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Nigeria Design Report 2017-2019

Nigeria’s first action plan leveraged ongoing efforts in the country to address important open government challenges like beneficial ownership, open contracting, and implementing the Freedom of Information Act. The thematic scope and ambition of this action plan has set a good foundation to learn and improve future action plans. Moving forward, the IRM recommends strengthening the institutional framework, inter-agency coordination, and engagement with civil society to support implementation of OGP action plans and deliver key reforms.

Table 1. At a glance
Participating since: 2016
Action plan under review: 2017–2019
Report type: Design
Number of commitments: 14

Action plan development
Is there a multi-stakeholder forum: Yes
Level of public influence: Consult
Acted contrary to OGP process: No*

Action plan design
Commitments relevant to OGP Values: 12 (86%)
Transformative commitments: 2 (14%)
Potential stars: 2 (14%)

Action plan implementation
Completed commitments: N/A
Commitments with Major DIOG**: N/A
Commitments with Outstanding DIOG: N/A

**DIOG: Did it open government?

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a global partnership that brings together government reformers and civil society leaders to create action plans that make governments more inclusive, responsive, and accountable. The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) monitors all action plans to ensure governments follow through on commitments. Nigeria joined OGP in 2016. Since then, Nigeria has implemented one action plan. This report evaluates the design of Nigeria’s first action plan to provide useful recommendations for implementation of future action plans.

General overview of action plan

Nigeria’s first action plan addressed open governance in the country through fiscal transparency, anticorruption, access to information, and citizen engagement. The action plan furthered previous and ongoing initiatives on these areas.

Development of the action plan in Nigeria was supported by high level political participation during the co-creation process. The co-creation process was characterized by rigorous, technical methodology (e.g., performance indicators, expected results) while engaging thematic experts and including input from government and nongovernment stakeholders.

Areas where the country can improve its OGP process include ensuring greater participation of women, supporting the National Steering Committee (NSC) with resources and an operational institutional framework, and reporting on how civil society input is used to shape decisions throughout the OGP process.

Nigeria’s first action plan was focused on transparency and access to information. The action plan included commitments in ambitious policy areas like beneficial ownership and open contracting. Commitments 10 and 11 on improving compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) were considered the most ambitious. The table below highlights commitments to watch and considerations for ongoing commitment work.

Table 2. Commitments to Watch

Commitment description Moving forward
10 and 11: Improved compliance of public institutions with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in respect to annual reporting obligations of public institutions, responses to information requests, and the proactive disclosure provisions that stipulate mandatory publication requirements. This area can improve if implementation focuses on educating citizens and public officials on how the FOI Act will be implemented. Implementers must also consider how accountability can ensure enforcement of the law.
2: Full implementation of open contracting and adoption of open contracting data standards in the public sector. The National Council on Public Procurement and the Open Contracting Forum will play a vital role to ensure compliance with rules mandating open contracting and timelines. Implementers should support this work.

These reforms will also benefit from effective communication encouraging the use of the Open Contracting Portal. Future progress in this area will depend largely on the timely disclosure and quality of data available on the portal.

6: Establish a public register of Beneficial Owners of Companies. Implementing ongoing and future commitments in this area may benefit from legislative reform coupled mapping and identifying gaps in the current legal framework. Also, facilitating engagement and cooperation among public agencies such as Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC,) Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) and Central Bank of Nigeria may foster implementation.

Recommendations

The IRM recommendations from this report aim to support Nigeria in delivering strong open government reforms. The recommendations below are detailed further in Section V of this report and focus on strengthening institutional practices to support Nigeria’s OGP action plan.

Table 3. KEY IRM Recommendations

Strengthen the legal framework and institutional support for OGP in Nigeria.
Consolidate and reaffirm the role of NSC Nigeria to enhance action plan delivery.
Build an enabling environment to strengthen implementation of OGP action plans.
Build on lessons from the first action plan to improve commitment implementation and action plan results.

 

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Filed under: IRM IRM Report

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