Participants at a one-day stakeholders strategic meeting have called on the Kogi State Government to key into the Open Governance Partnership to promote transparency, accountability and good governance.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the OGP is a multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from national and sub-national governments to promote open government, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance
The participants made the call in a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting organised by the Conscience For Human Rights and Conflict Resolution in partnership with the African Centre For Leadership Strategies And Development.
In the communiqué signed by Idris Miliki, Executive Director of Kogi State-based CHRCR, in Lokoja, participants said the call was in view of the importance of the global OGP concept with potential to check corruption and enhance good governance, 16 states in Nigeria had presently signed up.
The participants said the objective of the meeting was to build on the existing Networks on Anti-Corruption, Transparency and Accountability to mobilise media institutions and professionals in reporting activities on OGP in Kogi State.
The participants called for a multi-lateral financial institutions particular the World Bank to begin to hold state governments accountable by verifying the situations of implementations on ground before rating them on financed projects.
They said there should be no rivalry but rather a broad based relationship and partnerships between the state government and the Civil Society Organisations as both work for and in the interest of the citizens.
Participants said there was need for the House of Assembly members to live up to their constitutional responsibilities by performing their oversight functions on all institutions of the state, “particularly the local government councils.”
They called on media professionals to take more interest in OGP issues and partner more with the Civil Society Organisations in particular and other relevant institutions to drive the OGP Concept.
Civil Society Organisations and other participants also said there was the need to do more in raising awareness and sensitisation of the general public on the OGP and with the government to get the OGP.
They said there was the need for the development partners to also continue to work with the CSOs in the state to promote the OGP process.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the OGP was launched on September 20, 2011 to provide an international platform for domestic reformers to make their governments more open, accountable and responsive to citizens.
NAN reports that Nigeria joined in 2016 and is implementing 16 commitments.
Nigeria’s action plan features commitments related to fiscal transparency, anti-corruption, extractive transparency, inclusiveness and public service delivery.