Event: National Steering Committee and Working Group Meeting
Date: November 27 -28, 2017
Venue: Sheraton Hotel, Lagos
November 27, 2019 – National Steering Committee Meeting
The National Secretariat convened the 2nd National Steering Committee meeting on November 27, 2017. The meeting was scheduled to begin at 9 am but started late due to the late arrival of guests. At about 10 am, the meeting started with an introduction of the OGP national steering committee members. Following the brief introduction of members, the Special Assistant to the President on Justice reform, Mrs Juliet Ibekaku gave a welcome remark. The NSC Incoming Co-Chairs, representative of Media Rights Agenda, Segun Fatause, and representative of National Economic Summit Group (NESG), Dr Tayo Aduloju also delivered their welcome remarks.
Representing Mr Edet Ojo at the meeting, Segun Fatause delivered a progress report from CSOs to the participants. In his note, he noted that there is more to do on OGP and there should be increasing participation and partnership between the government and the civil society to achieve considerable progress in the implementation of the National Action Plan. Adding to the message, the Honourable Minister of Justice, and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) delivered the progress report from the government side on the implementation of the OGP. Shortly after the Minister’s speech, an update on the implementation of the decisions taken at the 1st NSC meeting that held on March 14, 2017, was provided by the OGP Secretariat.
There were issues for approval which were tabled that the meeting. These are
- Application from non-state actors for the membership of the NSC: Two organisations made presentations on why their organisations should be considered for a position on the NSC. The two organisations are Institue of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria, and Procurement Professionals Association of Nigeria (PPAN). After the delivery, there were issues raised by members of the steering committee. CSOs present noted that they were not aware of the decision to bring one more non-state actor on board and that it was against the partnership that should be between government and the civil society. Mrs Juliet Ibekaku responded to the claim and stated that the development was agreed upon at the 1st NSC meeting which Mr Edet Ojo was present and agreed to. She emphasised the need to add one more non-state actor to the current 41-member list to balance both sides. Following a vote called, PPAN was voted into the NSC.
- Adoption of a week in mAy of every year to celebrate and mark Open Government Week in Nigeria: Deliberations on this went on for about 20 minutes and at the end, it was agreed that the celebration will be done in July every year.
- Guidance for subnational Engagement: It is known that states are showing interests in the OGP and it is imperative to set guidelines for the states so the intent of OGP is retained and sustained. To achieve this, the Secretariat developed a guideline document for states which includes a sample letter of intent which is expected of states to submit to the secretariat. There were opinions raised on the document especially on the sample letter of intent. Uchenna Arisukwu of Centre LSD called attention to the order of persons copied in the letter. Abayomi Akinbo of BudgIT opined that the 3rd bullet of the sample letter of intent suggests domination of the state government on the OGP process. This was responded to by the Civil Society Adviser, Stanley Achonu who stated a contrary opinion.
- Terms of Reference for OGP Working Groups: No debate was done on this as everyone accepted the ToR. Participants took a short break to have tea and coffee.
For his absence at the NSC meeting, Oluseun Onigbinde, member of the National Steering Committee sent in a memo to every member of the NSC and other attendees at the meeting. In his memo, Oluseun stated BudgIT’s stance on the coordination of the OGP Nigeria and the salient issues that should be addressed.
The next session witnessed the update on the status of the 2017 work plan and presentation of the draft 2018 work plan for approval by working groups. In this session, the co-chairs of four working groups (Fiscal Transparency, Anti-Corruption, Access to Information, Citizens Engagement) made the short presentation on their thematic areas. Development partners present the meeting delivered brief remarks and their thoughts on the OGP Nigeria. Gracing the occasion was the US Ambassador to Nigeria, W. Stuart Symington who re-emphasised the US commitment on Anti-Corruption and Transparency which the OGP sets out to achieve. The Executive Director of ANEEJ, Reverend David Ugolor gave the closing remarks and the meeting ended with lunch after.
November 28, 2017 – Working Group Meeting
The working group meeting to discuss the 2018 work plan for each working group took place on November 28, 2017, at Sheraton Hotel. The meeting started at 9 am with the four thematic working group gathered to look at the activities that have been achieved, yet to start and the timeline to achieve this. The working groups were to look at the timelines and decide if they are realistic, enough or accurate for the activities. The working groups were also to check if the activities were measurable and what activities should be either added or removed. The working groups submitted their deliberations to the OGP secretariat which will be reviewed by the Secretariat for consideration and inclusion into the 2018 final work plan.