On October 23, 2016, members of the civil society organisations across the country gathered in Kaduna to meet with the OGP Team including the OGP CEO Sanjay Pradhan to deliberate, discuss and submit ideas on the success of the OGP Nigeria initiative. Distinguished Members of the OGP teams also graced the occasion: Maureen Kariuki, the Regional Coordinator for the Middle East and Africa region, Joe Powell, Deputy Director, OGP and Aidan Eyakuze, Executive Director, Twaweza, East Africa’s leading initiative on open government and citizen agency.
The workshop provided an opportunity for non-state actors to contribute to possible, transformative and innovating ideas to the national action plan which is most focused on supporting the anti-corruption policies of the current administration. Oluseun Onigbinde gave the opening speech with brief introductions in the room before handing the coordination to Stanley Achonu, the Open Alliance Coordinator. Seember Nyager took the audience on the journey of the OGP Nigeria since 2014 – this included the process and engagements adopted by the Open Alliance in getting the Nigerian government to join the OGP.
The OGP Regional Coordinator for the Middles East and Africa talked about some of the issues the Support Unit have to deal with almost daily with the OGP countries. She stated that it is vital to know these challenges for Nigeria to create a healthy and realistic national action plan. Contributions were welcomed from some of the civil society members were present. Lesson learnt showed that there is a lack of adequate information on the principles and tenets of the OGP among some of the civil society members who up till this event were unaware of the OGP process. The OGP CEO Sanjay Pradhan made a presentation shedding more light on the OGP process around the world and how Nigeria can use the platform to improve transparency and accountability in her governance. It was identified that one of the conduits for corruption in Nigeria is the system of opacity in public agencies and with the implementation of the commitments in the draft national action plan, there will be recorded changes in the culture. 54 civil society and international aid organisations attended the event in Kaduna, and 25 organizations have signified their interest to join the Open Alliance.