Workshop for CSOs on OGP and UNCAC: Welcome Address by Rev. David Ugolor

The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, is currently implementing the Civil Society Advocacy Support for Anti-Corruption in Nigeria CASAN. As part of activities lined up, ANEEJ has organized a 2-day training for selected Civil Society organizations on Open Government Partnership, OGP, and with the UNCAC Implementation in Nigeria.  The following is a welcome address by ANEEJ Executive Director, Rev. David Ugolor on the first day of the Workshop for CSOs on OGP and UNCAC Implementation in Nigeria,

Wednesday 29th – Thursday 30th March, 2017

I want to formally welcome you all to this important 2-day workshop for CSOs on the concept of Open Government Partnership OGP and United National Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), for which the review of two chapters is currently in progress in Nigeria. This is part of activities lined up under the “Civil Society Advocacy to Support Anti-Corruption in Nigeria (CASAN)” project which ANEEJ is currently implementing. The CASAN project is supported by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) under the European Union (EU) founded 10th European Development Fund (EDF). The goal of the project is to enhance the capacity of CSOs including journalists to support anti-corruption effort of Nigerian government. Our target is to get a number of CSOs to understand what the Federal Government is currently doing regarding two important processes so that they will be able to engage the relevant government agencies taking lead in the implementation of such initiatives. The processes we are referring to here are the;

  • Iimplementation of Open Government Partnership (OGP) and
  • the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC)

As part of the project implementation, ANEEJ is holding this workshop to strengthen the capacity of selected CSOs including journalists on the concept of open government partnership including the open contracting platform and the implementation UNCAC in Nigeria including the 2nd UNCAC review circle, to support their policy advocacy and engagement with relevant agencies of government around the issues.

The workshop has been designed to;

  • Train participants on the concept of OGP and the implementation of United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) in Nigeria including the second UNCAC review process.
  • Prepare CSOs to participate in the 2nd UNCAC review circle
  • Bring focal persons involved in the implementation of OGP and UNCAC review process to meet with CSOs

It is expected that at the end of the workshop;

  • Participants’ should have enhanced knowledge on the OGP and UNCAC implementation and review in Nigeria and should be able to apply the knowledge to support their policy advocacy around the issues.
  • Journalist should be able to use their platform to report the issues they learnt during the workshop.
  • Participants would identify entry point for CSOs in the implementation of OGP and UNCAC review

Our interest on the issues are that, they present significant opportunity for civil society organisations to participate in critical governance processes and anti-corruption initiatives, most importantly as they emphasize preventive approach to tackling corruption.

Just to mentioned at this point that Nigeria formally joined the OGP in July 2016, two months after President Muhammadu Buhari attended the London Anti-Corruption Summit. So far, the Nigerian OGP National Action Plan (January 2017 – June 2019) has been developed with civil society and private sector input. One of the key deliverables of the OGP is the open contracting platform which the Bureau of Public Procurement is currently developing.

Similarly, the second review cycle of UNCAC (2015–2020) covering chapter II on preventive measures and chapter V on asset recovery is currently on. It is therefore important that CSOs actively participation during the UNCAC review process to strengthen such process.

Today, we have invited to the opening ceremony persons from the Ministry of Justice (a focal person for the UNCAC review), the Technical Unit on Governance and Anti-Corruption Reform, TUGAR (which is the secretariat for the 2ND UNCAC review circle in Nigeria), Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, (another focal person for the UNCAC review). The participants here are mainly CSOs including Journalists. We believe that these are part of the critical stakeholders who will drive the implementation of these two processes.

I want to appreciate the EU through the UNDP and UNODC for the support they have given to us in the implementation of the CASAN project.

I thank all of you again for attending our event.

Written by
MajiriOghene Bob Etemiku
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