Mr Clement Agba, the Minister of State for Finance, Budget and National Planning, has renewed Federal Government commitment to reform the Police as well as rebuilding the trust between the police and the citizens.
Agba, disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja during the ongoing 2021 Open Government Partnership (OGP) Week for “Citizens – Police Dialogue on rebuilding trust in Nigeria policing system”.
“This dialogue is a confirmation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to implement open government ideals and willingness to sustain his resolve to improve relations between citizens and the police.
“The OGP week is a week set aside globally for open government doers, leaders, and thinkers from around the world to come together to share ideas, discuss solutions and commit to new levels of citizen participation in government,’’ the minister added.
He said this year’s open government week theme focuses on how leaders renew or rebuild governments, institutions and societies that were transparent, accountable, participatory and inclusive.
“The Nigeria Open Government Partnership, National Steering Committee has decided to focus on two critical areas of our National Action Plan-Beneficial Ownership Transparency and Civic Space.
“On beneficial ownership transparency, we had a media presentation of Nigeria’s Road to Beneficial Ownership Transparency and here today, we are having this dialogue on rebuilding trust between the police and citizens through this Citizens – Police Dialogue,’’ Agba said.
The minister recalled that last year, the president approved the implementation of Nigeria’s second National Action Plan (NAP) which made extensive commitments around citizens’ engagement in governance.
He said that as government began the implementation of the plan that was co-created by government and citizens groups, the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, halting all activities globally.
Agba said within the period, Nigeria also experienced the #EndSARS Protests which was as a result of citizens reacting to police brutality.
“The National Steering Committee jumped on this opportunity and approved the extension of the implementation period of Nigeria’s second NAP by one year.
“It also allowed stakeholders to review existing commitments with a view to revising these commitments to reflect government’s responses to COVID-19, the #EndSARS Protests and other governance issues.
“After extensive consultation, stakeholders approved inclusion of activities around government response to the COVID-19 and the #EndSARS protests,’’ he added.