The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has attributed current political, social and economic problems in Nigeria to corruption.
Mr. Malami, who delivered the key note address at the National Open Government Partnership retreat on Monday in Kaduna, said corruption remained Nigeria’s biggest impediment to attaining sustainable development.
According to him, the Federal Government is committed to driving out the culture of corruption in the country by making governance more open, accountable and responsive to citizens.
He said the government would strengthen anti-corruption institutions, and the capacity of Nigerians to expose corrupt practices in all spheres of life.
Mr. Malami added that the government would implement programmes aimed at exposing and punishing corrupt public officials and providing support to victims of corruption.
The minister said that Nigeria joined the open governance partnership in July 2016 as part of its commitment to deepen institutional and policy reforms for good governance.
He said the partnership was a multi-stakeholder initiative focused on improving transparency, accountability, citizens participation, and responsiveness to citizens through technology and innovation.
The minister said his ministry would drive the initiative through reforms of programmes on transparency and accountability.
Mr. Malami said that the target was “to promote fiscal transparency, open procurement, open contracting, access to information, asset disclosure, citizen engagement and empowerment.”
“It is a journey that will take us from transparency and openness to national prosperity,” he added.
In a message to the event, Vice President Yemi Osibanjo also said the federal government remained on track in the ongoing fight against corruption.
The vice president said one of the administration’s cardinal objective was the eradication of corruption and restoration of the nation’s economy.
“That is why the administration is partnering OGP for open governance, to enable the government receive first hand information from citizens.”
The vice president was represented by Bilkisu Saidu, Special Assistant to the President on Research, Legal and Compliance Matters.
On his part, Governor Nasiru El-Rufa’i of Kaduna State said the state was fully involved in the open governance initiative.
Mr. El-Rufa’i, who was represented by his Deputy, Bala Bantex, said the initiative would help in getting result oriented government.
According to him, the state has established a platform that allows citizens to monitor government projects and activities.
On his part, Sanjay Prodhan, the Chief Executive Officer, Open Government Partnership, commended the Nigerian government for its determination to end corruption in all aspects of life.
He said the organisation is involved in repositioning Nigeria and empowering citizens for overall national growth.
Mr. Prodhan said those involved in the project, including civil societies, are targeting to create actions that would open up governance and fight corruption.