FG Executive Orders, Great Tool For Open Government Partnership And Extractive Transparency

FG Executive Orders, Great Tool For Open Government Partnership And Extractive Transparency

FG Executive Orders, Great Tool For Open Government Partnership And Extractive Transparency

The Executive Orders signed by the Mr. Yemi Osibanjo, the Acting President is a great tool for achieving Open Government Partnership (OGP) the government signed on to. The Order on the Promotion of Transparency and Efficiency in the Business Environment covers some vital local and international instruments that are essential towards the promotion of business competitiveness in Nigeria and the overall effort of the government towards entrenching transparency and accountability in governance.

The Orders complement and supports the provision of the Freedom of Information Act section 2 subsections 4, it also supports Open Government Partnership (OGP) an international commitment and agreement which the Nigerian state has signed on to for the sole purpose of promoting transparency and accountability in governance.

International instruments such as the mandatory disclosure promoted by the Extractive Industries Transparency International (EITI), the global campaign for contract transparency, licenses, open data initiatives are some of those the Executive Orders seek to compliment.

The role it will pay in the Open Government Partnership (OGP) is the most amazing. This is mainly because, the  OGP seeks to improve compliance of Public institutions with the freedom of information Act in respect to annual reporting obligations by public institutions and level of responses to the request. The second commitment which is commitment 11 seeks to improved compliance of public institutions with the freedom of information act (FOI) with respect to proactive provision, stipulating mandatory publication requirement.

The Orders if used to consolidate mandatory disclosure will be a great tool for achieving transparency in the extractive sector. However, it is very fundamental that the Federal Government works with the state and local governments to extend them to state and local levels.

When this happens, it will enhance the entrenchment of good governance across all levels. This no doubt will help in achieving some of the commitment in Fiscal transparency and anti-corruption which is a core target of the OGP. This no doubt, will ensure accountability and good governance at all levels.

We need to align this with other international mandatory disclosure that seeks to proactively disclose data’s especially the EU accounting directives and mandatory disclosure clauses in the UK and France. Both countries are major players in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector. With this, the International Oil Companies operating in Nigeria will be compelled to proactively disclose their business involvement leading to effective transparency in the extractive sector.

The government action will boost confidence especially among investors in the extractive sector. The challenges in the mining sector particularly issue of registration and operation will be properly addressed via these Orders.

The Orders which one of them addresses ease business registration no doubt will help in consolidating the push for beneficial ownership, and that will be a boost in the fight against corruption in the extractive sector.

Paul Ogwu

Programmes Officer, PWYP-Nigeria

Abuja Secretariat