Director General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Mr. Ibrahim Arabi has underscored the need for the various Civil Society Organisations to be more committed in Nation building through advocacy on public enlightenment and Citizens’ engagement of government policies and programmes. He disclosed this in a welcome remarks at a recent courtesy visit by a delegation from Oxfam, one of Open Government Partnership (OGP)’s evaluators.
Speaking at the event, the DG highlighted some of the engagements that the Bureau has had with CSOs such as the Right2Know (R2K), Accountability Lab. and other non- state actors in order to communicate government policies through them.
In a quick response, the International Expert and e-country lead, Oxfam, Mr. Steve Betram expressed satisfaction at the reception by the Director General and his team. He emphasized on the effects of the co-creation of OGP and National Action Plan which is targeted at the beneficial ownership. He said it is only when citizens feel the direct impact of government programmes that the essence could be achieved. He stressed that the Bureau is strategically placed to engage the citizens for public awareness and get their buy-in.
According to him, the procurement process in government should be seamless for citizens and other external stakeholders if the country must get a boost in Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs). He further stated that the visit was to explain Oxfam policy management in retrospect to the operationalization of Open Governance Partnership in Nigeria.
Earlier, Arabi cited the Lunchtime Reform Seminar as one of the major channels for Citizens’ engagement where there is an immediate feedback on the understanding of government policies and programmes. He also mentioned the perception surveys conducted by the Bureau to ascertain citizens’ level of understanding of government policies such as the OGP impact assessment and the on-going evaluation on Treasury Single Account (TSA) for fiscal accountability and transparency.
The DG stated that the National Strategy on Public Service Reforms has four pillars and the Third pillar is concerned with Financial Management/ fiscal appropriation. He said it is a major focal area in tackling capital flight through the anti-corruption crusade.
The Director General in his closing remarks thanked the delegates and expressed that he hope for a better working relationship between Oxfam and BPSR.