Open Contracting (NG0002)
Action Plan: Nigeria National Action Plan 2017-2019
Action Plan Cycle: 2017
Lead Institution: Bureau of Public Procurement
Support Institution(s): Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Federal Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Information, Federal Ministry of Finance, Office of Accountant General of the Federation, Budget Office of the Federation, Bureau of Public Service Reforms. One Campaign, Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism, Wole Soyinka Institute for Investigative Journalism, Pan-Atlantic University - School of Media and Communications, Professional Organizations Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, CSERED, Media Rights Agenda, Niger-Delta Budget Monitoring Group, CIRDDOC, CCIDESOR, JDPC, HOPE AFRICA, CIDAR, Society for Forensic Accounting and Fraud Prevention, CITAD, Procurement Monitoring Working Group, PPDC, BudgIT
Policy AreasCapacity Building, E-Government, Education, Environment and Climate, Extractive Industries, Fiscal Transparency, Health, Infrastructure & Transport, Legislation & Regulation, Open Contracting and Procurement, Open Data, Private Sector, Public Participation
The Nigerian Government commits to progressive implementation of open contracting and the adoption of open contracting standards to enhance transparency, accountability and citizen engagement in public procurement and fiscal transparency. In this phase, priority will be given to at least 5-10 MDAs at the heart of government development priority (including Power, Transportation, Works, Agriculture, Health, Education, Niger Delta, Environment, and Solid Minerals)
IRM Midterm Status Summary
2. Full implementation of Open Contracting and adoption of Open Contracting Data Standards in the public sector.
Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan:
“The Nigerian Government commits to progressive implementation of open contracting and the adoption of open contracting standards to enhance transparency, accountability and citizen engagement in public procurement and fiscal transparency. In this phase, priority will be given to at least 5-10 MDAs at the heart of government development priority (including Power, Transportation, Works, Agriculture, Health, Education, Niger Delta, Environment, and Solid Minerals)”.
2.1 Increase sensitization of citizens on how to engage at every stage of the procurement cycle.
2.2 Establish Open Contracting portal with feedback mechanism that is populated with procurement data and available online.
2.3 Establish open contracting forum comprising of government, Civil Society and Private Sector to ensure sustained engagement and improved procurement processes.
2.4 Establish and properly constitute the National Procurement Council.
2.5 Establish administrative directive and guidelines and ethical codes mandating application of open contracting system for public contracts.
2.6 BPP to compile and manage a publicly available databank on public sector procurement that is both human and machine-readable.
2.7 Clear administrative rules and guidelines issued by the highest level of government mandating open contracting in priority MDAs/sectors and setting timelines for compliance.
Start Date: January 2017 End Date: June 2019
Action plan is available here:
Context and Objectives
This commitment aims to improve accountability and transparency of government procurement processes by implementing the Open Contracting Data Standard.
The Nigerian government’s commitment to open contracting and to full implementation of the Open Contracting Data Standard dates from 2016,  although public procurement reform had been on the agenda since the early 2000s. In 2000, a World Bank Public Procurement Assessment Survey revealed that an average of ten billion US dollars was being lost annually through manipulation of Nigeria’s procurement and contracting systems and processes.  The Federal government initiated a Public Procurement Reform process in response, which led to the enactment of the Public Procurement Act (PPA) in 2007.  Although the PPA did not expressly endorse open contracting, it provided statutory framework for a number of the milestones associated with Commitment 2. For example, the PPA established the National Council on Public Procurement (NCPP) as the overseer of public procurement governance in Nigeria, responsible for setting monetary and application standards and considering and approving public procurement policies.  Chaired by the Minister of Finance, the 11-member NCPP represents various government agencies, professional associations, civil society and the media.  Before this commitment was proposed, the NCPP did not exist.  There were various reasons for this, but they center largely on misconceptions relating to the status, functions, and constituent membership. For example, it was unclear whether the CSO members must be representative of, or simply appointed from their CSOs. 
The PPA also established the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) as the implementing and supervisory agency responsible for ensuring “probity, accountability and transparency in the procurement process.”  The BPP’s mandated legal functions support open contracting. The BPP, for example, is required to “establish a single internet portal…[to] serve as a primary and definitive source of all information on government procurement containing and displaying all public sector procurement information at all times.”  Consequently, the BPP established the Nigeria Open Contracting Portal (NOCOPO).  The portal won the Open Contracting Innovation Challenge in 2017 and allows citizens and CSOs to access uniform public procurement information, track procurement processes, and give feedback on planning, tender awards, contract, and implementation stages. 
The commitment is relevant to the OGP values of access to information, technology and innovation for transparency and accountability, and to a lesser extent, civic participation. Establishing an Open Contracting Portal and a publicly available, electronic database on public sector procurement are relevant to access to information and the electronic, data-driven nature of these activities resonates with technology and innovation for transparency and accountability. The long-awaited constitution of the NCPP and establishment of the multi-stakeholder Open Contracting Forum are relevant to the value of civic participation. Forming administrative directives, rules, guidelines, and ethical codes might be relevant both to access to information and civic participation depending on their content and their binding effect on PEs.
The commitment and most of its constituent milestones are specific enough to be verifiable. For example, verifying whether an Open Contracting Portal exists or not is straightforward. Milestone 2.1 was vague as the mechanism of “sensitization” was not specified, and Milestones 2.5 and 2.7 – while verifiable on the basis of the content of “open contracting” – reference a wide range of administrative instruments that may be challenging to track.
The activities are expected to have a moderate impact on procurement processes in Nigeria. On the surface, the commitment proposed a comprehensive agenda for increased openness and engagement on how public resources are spent through government contracts – from policy formulation by the NCPP, to administrative rules and directives binding on state organizations, to new avenues for civic participation in the form of electronic portals, databases, and an Open Contracting Forum. However, the commitment does not address the challenges underlying some aspects of public procurement reform. For example, it failed to state the reasons underlying the long-standing failure to constitute the NCPP and to propose remedies for this stalemate. The commitment also includes some activities that were finalized prior to the commitment (for example, launching the NOCOPO). The commitment’s impact may be affected by the level of internet coverage in Nigeria, which stood at 47.1% of the population in 2018, and is set to increase to 84.5% by 2023. 
Future commitments in this area could include:
- Clarifying and addressing failures for constituting the NCPP;
- Sensitizing citizens on engagement in the procurement cycle, which could be specified and tailored for characteristics (e.g., rural or urban) to increase efficacy;
- Addressing the timeliness and frequency of updating procurement data on the online portal and database. Outdated procurement data is not very useful to citizens who want to use it to hold government accountable;
- Agency adoption of a feedback and accountability mechanism when data are disclosed;
- Providing specific information on how the open contracting forum will meet and what exactly it will do to clarify roles, responsibilities, and expectations.
NG0015, 2019, Audits and Controls
Implement Open Contracting and the Open Contracting Data Standard
NG0016, 2019, Beneficial Ownership
Transparent Tax Revenue Reporting
NG0017, 2019, Legislation & Regulation
Open Contracting and Licensing in Extractives
NG0018, 2019, E-Government
Implement EITI Standard
NG0019, 2019, Audits and Controls
Establish Beneficial Ownership Registry
NG0020, 2019, Beneficial Ownership
Strengthen Asset Recovery Legislation
NG0021, 2019, Anti-Corruption Institutions
Implement National Anti-Corruption Strategy
NG0022, 2019, Anti-Corruption Institutions
Improve Compliance with Freedom of Information Act with Focus on Records Management
NG0023, 2019, Capacity Building
Improved Compliance with Mandatory Publication Provisions Requirement (FOIA)
NG0024, 2019, Capacity Building
Implement Permanent Dialogue Mechanism
NG0025, 2019, Gender
Aggregate Citizens' Feedback on Programs
NG0026, 2019, E-Government
Freedom of Association, Assembly, and Expression
NG0027, 2019, Civic Space
Enhance Participation of the Vulnerable
NG0028, 2019, Capacity Building
Implement New Computer Program in 6 Government Ministries to Improve Service Delivery
NG0029, 2019, Capacity Building
Legal Instrument to Strengthen SERVICOM
NG0030, 2019, Legislation & Regulation
Citizen Participation in Budget Cycle
NG0001, 2017, Audits and Controls
NG0002, 2017, Capacity Building
Extractive Sector Transparency
NG0003, 2017, Beneficial Ownership
Tax Reporting Standards
NG0004, 2017, Fiscal Transparency
World Bank Doing Business Index
NG0005, 2017, Infrastructure & Transport
Beneficial Ownership Register
NG0006, 2017, Beneficial Ownership
Anti-Corruption Informationi Sharing
NG0007, 2017, Anti-Corruption Institutions
Asset Recovery Legislation
NG0008, 2017, Capacity Building
Anti-Corruption Activity Coordination
NG0009, 2017, Anti-Corruption Institutions
FOIA Compliance for Annual Reporting
NG0010, 2017, Capacity Building
FOIA Compliance for Disclosure
NG0011, 2017, E-Government
Permanent Dialogue Mechanism
NG0012, 2017, Fiscal Transparency
Joint Governmnet-Civil Society Legislation Review
NG0013, 2017, Oversight of Budget/Fiscal Policies
Technology-Based Citizens' Feedback
NG0014, 2017, E-Government