Kebbi govt restates commitment to open government partnership

SPOTLIGHTS

  • The government will facilitate citizen consultation on budget and policy
  • The State Action Plan (SAP) was developed with robust stakeholder engagement
  • Civil society will monitor government implementation, and citizens are encouraged to participate
  • Kebbi State aims to join the OGP at the global level

From Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi

The Kebbi State government has reiterated its commitment to the Open Government Partnership (OGP).

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, Hajiya Aisha Usman, made the pledge at a progress review of the OGP State Action Plan implementation meeting in Birnin Kebbi.

According to her, “Some years back, we launched OGP, the move should have brought great changes to our Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

“It is good we are reinstating it, and we are committed to OGP as we are going to contribute immensely towards ensuring the attainment of its objectives and goals,” she said.

Usman said that ahead of the 2024 budget presentation, the government would facilitate consultative meetings with citizens on budget preparation and policy implementation through routine town hall meetings.

Ibrahim Ngaski, the Co-Chair of Non-State Actors, presented the status of OGP implementation in Kebbi State from 2021–2023 to the meeting.

Read also: Governor Sule’s Open Administration Bridges Gap Between Government and Citizens- Aboki

He highlighted that the process of preparing the SAP involved robust consultations with civil society and relevant government agencies.

“The partnership that the civil society and government provided ensured that the content of this plan was co-created from the beginning.

“Such a robust participatory process inspired a communication strategy that will enable both government and the citizens to take complete ownership of this plan and what it intends to achieve.

“It is expected that civil society will monitor government and insist that implementation be consistent with all aspects of the promises contained herein.

“In this regard, the government will also hold non-state actors and citizens accountable in ensuring that they implement their own part of the K-SAP.

“Government and leaders at all levels of governance are expected to remain open to receive constructive feedback and suggestions on ways to improve the implementation of the K-SAP and maximise impact,” Ngaski said.

The USAID State2State Team Lead, Usman Faleye, called on the state’s steering and technical committee to brace up to their responsibilities, network with more non-state actors and learn from their counterparts in states doing well in the OGP.

Nigeria joined the OGP in 2016, and since then, states across Nigeria have rallied their support for the reform initiative.

So far, 19 states have joined the implementation, with Kaduna State being the first.

Kebbi State, as one of the leading states in community development planning, joined the OGP at the state level with the intention of extending the lead to join at the global level in 2022.

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