By Sunday Akintoye
President Buhari says it has now become clear that governments cannot solve all the challenges of COVID-19 alone, stressing that it is only through open governance and working with citizens that nations can succeed.
The President was speaking at the Open Government Partnership, OGP 2020, Virtual Leaders’ Summit on the sidelines of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the United States.
President Buhari noted that there had been a significant contraction in the global economy in 2020, stressing that the world is facing the unprecedented twin challenges of managing the health and economic impacts of the pandemic.
He pledged that his administration would continue to use its OGP membership status to ensure that open government approaches strengthen the pandemic management, adding that the government will sustain consultations and engagements with citizens through Civil Society Organisations and the Organised Private Sector on Covid-19 response and recovery plan.
President Buhari said Nigeria’s recovery package included support to businesses, vulnerable communities, and an expansion of public works.
As a leader in the OGP Steering Committee, President Buhari acknowledged that Nigeria had learned from both government and non-government counterparts the viability of international best practices.
“We aim to expand the partnership on the African Continent by continuing to play a leading role in the International Steering Committee,” he said.
As member-countries look forward to celebrating 10 years of the existence of the Open Government Partnership next year, President Buhari hopes that all countries will adopt Open Government principles and help democracy live up to the expectations of citizens having a voice at and beyond the ballot box.
He encouraged Nigerians to get involved in the OGP and help shape and sustain the country’s democracy now and in the future.