The Kaduna State Government has joined the Open Government Partnership (OGP) to fight corruption and promote citizens’ engagement and participation in governance.
The Point of Contact (POC) of OGP in the Kaduna State Planning and Budget Commission (KPBC), Jeremiah Tera, said the state commenced implementation of the OGP of the federal government aimed at enhancing transparency, accountability and citizens’ participation in governance in 2017.
He spoke at the Ihifix Digital Summit for Development 2022 organised by the Ihifix Innovation Foundation, with support from the Arewa Research and Development Project; the Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation; CALPED; Partnership to Engage Reform and Learn (PERL), among others.
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 would 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: ensuring citizens’ participation in budget circle; open contracting; adoption of a common reporting standard; promotion of ease of doing business; improvement of compliance with the Freedom of Information Act; developing a permanent dialogue mechanism on transparency, accountability and good governance between citizens and government and adopting technology-based citizens’ feedback on government projects and programmes.
The Commissioner for Planning and Budget, Umma Aboki, noted that Kaduna as the first sub-national government to sign the OGP decided to take the steps to ensure citizens’ engagement and transparency in governance.
She said, “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.”
She disclosed that there was a WhatsApp group where eyes and ears volunteers in the 23 LGAs could report on projects within their communities to improve the monitoring process.