BPSR DG, Dr. Arabi (3rd left) in a group photograph with guests who paid him a courtesy visit recently.

At workshop, stakeholders highlight challenges to OGP-NAP implementation

NEWS DIGEST–Participants at a ‘Stakeholders Technical Workshop’ in Lagos, have identified mistrust and lack of openness to discuss issues of concern, lack of strategic communication to educate public actors, and problems with getting feedback from stakeholders, as the major challenges which hindered the implementation of the first (1st) Open Government Partnership (OGP) National Action Plan (NAP).

To remedy the problems which rear their ugly heads in the maiden NAP, they suggested that the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) should build an OGP interactive portal to entertain complaints/responses from stakeholders, use demographics as a tool for strategic communication to analyze data, use both the traditional and new for information dissemination, and implement the Permanent Dialogue Mechanism (PDM).

The two-day workshop, which drew representatives of both the state and non-state actors, was organized at the instance of OGP National Secretariat in conjunction with DFID-PERL, as development partner.

The objective of the meeting was to review and discuss extensively the inputs and suggestions to the commitments in the NAP 2 draft, ensure the draft commitments align with plans, mandates and capacity for implementation, and also to deepen the process of co-creation between state and non-state actors.

The participants noted that some administrative bottlenecks have been identified as hindrances towards access to information, especially in the areas of annual reporting obligations and compliance to the 2011 Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.

They agreed that the 2nd NAP should dwell on issues around pushing for legislation to enforce compliance with FOI, saying that, “members Commitment to the sustainability of OGP, despite the change of Government, should be sincere and unwavering. Again, OGP will work with the Head of Service (HOS) to institutionalize and streamline OGP operations within Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). Our NAP 2 will equally identify ways to strengthen the asset recovery legislation.”

Though the stakeholders charged the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), as a state actor, to collaborate and actualize the Service Delivery Commitment together with SERVICOM, they also listed undue bureaucratization in the public service, general decline of effective and transparent services, bias staff recruitment, promotion, and award of contracts’ processes, as challenges to complete implementation of the service delivery commitment.

Addressing the participants, Director-General of BPSR, Dr. Dasuki Ibrahim Arabi, who applauded the organisers of the workshop, expressed delight that key recommendations have been highlighted by erudite speakers and invited delegates at the gathering.

He assured that BPSR would be steadfast and deliver on its areas of commitment with respect to OGP.

The trio of Mr. Ben Okolo, Dr. Tayo Aduloju, and Mr. E. Egbe, represented the state actor, non-state actor and OGP Desk Officer for BPSR, at the technical workshop.

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