Nigeria Design Report 2019-2021
Nigeria’s second Action plans are at the core of a government’s participation in OGP. They are the product of a co-creation process in which government and civil society jointly develop commitments to open governmen... continues commitments on budget openness, public contracts, extractive industry, anti-corruption measures and implementation of freedom of information Creating and passing legislation is one of the most effective ways of ensuring open government reforms have long-lasting effects on government practices. Technical specifications: Act of creating or r.... The plan also provides new focus on improved service delivery, OGP participating governments are working to create governments that truly serve all people. This includes many historically oppressed groups such as persons with disabilities, women, lesbian, gay, bi... and civic space. While civil society and development partners continue to play a vital supporting role, fulfilment of commitments requires sustained engagement and institutional ownership from the leading government institutions.
|Table 1. At a glance
Participating since: 2016
Action plan under review: Second
Report type: Design
Number of commitments: 16
Action plan development
Is there a multistakeholder forum: Yes
Level of public influence: Collaborate
Acted contrary to OGP process: No
Action plan design
Commitments relevant to OGP values: 15 (94%)
Transformative commitments: 4 (25%)
Potentially starred commitments: 4
The The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a multi-stakeholder initiative focused on improving government transparency, ensuring opportunities for citizen participation in public matters, and strengthen... More (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 The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) is OGP’s accountability arm and the main means of tracking progress in participating countries. The IRM provides independent, evidence-based, and objective ... monitors all action plans to ensure governments follow through on commitments. Nigeria joined OGP in 2016. Since, Nigeria has implemented one action plan. This report evaluates the design of Nigeria’s second action plan.
General overview of action plan
The development of the action plan coincided with pre-general election activities in the first half of 2019, generating challenges for the OGP process. The dissolution of the Federal Council affected the functioning of the OGP Secretariat housed in the Ministry of To address barriers that prevent citizens from having their justice needs met, OGP participating governments are working to expand transparency, accountability, and inclusion into all systems of justi... and delayed preparation of the plan.
Compared with the previous plan, the development of Nigeria’s second action plan saw a deeper level of engagement with non-state actors, over a period of six months. While the Technical Committee still did not provide documented feedback on stakeholders’ suggestions, CSOs were provided with several OGP commitments are promises for reform co-created by governments and civil society and submitted as part of an action plan. Commitments typically include a description of the problem, concrete action... drafts and opportunities to offer further input. Interviewed civil society representatives note that some proposals did not make it into the final action plan. However, most of their priority issues were incorporated into commitments, such as measures related to the fight against corruption and improvement of civic space. To ensure full According to OGP’s Articles of Governance, transparency occurs when “government-held information (including on activities and decisions) is open, comprehensive, timely, freely available to the pub... More, the OGP Secretariat needs to create a publicly available website on the OGP process and ensure continued engagement of civil society in the action plan implementation. Nigeria’s OGP process could become more effective by engaging senior leadership of implementing institutions providing sustained and regular higher-level political support for delivery of commitments.
The current action plan consists of 16 commitments, 13 of which build from the previous action plan. They cover a variety of relevant topics, such as budget openness, disclosure of public contracts, transparency of the extractive sector, Disclosing beneficial owners — those who ultimately control or profit from a business — is essential for combating corruption, stemming illicit financial flows, and fighting tax evasion. Technical... More, implementation of the freedom of information law, and fostering integrity in To ensure that citizens of all groups are better supported by the government, OGP participating governments are working to improve the quality of and access to public services. Commitments in this are.... Most commitments are closely aligned with policy priorities in Nigeria’s 2020 Vision and other international commitments, such as the Applying open government values of transparency, participation, and accountability to extractive industries can decrease corruption, safeguard community interests and needs, and support environmental ... Transparency Initiative. Unlike the first action plan, this plan emphasizes the cross-cutting topics of inclusion and OGP participating governments are bringing gender perspectives to popular policy areas, ensuring diversity in participatory processes, and specifically targeting gender gaps in policies to address gov..., although expected outcomes are not always clearly outlined. Overall, the plan includes potentially meaningful commitments, but implementation will require concerted efforts of government and development partners to ensure vital political and technical support.
The commitments in this action plan are highly relevant to integrating transparency and accountability safeguards for COVID-19 emergency relief and debt funding and stimulus. Proposed initiatives on budget transparency, procurement, and beneficial ownership align closely with the set of commitments made by Nigeria to the International Monetary Fund for receiving emergency financial assistance. Therefore, the government needs to devote more expedited support to implementing these commitments.
Noteworthy commitments with transformative potential impact include the expansion of According to OGP’s Articles of Governance, citizen participation occurs when “governments seek to mobilize citizens to engage in public debate, provide input, and make contributions that lead to m... More in the budget cycle (commitment 1), introduction of a public register of beneficial owners of corporate entities (commitment 6), and measures to strengthen asset recovery legislation (commitment 7). Additionally, commitment 10 could significantly improve government ministries, departments, and agencies’ (MDAs) Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) compliance by deploying FOI desk officers in MDAs and introducing accountability mechanisms for non-compliance with release of information.
Table 2. Noteworthy commitments
|Commitment description||Moving forward||Status at the end of implementation cycle|
|1. Citizen participation in the budget cycle
Pass a constitutional amendment establishing a budget timeline, create a fiscal transparency portal, and conduct a citizen participatory audit on government programs.
|To maximize the impact of this commitment, the Budget Office could ensure institutionalization of the budget calendar with appropriate timelines and sanctions. The Supreme Audit Institution could integrate the participatory audit in the formal audit process. The Open Treasury portal could publish machine-readable data on budget allocations and expenditure for the COVID-19 response.||Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.|
|6. Public register of beneficial owners of corporate entities
Create an Electronic Register of Beneficial Owners and enact the new Companies and Allied Matters Act Bill.
|During implementation, the Corporate Affairs Commission could establish a data collection methodology, ensuring interoperability of data. To ensure higher usability of data, the register could collect data on politically exposed persons, include unique identifiers for companies, and ensure legally required disclosure of a natural person as the beneficial owner.||Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.|
|7. Strengthen Nigeria’s asset recovery legislation
Enact the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) to strengthen management of recovered assets.
|For successful implementation, it will be crucial to focus on political coordination for stakeholders on enacting POCA.||Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.|
|10. Improve FOIA compliance
Deploy FOI desk officers in public institutions and introduce accountability mechanisms in cases of non-compliance with release of information.
|During implementation, the Bureau of Public Service Reforms could annually monitor FOIA compliance. The IRM also recommends coordinating MDAs’ approach to FOI rules and allocating sufficient funding for public institutions to handle information requests.||Note: this will be assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.|
IRM recommendations aim to inform the development of the next action plan and guide implementation of the current action plan. Please refer to Section V: General Recommendations for more details on each of the below recommendations.
Table 3. Five KEY IRM Recommendations
Institutionalize multistakeholder thematic working group meetings to ensure active monitoring and implementation of commitments.
Build and maintain a publicly available Access to relevant information is essential for enabling participation and ensuring accountability throughout the OGP process. An OGP repository is an online centralized website, webpage, platform or ... that includes documentation on the action plan development and implementation; publish reasoned responses to suggestions received and publish feedback given.
Continue efforts to establish the beneficial ownership register of companies with an eye to publish high quality data, promote interoperability, user uptake, civil society and Governments are working to open private sector practices as well — including through beneficial ownership transparency, open contracting, and regulating environmental standards. Technical specificat... More engagement.
Pursue fiscal transparency reforms with the focus on timely publication of budget and audit reports and creation of viable mechanisms for public feedback and participation.
Improve civic space through measures to simplify CSO registration, clarify taxation and address police conduct during public demonstrations.