June 12: Signing onto open government partnership – CSOs urge Kwara Govt

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.

Mr Abdurrahman Ayuba, Convener of the coalition, made the appeal in a statement on Sunday in Ilorin.

Ayuba said endorsing the OGP in 2016 and signing of 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 onto the OGP initiative, citizens are expected to play active role in governance.

”This is through the principle of co-creation that mandates government Ministries, Departments and Agencies 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 allow citizens engagement in the budgetary process and to embrace inclusiveness in all its ramification,” 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 fast 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.

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 (persons with disabilities, etc).

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