Kaduna State government says it joined the Open Government Partnership (OGP) to fight corruption and promote citizens engagement and participation.
The Point of Contact (POC) OGP in the Planning and Budget Commission, Jeremiah Tera, said the state commenced implementation of the OGP of the federal government aimed at enhancing transparency, accountability and citizen participation in governance in 2017.
He spoke at the Ihifix Digital Summit for Development 2022, organised by the Ihifix Innovation Foundation, with support from Arewa Research and Development Project, Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation, CALPED, Partnership to Engage Reform and Learn (PERL) Citizens Co-chair – Kaduna OGP commitment on Citizens’ Engagement held in the state.
Tera stressed that the state subscribed to the OGP to principally improve fiscal transparency, anti-corruption, access to information and citizens engagement and empowerment, noting that, the step will improve the state’s ability to attract foreign investment and enhance access to additional development funds.
He added that the state also subscribed to seven of the 14 commitment areas for implementation, which include; Ensuring citizen participation in budget circle, Open contracting, Adoption of a common reporting standard, Promotion of ease of doing business and Improvement of compliance with Freedom of Information Act.
Others are to develop a permanent dialogue mechanism on transparency, accountability, and good governance between citizens and government and adopt technology-based citizens’ feedback on government project and programmes.
The State’s Commissioner of Planning and Budget, Umma Aboki in her remarks said, Kaduna as the first subnational government to sign the OGP decided to take the steps to ensure citizens engagement and transparency in governance.
“We have strengthened the social protection system in Kaduna state to ensure that our social registers are ready for anyone coming in with an intervention in the state to improve the poverty indices and service delivery in education and health services,”he said.
She also said there is WhatsApp group where Eyes and Ear volunteers in the 23 local governments can report on projects within their communities, to improve the monitoring process.