Nigeria’s ongoing adoption of technology have saved the country billions of Naira, Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation has said.
The nation’s top law office who disclosed this at a media round table on Open Government Partnership (OGP) says deployment of technology has also helped to uncover fraudulent transactions in the Federal Civil Service system.
Implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) as well as the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) had streamlined government revenue collection and expenditure has saved the country billions of Naira in the last one year, the AGF says.
Also the unique electronic Freedom of Information (FOI) platform adopted by the Bureau of Public Service Reform (BPSR) on its website that gives real time information to citizens, Malami says ”smacks voluntary disclosure and boost the effort to improve on transparent and competitive public procurement in line with global open contracting principles through e-procurement.”
According to the AGF “appreciable success was also recorded in the banking sector, the enforcement of Bank Verification Number (BVN) scheme reduced fraudulent practices by dubious individuals to protect law abiding customers and restore confidence in our banking industry, thus making it possible to trail money, among others.”
The Federal Government would in a matter of weeks sign an executive order to promote transparency and efficiency for the creation of an enabling business environment in the country, he says underscoring that this would mandate all Ministry, Agencies and Departments (MDAS) to adopt openness in contracting procedures and publishing of contracts.
The Attorney General says that Nigeria’s participation in the Open Government Partnership (OGP) would enhance the ease of doing business in the country and also provide opportunities for information sharing and cross fertilisation of ideas with countries “facing similar challenges like us.”
The chief law officer for the country says that that Nigeria’s resolve to join the OGP initiative was strategic as its principles fit into the existing efforts of the present administration towards ensuring that all conduit pipes through which public funds are misappropriated are permanently blocked.
Malami says that “the FGN will continue to pursue reform programs on transparency and accountability through targeted measures in promoting fiscal transparency, improved public procurement and open contracting, access to information, asset disclosure, citizen engagement and empowerment.”
Present at the media roundtable were representative of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Engr. Babachir Lawal, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Chief Ekpo Nta; Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu and the Director General, Bureau for Public Service Reforms, Dr. Joe Abah among other top government officials.