Chris Steven, Abuja
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN has consented to a request by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to have a platform on the Open Government Partnership (OGP) developed for the Commission.
The Minister’s approval came on the heels of a request by the NDDC indicating interest to collaborate with the OGP Coordinating Unit at the Federal Ministry of Justice in its present efforts to reform and reposition the Commission.
A press statement by Comrade Salihu Othman Isah, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice said the NDDC expressed its desire to key into to the OGP principles with a view to deliver on its core mandate to the people of the Niger Delta.
Isah revealed that the NDDC request was delivered via a letter signed by its Managing Director, Mr. Nsima Ekere to the AGF disclosing that the Commission sees the OGP as a veritable platform to transform the NDDC into a more transparent and accountable institution to deliver on its mandate.
The letter titled, ‘Niger Delta Development Commission-Open Government Partnership (OGP) Collaboration for Good Governance’ dated 10th January, 2017 reads in part-that, “We have had robust discussions with Mrs. Juliet Ibekaku, Special Assistant to His Excellency, the President, on Open Government (sic) and found the OGP initiative a necessary requirement for our ongoing reform and repositioning programme.
“We are very interested in OGP because we see it as a veritable platform aimed at transforming NDDC into a more transparent and accountable institution-able to deliver on its mandate to the people of the Niger Delta region.
“In view of the above, we write to indicate our readiness to sign on to the OGP initiative and request for collaboration from the OGP Coordinating Unit in your office to develop the OGP Platform for NDDC.”
Special Assistant to the President on Justice Reform who is also the Coordinator of OGP in Nigeria, Mrs. Juliet Ibekaku commended the Commission for its commitment and enthusiasm to the principles of the OGP, describing it as very commendable.
According to her, the Justice Ministry would be very delighted to develop the OGP Platform for the NDDC for the greater purpose of ensuring the Commission meets its core objectives and for which the partnership was formed.
She advised other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to take a cue from the NDDC to tap from the advantages which the OGP would offer them and the nation ultimately.
Meanwhile, the Special Assistant to the President on Justice Reform, Mrs. Juliet Ibekaku has been invited to attend the Management and Partners’ Retreat to be organised by the NDDC scheduled for Onne, Rivers state on February 2nd – 4th, 2017.
Comrade Salihu Othman Isah, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN hinted that Ibekaku is expected to deliver a paper on the ‘Benefits of the OGP’ at the retreat.
The theme of the retreat is ‘Niger Delta Development Commission Management and Partners’ Retreat: Collaboration for Sustainable Development’ designed to support the Commission in forging collaborative relationships with key stakeholders.
Expected at the retreat are governors of the nine mandate states of the NDDC, members of the National Assembly, Ministers of the Niger Delta as well as that of Environment, Chief Executive Officers of International Oil Companies, members of the diplomatic community and multilateral donor agencies.