The Registrar General of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) Lady Azinge Azuka has pledged commitment of the Commission to the Open Government Partnership (OGP) initiative of the federal government in furtherance to the reforms recently adopted in the commission.
She made the pledge when the Director General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) Dr Garba Abari led some stakeholders including the African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD) to the commission visited her on a courtesy call in line with the principles of citizen engagement and participation in governance processes.
She requested for the support of stakeholders to its proposal to review two aspects of the Companies and Allied Matters Act especially those relating to annual returns form to ensure that owners of up to five percent share are fully disclosed in the returns form; and that beneficial ownership is incorporated in its publications.
The commission also explained that as part of its openness drive, it has connected 20 of its offices across the country to its online processes to enable its clients perform business registration without inhibitions and expressed hope that the 38 state offices will be covered by March next year.
The NOA is Co-Chair of the Citizens Engagement Working Group (CEWG) of the OGP National Action Plan (NAP) of Nigeria as well the lead agency for commitment 12 with the mandate to develop a Permanent Dialogue Mechanism (PDM) on transparency, accountability and good governance between citizens and government to facilitate a culture of openness.
Dr Abari said the CAC as a service oriented agency of government was selected by OGP stakeholders to demonstrate citizen’s participation in its activities as part of the citizen engagement and empowerment principles of the OGP.
He requested for the setting up of the OGP desk to enable other stakeholders to interact with the Commission with regard to its work and mandate as set out in the fourteen commitments signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
On his part the Programmes Coordinator of the African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD) Mr. Uchenna Arisukwu told the gathering that the centre as the Co-Chair of CEWG and Lead CSO for Commitments 13 of the OGP NAP, has commissioned a research into the extant laws of agencies implementing the OGP commitments which CAC is among.
According to him, the report of the research has since been validated by a Government-CSOs round table convened by the centre and the reports are being published into a book.
He said the book will form the advocacy tool for engaging the relevant stakeholders especially the National Assembly into looking at the recommendations of the report to amend these laws for better performance and the overall of the OGP Nigeria National Action Plan.
Myke Uzendu, Abuja