to shocks.
Gyang added that tough decisions would be made in the long term, including diversifying the states revenue base away from dependence on federal allocations.
“Government earns money from taxes, fees, and fines, interest dividends by public sector enterprises, grants and loans. Therefore, citizens have a role to play in this process.
“This is the sixth budget town hall meeting we are holding and the second since Gov. Nasir El-Rufai’s reelection in 2019.
Also speaking, the Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, said that the state had institutionalised citizens’ consultations since 2015, as part of commitment to enhance transparency and accountability.
Balarabe noted that comments and suggestions from the citizens would be inputted as appropriate before presentation of the draft budget to the State House of Assembly.
According to her, life must continue despite the negative impacts of COVID-19 on social and economic development.
Balarabe said: “This is why the budget prioritises capital spending and upholds putting people first policy, which supports commitment to education, health, and infrastructure.
“While education and health are the principal component of human capital development, investment in infrastructure is critical to maintaining the state competitiveness, supporting economic dynamism, creating jobs and promoting the wellbeing of people.”
Also speaking, Mr Ben Kure, Special Adviser to the Gov. El-Rufai on Political Matters, said that Kaduna state cares for her citizens and would continue to invest in the lives of the people to uplift their wellbeing.
The Kaduna State government, on Friday, enjoined civil society organizations (CSOs) and the private sector to make inputs into its Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) 2021-2023.
The Commissioner, Planning and Budget Commission, Mr Thomas Gyang, said during a virtual consultation meeting in Kaduna that the measure was part of the state government’s commitment to citizens’ engagement.
Gyang said that the meeting was organised to update the CSOs and the private sector on the journey so far in the preparation of the 2021-2023 multi-year budget.
He also said that the consultation was to provide insights on the underlying macro-economic assumptions and fiscal targets that informed the preparation of the 2021–2023 MTEF document.
According to him, the working relationship among the government, civil society and private sector will further strengthen transparency and accountability in the state.
“This interface will facilitate the activities of the CSOs by making information available in advance to enhance timely budget scrutiny for quality inputs,” he said.
Gyang said that the MTEF budget size for the 2021 fiscal year was put at N170.4 billion, with a projected capital expenditure of N100.2 billion and recurrent expenditure of N70.2 billion.
“Other assumptions include oil production benchmark of 1.7 million barrel per day, oil price benchmark of $35 dollars per barrel and exchange rate of N360 to a dollar and mineral ratio of 34 percent.
“Meanwhile, the World Bank’s programme for result credit loan will constitute the chunk of the loan that will be used to finance the 2021 capital projects,” he said.
Gyang said that the 2021 budget estimates were based on the MTEF document, which had historically provided more realistic estimates.
He added that the 2021–2023 draft budget was currently before the state Executive Council for deliberations, after which a town hall meeting would be organised to get the citizens’ inputs before presentation to the House of Assembly for passage.
During the discussion, Mr Yusuf Goje of Coalition of Association for Leadership, Peace, Empowerment and Development, drew the attention of the government to a realistic budget, in line with MTEF projections.
Also, Mr Emmanuel Bonet of AID Foundation, thanked the government for engaging the citizens in the MTEF processes and budget preparations, in line with the principle of Open Government Partnership (OGP).
Bonet said that the CSOs and the private sector would look at the MTEF assumptions vis-a-vis the state multi-year budget estimate and provide the necessary feedback for the government to improve the documents.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo and
Source: NAN‘Wale Sadeeq
Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti on Monday inaugurated the steering committee of Open Government Partnership (OGP), to further demonstrate his administration’s commitment to open governance, transparency and accountability.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that OGP is an international multi-stakeholder initiative aimed at promoting open governance, citizen’s empowerment, fight corruption and harness new technology to strengthen member states.
Fayemi, who inaugurated the committee at the Governor’s Office, Ado-Ekiti, said the OGP initiative was in consonance with his restoration agenda as clearly spelt out in the five pillars of his administration.
The steering committee, which is to be coordinated by the Commissioner for Budget, Mr Femi Ajayi, had the Director General Office of Transformation and Service Delivery (OTSD), Prof. Mobolaji Aluko as member.
Special Adviser, Bureau of Public Procurement, Mr O’seun Odewale; Permanent Secretary (Finance) Mr Folorunso; Permanent Secretary (Budget) Mr Adeleke Adefolaju; Accountant General, Mrs Titilayo Olayinka and Special Adviser, Mr Biodun Oluleye.
Others include: Prof. Oluwadare C.T, Olafunsho Olajide from Disability Not a Barrier Initiative; President, Ekiti Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA), Chief Kola Akosile; and Representative of the Institution of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Mrs Agbaje.
Members of the steering committee, according to the Governor, were selected from civil society organisations, professional bodies, youth parliaments, public service and other interest groups.
This was to ensure more commitment from the government to promote open governance, empower citizens, fight corruption and harness new technology to strengthen governance in Ekiti State.
The Governor explained that his administration had always prioritised inclusion of the needs and aspirations of towns and communities in the State’s annual budgets
He said that the OGP initiative would increase collaboration between government and other stakeholders to improve the standard of living of the people in the state.
“The Open Government Partnership initiative will also promote more collaboration work within government by promoting mutual accountability, information sharing and coordination among MDAs.
“This will promote efficiency in government and delivery of the goals of the five pillars,” he said.
Fayemi explained that OGP would further strengthen his administration’s reforms in open budget, open contracting, revenue transparency, beneficial ownership transparency, assets disclosure, access to information, citizens’ engagement and empowerment.
Ekiti being the first State to join OGP in South-western Nigeria, Fayemi expressed delight that his administration’s efforts at deepening good governance and embracing inclusive participation were gaining recognition at international level.
According to him, as a responsible government, we always insisted that all government functionaries demonstrated understanding of accountability and transparency in their various activities.
“The policy areas are the right to information, gender and inclusion, digital governance and rights, protection of civic space and natural resources and fight against corruption.
“The OGP was launched in 2011 with eight (8) founding member government. In July, 2016 Nigeria, through the efforts of Open Alliance, joined the partnership as 70th member country.
“To deepen ongoing institutional and policy reforms in Ekiti State, we applied for membership of Open Government Partnership in October, 2019, the application was graciously approved,” he said.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Development, Mr Femi Ajayi stated that the initiative involved engaging citizens in governance, adding that the benefits of the partnership was enormous.
Ajayi said that such partnership, if well coordinated would cement the already cordial relationship between the government and the civil society.
Edited By: Josephine Obute/Felix Ajide
The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), a non-governmental organisation, has appealed to relevant stakeholders to intensify efforts towards protection of human rights to advance national integrity.
ANEEJ`S Executive Director, Rev. David Ugolor made the call during his welcome address at a 2-day workshop for journalist and civil society organisations on Freedom of Information (FOI) on Monday in Benin.
The workshop, was sponsored by European Union and executed by the British Council as part of implementing the Civil Society Advocacy to Support Anti-corruption and Rule of Law in Nigeria (CASARN) project.
According to him, there is need for effective collaboration between government and non-governmental organisations to sustain human rights in the country.
He said actualizing CASARN project would help to achieve the feat in the country.
“The goal of the CASARN project is to enhance governance in Nigeria by strengthening rule of law and the protection of human rights by reinforcing prevention mechanisms and enhance civil society and public engagement.
“The project is also aimed to enhance Nigerian government by contributing to the fight against corruption,”he said.
Ugolor said one of the project`s objective was now to support medial and CSOs advocacy for implementation of Open Government Partnership (OGP)commitments in Edo to improve oversight, transparency and accountability in the management of resources.
The executive director said the project was also targeting corruption preventive measures in the state.
“In the document, concrete commitments have been proposed for implementation across five thematic areas of fiscal transparency, anti-corruption, service delivery and inclusion, access to information and citizen engagement.
“It is in pursuance to the access to information commitments that the draft FOI law has been proposed,” he said.
In her part, Prof. Yinka Omorogbe, the Edo State Attorney – General and Commissioner for Justice, said a committee had been set up few months ago to work on a draft of FOI law for the state.
She the committee had come up with a draft bill’ noting that the drafted bill had been discussed and reviewed within the government circle.
Edited By: Kayode Olaitan (NAN)
A Civil Society group, Kaduna Maternal Accountability Mechanism, KADMAM, has urged the Kaduna State Government to release funds to address challenges in the health sector.
He noted that most approvals of funds for health issues by the goverment were not backed by actual releases of the required money to address the challenges.
“For instance this year, from January to the month of June, only 19 per cent has been allocated to health budget, though it has been cash backed, but this is a big challenge”, Jumare said.
He appealed to other CSOs working in the state to intensify advocacy and efforts to secure more government commitment to the health sector.
The chairman noted that KADMAM was seeking more support from Lafiya-DFID to integrate and make more advocacies around nutrition, education, water sanitation, hygiene, employment and human development.
“Before now, we only work on health matters but this time, they want us to capture other areas, hence, the need to work with other CSOs involved in those areas”.
The focus will be on generating more resources to the health sector and getting government to prioritise health, through civil society advocacy on human capital, community accountability and use of data to inform government prioritisation of the sector.
The project also aims at improving effectiveness and efficiency of public and private basic health services through health system strengthening.
It will work with the private sector to improve delivery of affordable health services for the poorest population, increasing modern contraceptive prevalence rate through addressing social norms, impact analysis, and support to family planning demand creation and delivery services.
Jumare lauded the state government for it’s initiative on accountability and transparency on budget allocations.
“Kaduna is an accountable state because it has joined the Open Government Partnership (OGP), and the concept is to talk about accountability and transparency”.
Ahmadu said the programme aims to improve health outcomes for the poorest and most vulnerable in the country through encouraging government to increase resources invested in health sector.
“We started in February and we are still at the inception stage. During inception, you want to know what is the baseline of your intervention, hence, we liaise with KADMAM”.
She said that Lafiya chose to work with KADMAM because of the impact of its work in the state.
“We believe that with them being involved, we can achieve the goal of getting the government to be more accountable and to prioritize health”.
Edited By: Shuaib Sadiq/Maharazu (NAN) Ahmed