Sunday, July 25, 2021

Groups challenge Kwara government to sign onto OGP

“Open Government Partnership allows citizens engagement in the budgetary process and to embrace inclusiveness in all its ramification.”

• June 13, 2021
Kwara state governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq
Kwara state governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq [Photo credit: The Guardian Nigeria]

A coalition of CSOs on Open Government Partnership (OGP) has called on the Kwara Government to sign onto the OGP in the spirit of Democracy Day commemorated on Saturday.

The convener of the coalition, Abdurrahman Ayuba, who made the appeal in a statement on Sunday in Ilorin, said endorsing the OGP in 2016 and signing of the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) in 2011 were part of the milestones recorded since Nigeria returned to civilian rule in 1999 till date.

The convener said with the signing on to the OGP initiative, citizens are expected to play an active role in governance.

“This is through the principle of co-creation that mandates government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to sit and plan with citizens through the CSOs and the Organised Private Sector (OPS), to make information accessible to citizens at all times.

“It also allows citizens engagement in the budgetary process and to embrace inclusiveness in all its ramification,” Mr Ayuba said.

He, however, noted that the beauty of the OGP initiative was that states and local governments were freely entitled to sign onto it without having to wait for one another.

“Thus, in enacting the true spirit of democracy which June 12 represents in our nation, we call on state governments who are yet to sign, especially Kwara Government, to hasten the process of getting onboard the OGP initiative.

“In the same vein, we call on the federal government to ensure a vigorous commitment to the OGP National Action Plan 2 (NAP2) while making adequate arrangement for NAP3,” the convener urged.

Mr Ayuba added that this would ensure participatory budgeting, openness, transparency and accountability that would help in curbing, if not eradicate, corruption.

“It will also ensure access to public information for informed decision-making by citizens and inclusiveness which will take care of the diverse needs of the citizens especially the vulnerable like persons with disabilities.

“This is the only viable way to continue to genuinely reenact the spirit of June 12 and make our democracy relevant,” he said. 

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