OrderPaperToday – Vice President Yemi Osibanjo has said the whistle blower policy of the federal government has led to the recovery of $378 million and over N7billion.

Osibanjo said this during this year’s Open Government Partnership (OGP) week which kicked off with an opening ceremony at the NAF Conference Centre in Abuja today.

Osinbajo, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, expressed the commitment of the current administration to openness and fighting corruption.

He cited the establishment of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA), as well as the operation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA).

He said: “One of the first things the President did when he assumed office was to set up the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption to coordinate our reform efforts. We inherited a Treasury Single Account system that was, at that time, merely an idea without any commitment to implementation. Since the Presidential order by President Buhari in August 2015, we have made remarkable progress in expanding the reach of the TSA so that today we have an almost hundred per cent compliance,” the Vice President said.

He added: “The whistle blowing programme has seen the recovery of N7.8 billion, $378 million and £27,800 as at March, 2018.”

Speaking further, he said that technology and social media are assisting citizens to hold the government accountable, while the administration evolved its own technology driven initiative known as iMonitor, which enables Nigerians access budget information in real time.

Before the Vice President’s speech, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, promised that the government is working to end secret ownership of companies. Additionally, he noted that an upgraded website for the office of the SGF, which will improve citizen engagement, will be live in two weeks.

The announcement of a new website by the SGF drew commendation from the US Ambassador, Stuart Symington, as well as the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, as both diplomats harped on the need for press freedom and openness in governance which will entrench citizen trust.

In his remarks, the Co-Chairman of the National Steering Committee of the OGP, who is also the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, revealed that the OGP in Nigeria functions through a national action plan that was devised after robust consultations involving Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the government.

The Minister also listed states that have embraced the partnership so far, saying: “Five states have come on board the OGP, they include Kano, Kaduna, Anambra, Ebonyi, and Niger. I am also delighted to inform you that Kaduna has been nominated as one of the global, sub-national pilot states.”

The OGP is a global platform for reformers who are committed to making their government more open, accountable and responsible to citizens. In Nigeria, the partnership is operated by the National Steering Committee under the Ministry of Justice, and is focused on four thematic areas.

These areas are fiscal transparency, anti-corruption, access to information and citizen engagement.

The OGP week 2018, which will run from 7th – 11th May, will review the achievement and challenges of the programme in the country and also feature panel discussions and rallies.

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Damilola is a multiple award-winning Writer, Researcher, and Community/Sustainable Development Practitioner. His interests and experience span across media, academics, human capital development, and strategic planning. Damilola is the first Nigerian in history to win the blog4dev writing contest organised by the World Bank. Also, his writing on violent extremism and sustainable peace in Nigeria won a PeaceWriteNow prize, presented by the Embassy of Ireland in June, 2018. His works have been published in Nigeria and the United States of America, in English and in French. Damilola has also attended important meetings within and outside the African continent including the 2019 Spring Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C, USA. He was also a special guest on a panel discussion titled “How creative industry can help to stem fragility,” which was held at the headquarters of the World Bank in Washington, D.C, USA. Furthermore, Damilola was selected as a Champion of Advocacy against extreme poverty and preventable diseases by ONE Campaign in May, 2019. An alumnus of the prestigious Lagos Business School and Federal University of Technology Akure, Damilola Adeniran represents Nigeria in the Youth Transforming Africa Program.

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