Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo
Governors of South-west states have been urged to embrace the Open Government Partnership (OGP), a global mechanism aimed at achieving good governance.
The Executive Director of the African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD), Dr. Otive Igbuzor stated this Monday at the South-west OGP learning and sharing session.
The event was organised by Partnership to Engage Reform and Learn (PERL), a programme of UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), in collaboration with the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission.
Igbuzor who is also a Partnership Facilitator for DFID, noted that the Open Government Partnership is an international initiative that provides a platform for reformers inside and outside governments around the world to develop reforms that “promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption and harness new technologies to strengthen governance”.
He opined that only seven states have signed into OGP out of the 36 states of the Federation and urged the remaining 29 states to also embrace OGP.
According to him, “OGP is an international initiative introduced in 2011. Nigeria was formally admitted into OGP in July 2016. The National Action Plan was approved in December 2016 and the implementation started in January 2017. Kaduna state was the first state that signed into OGP at the subnational level.”
“We have seven States, including Kano, Ebonyi, Anambra, Niger, Abia, Enugu and Kaduna, which have signed into the OGP, while Kogi, Jigawa and Bauchi States have indicated their interest to sign into the OGP. We urge all other states to embrace and sign into the OGP”, Igbuzor said.
Also speaking, the Civil Society Adviser to the OGP National Secretariat, Mr. Stanley Achonu said signing to OGP would attract many benefits to the state and aid good governance. “Good open government reforms can transform the way government and public services work, ensuring that they are properly responsive to citizens, while improving their efficiency and effectiveness, and preventing abuses of state power”, Achonu said.
He urged members of the civil society organisations and the media in the States that are yet to identify with the OGP initiative to make necessary moves to encourage their governors to sign into the OGP without further delay.