OrderPaperToday – The Federal Government has lauded technology based platforms being deployed to engage with citizens and government on governance and service delivery.

ConsTrack by OrderPaper Nigeria was among the list of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) applauded by the Nigerian government.

ConsTrack mobile app, launched in June 2018, is a citizen engagement tool for public projects tracking and used to engage elected representatives in the legislature on constituency projects attracted to constituencies across the country.

The app which is available for download on both Google Play Store and IoS App Stores empowers citizens with relevant data to demand for accountability, transparency and inclusion from their representatives while also providing the legislators a veritable platform to tell their success stories the projects.

Abubakar Malami, the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice gave the commendation at the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Stakeholders Validation Retreat on the 2nd of the National Action Plan (NAP) on Friday in Abuja.

He said: “At this juncture, Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish to applaud MDAS and CSOs who have developed and deployed technology based platforms to engage with citizens and government on governance and service delivery. Some of these platforms include;

“iMonitor by the Budget Office of the Federation, Budeshi by Public and Private Development Company, NOCOPO by Bureau of Public Procurement, IFollowtheMoney by Connected Development, Tracka by BudgIT and Constrack by Order Paper.”

Malami added: “Looking at the place of technology in OGP, It is my hope that more MDA’s and CSO will join the effort to make public documents and activities transparent and more accessible to the citizens.”

Malami who doubles as the Coordinating Minister, Open Government Partnership, Nigeria also gave a progress report of implementation of OGP principles in Nigeria since 2016 when Nigeria signed on to the Global Initiative.

OGP was initiated under President Muhammadu Buhari in order to strengthen anti-corruption reforms.

The 1st National Action Plan held in Kaduna state, October 2016 to validate the 1st National Action Plan that spanned through January 2017 to June 2019. The first NAP contains 14 commitments that were hinged on Fiscal Transparency, Access to Information, Anti-Corruption and Citizens Engagement.

On Open Budget, he said the Budget Office of the Federation had a consultative process with relevant government agencies and citizens published the Pre-Budget Statement (2018-2020 MTEF/FSP) and has consistently published a Citizen’s Guide to the Budget since 2018 which was developed with the iMonitor platform for citizens’ feedback to government with respect to implementation of projects within communities.

In respect to citizens engagement with governments’ processes, Malami informed that the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) to developed the Nigerian Open Contracting Portal (NOCOPO) that won the Government Innovation Award in a competition organized by the Washington, DC-based Open Contracting Partnership and the London-based Open Data Institute.

On developing a Beneficial Ownership Register, he said the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) have completed consultations with stakeholders on the implementation of Beneficial Ownership Register.

Under anti-corruption thematic, the Federal Government has approved the harmonised National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS).

For greater access to information by the citizens, he said the Freedom of Information (FOI) Unit of the Federal Ministry of Justice have trained and continues to train public officials in various MDAs on the provisions of the FOI Act and their Desk Officers have been designated in 135 Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

“The objective of the Retreat is to validate the draft 2nd National Action Plan ahead of its submission by the end of September 2019 to the OGP International Secretariat to ensure that Nigeria maintains an uninterrupted membership of the global body.

“Equally, the Retreat is to provide a good opportunity for strengthening and broadening ownership of the NAP”, Malami said.

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