Skip Navigation
Nigeria

Joint Governmnet-Civil Society Legislation Review (NG0013)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Nigeria National Action Plan 2017-2019

Action Plan Cycle: 2017

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Justice

Support Institution(s): National Assembly, National Orientation Agency, Bureau of Public Service Reform. Centre LSD, ANNEJ, Right2Know, Nigerian Bar Association, FIDA, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre

Policy Areas

Democratizing Decision-Making, Fiscal Openness, Oversight of Budget/Fiscal Policies, Public Participation, Social Accountability

IRM Review

IRM Report: Nigeria Implementation Report 2017-2019, Nigeria Design Report 2017-2019

Starred: No

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Comprehensive review of all laws and legislations relevant to the OGP process like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Act, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Act, Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) Act, Money Laundering Prohibition Act (2011) and others.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

13: Government – civil society to jointly review existing legislations on transparency and accountability issues and make recommendations to the National Assembly

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan:

“Comprehensive review of all laws and legislations relevant to the OGP process like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Act, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Act, Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) Act, Money Laundering Prohibition Act (2011) and others.”

Milestones:

13.1: Development of Frequently Asked Questions on identified laws and review plan

13.2: Government-CSOs Roundtable discussion on reviews of gaps in existing laws

Start Date: January 2017 End Date: June 2019

Action plan is available here:

Context and Objectives

This commitment seeks to address gaps in existing legislation related to transparency and accountability in Nigeria. These laws are outdated and needed to be reviewed to ensure that they met current best practices, including those required to ensure Nigeria’s continued membership in global bodies. [169] For example, soon after the start of the commitment period, Nigeria was suspended from the Egmont Group, an informal network of 154 national Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs). [170] Although it later transpired that the suspension was sparked by an former embittered director submitting false information, and that Nigeria’s suspension was since lifted, the Egmont Group raised concern about the autonomy of the Nigerian FIU. This will necessitate amendments to section 1(2)(c) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2002. [171]

The commitment proposes frequently asked questions (FAQ) on particular laws and a review plan and to hold government-CSO roundtable discussions on gaps in existing laws. These discussions make the commitment relevant to the OGP value of civic participation.

Although the FAQs and roundtable are generally verifiable, the commitment lacks key details such as how frequently the FAQs will be updated or how many roundtables discussions will be held.

While reviewing Nigeria’s existing transparency and accountability legislation is timely, publication of law FAQs and a single government-civil society roundtable are unlikely to have more than a minor impact on strengthening laws. Nevertheless, collaboration between civil society and government on a comprehensive legislative review project for opening government appears to be the first of its kind. In light of other developments, such as the feared reduction of civic space due to new regulations for nongovernmental organizations, this is a positive development. [172] It is unclear, however how the results of the discussion will update legislation. [173]

Next Steps

The IRM believes this initiative can continue beyond the OGP framework, as it enables broader open government reforms. In doing so, the IRM recommends the clarifying how findings of the review process will reform the legislative process.

[169] Sulayman Dawodu (FMoJ), interview by IRM researcher, 21 Nov. 2018.
[170] See “Egmont group,” https://egmontgroup.org. The Egmont Group provides a platform for the secure exchange of expertise and financial intelligence to combat money laundering, terrorist financing, and related offences.
[171] Ben Ezeamalu, “Why Nigeria’s NFIU was suspended by Egmont Group – EFCC” (Premium Times, 20 Jul. 2017), https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/237547-nigerias-nfiu-suspended-egmont-group-efcc.html.
[172] Civicus, “Worrying legislation to restrict Nigerian civil society sector underway” (2 Nov. 2016), https://civicus.org/index.php/media-resources/media-releases/2635-worrying-legislation-to-restrict-nigerian-civil-society-sector-underway.
[173] Uchenna Arisikuwu (Program Manager, Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development), interview by IRM researcher, 15 Apr. 2019.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

13. Government - Civil Society to jointly review existing legislations on transparency and accountability issues and make recommendations to the National Assembly

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan:

“Comprehensive review of all laws and legislations relevant to the OGP process like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Act, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Act, Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) Act, Money Laundering Prohibition Act (2011) and others.”

Milestones:

13.1 Development of Frequently Asked Questions on identified laws and review plan

13.2 Government-CSOs Roundtable discussion on reviews of gaps in existing laws

IRM Design Report Assessment

IRM Implementation Report Assessment

●        Verifiable: Yes

●        Relevant: Yes

o   Civic Participation

●        Potential impact: Minor

●        Completion: Substantial

●        Did it Open Government? Marginal

This commitment addresses gaps in existing legislation related to transparency and accountability in Nigeria. These laws were outdated and needed review to ensure that they met current best practices, including those required to ensure Nigeria’s continued membership of global bodies. [132]

This commitment achieved substantial implementation. Representatives from civil society organisations and government worked together to review existing laws relating to transparency and accountability and discussed the outcome of the review. The Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD) and National Orientation Agency hosted a government-CSO roundtable to discuss the outcome of this review. These laws included the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Act, Freedom of Information Act, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission Act, Companies and Allied Matters Act, Money Laundering Prohibition Act, and others. [133] In 2017, Centre LSD partnered with the Ministry of Justice and other CSOs to publish a review of anticorruption, transparency, and accountability laws and policies in Nigeria. The report aimed to identify the current open government legal landscape and track progress. [134] Centre LSD followed this with a 2018 update that noted the process of various anticorruption laws and regulations. [135] However, recommendations from these reviews have not yet been made to the National Assembly. Additionally, a Frequently Asked Questions document has yet to be produced. [136]

This commitment marginally changed civic participation in policymaking by the end of the implementation period. The government and civil society’s collaborative review of national laws is a notable achievement. The roundtable presented a new forum for civic participation. Had civil society feedback resulted in legislative changes to further open government, this commitment would have had major changes to government practice. Additionally, this commitment may have resulted in greater changes had the roundtable been permanently established to periodically review laws.

[132] Sulayman Dawodu (FMoJ), interview by IRM researcher, (21 Nov. 2018).
[133] African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development, “Urgent Press Release Centre LSD Convenes Government-CSOs Round-table on the Review of Relevant Laws on the OGP” (Facebook, 11 Sept. 2017), https://www.facebook.com/centrelsd/posts/urgent-press-releasecentre-lsd-convenes-government-csos-round-table-on-the-revie/1194988930606008/.
[134] African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development, Laws and Policies: Processes and Procedure for Open Government Partnership Implementation in Nigeria (MacArthur Foundation, Oct. 2017), https://drive.google.com/file/d/1QAdoj5sL4MOcuwqSKxgUlUp8E3BHnVQW/view
[135] African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development, Laws and Policies.
[136] Federal Republic of Nigeria, Open Government Partnership (OGP) Nigeria Self Assessment 2017 (OGP, Sept. 2017).  https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/nigeria-mid-term-self-assessment-2016-2018/.

Commitments

Open Government Partnership