Kogi State government over the last few years had made significant gains towards achieving transparency in governance. A case in point is the openness in the state budgeting processes and publicity.
The state had got accolades from international organization and rated high in fiscal transparency and accountability. It is time for the state to cement her achievement in open government initiative and place herself among communities of Open Government Partnership (OGP).
The Open Government Partnership (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. In the spirit of multi-stakeholder collaboration, OGP is overseen by a steering committee including representatives of governments and civil society organizations.
Open government reforms have in recent years emerged as an area of intense activity and fervent hope for some of our largest societal aspirations: to improve public services, to expand public knowledge of governmental processes, to save public money, and to make government more participatory and inclusive. OGP provides a platform for reformers inside and outside of governments around the world to develop initiatives that promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. OGP aims to secure concrete commitments from national and sub-national governments that drive open government reform and innovation in an effort to push countries further in the areas of transparency, accountability, and citizen engagement.
Nigeria as a country signed up to this lofty initiative July, 2016 and thus far had reported progress on the following areas: Fiscal transparency, Government integrity, Access to information, Extractive resources transparency, Public participation and Open data. It is a voluntary partnership that national and sub- national opt to join and through which civil society organizations, in collaboration with government, can advance initiatives that they deem in line with their reform agendas. As at today in Nigeria, 16 states had signed up to this initiative aimed at concretizing their achievement in their fight against corruption and ensuring citizen participation in governance.
• Kogi State government needs to urgency initiate processes to sign up to this lofty initiative “Open Government Partnership (OGP)” to cement her achievement thus far in fiscal transparency and accountability.
• Kogi State government needs to prove to her citizens that her governance system is all inclusive aimed at promoting citizen participation in decision making.
Idris Ozovehe Muraina
Renaissance Care and Empowerment Foundation (RECEF)