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Budget Minister Says Nigerians Don’t Trust Government, As FG Extends NAP To 2022

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Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba

By Matthew Ogune, Abuja
Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba has decried the low level of citizens trust in Nigerian goverment.

Agba who stated this yesterday in Abuja at the 9th National Steering Committee Meeting said the trust could be regained through diligent implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP).

This he said could be achieved through providing opportunities for citizens to input into governance, through their ability to be clearly informed of goverment activities and to ask questions when in doubt.

Disclosing that a decision to extend the NAP was taken at the international steering committee, Agba said that the federal government has extended it’s National Plan to run till 31st of August, 2022.

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His words: “Nigerians do not trust the goverment, but the goverment has good intentions.

“As I said to my colleagues at the G and L sub-committee, we must see our work as that of a builder, citizens trust in goverment is low and it’s our job to build this trust through diligent implementation of the NAP.”

The Minister disclosed that the Ministry had met with donor partners to reaffirm the country’s commitment to Open Goverment Partnership (OGP) and also to inform them of the nation’s plan to improve high level political support and institutionalise the OGP by creating a National Coordinating Secretariat.

On staffing the secretariat, the Minister said the government is currenty working to ensure that staff are seconded to the secretariat.

He continued: “I have written to the Head of Service of the Federation to request for secondment of staff and had plans to meet with her next week but during a recent discussion with
the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning on
how to strengthen the OGP process; she advised that
saff should be drawn from the Ministry of Finance,
Budget and National Planning.

“In the next few days, I will meet the Permanent Secretaries for Finance, Budget and ational Plannin to finalise this approach and I hope to
bring further updates by the time this committee meets in November.”

According to Agba, the major concern raised by donors that have supported the implementation of OGP in Nigeria at the meeting was the lack of government funding for OGP.

Adding: “I wrote to the Minister of finance as well as the DG of Budget office of the federation to make budgetary provision for the OGP Secretariat. This will help us overcome our dependence on donor support for the process to ensure effectiveness of the Secretariat.”

Speaking on behalf of the co-chair of the committee, Edetaen Ojo, urged members to put in their best to salvage the situation giving the current challenges.

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