The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, has said Nigeria cannot afford to backslide in its quest to institutionalise transparency in governance.
Speaking on Monday at an event organised to commence Nigeria’s Open Government Partnership, OGP, week, Arkwright said transparency was a necessity for sustainable development in Nigeria.
He said: “When citizens see how transparent and accountable their government is, it will be easier for them to trust their political leaders. Transparency helps to reduce corruption but secrecy enables corruption. Evidence shows that more transparent countries have higher foreign direct investments and lower foreign borrowing costs. Open governments are the best governments.
“It would take responsible leadership to ensure that next years elections reflect the will of the people matched by peaceful, free and fair electoral processes.”
The envoy further advocated the formation of virile civil groups and the strengthening of existing ones to keep all arms of government in check.
“Countries with strong CSOs have less corruption and better government and development in the interest of the citizens,” he said.