CSO urges A’Ibom govt to sign on OGP to access benefits

By Isaac Job

Akwa Ibom state government has been urged to sign on to the Open Government Partnership (OGP) so as to access mouth-watering benefits from the policy.

Executive Director, policy alert, Tijah Bolton Akpan gave the advice while delivering a paper on the role of the media in budget tracking and coverage at a four days seminar organized by the correspondents chapel of Nigerian Union of journalists, Akwa Ibom state chapter as part of activities to mark 2022 Chapel week held in Abuja.

He lamented that the state was missing out on the potential benefits that accrue to states which have already signed on to the OGP, adding that 23 states in the country including Abuja Municipal Council have signed up.

“Open Governance Partnership (OGP) is a multilateral initiation that aims to secure concrete commitments from national and subnational governments to promote open government, empower citizens, fight corruption and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.”

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Co-founder of the of the organization, Mr Tijah Bolton Akpan, said this in his paper on the “Role of the Media in Budget Tracking and Coverage”, presented yesterday during the ongoing retreat of the Correspondents’ Chapel of NUJ Council, Akwa Ibom State Council.

The retreat holding at the Regency Hotel and Suites, Abuja has as its theme, “In Search of a Better Nigeria Through Responsible Journalism”.

Akpan said that despite commendable steps taken by the state government in the area of budget reforms Akwa Ibom was yet to gain from the benefits of OGP.

A security expert, CSP vandefan James Tersugh rtd, who spoke on the safety and security of the media in a volatile environment, decried the difficulties faced by journalists in carrying out their duty and called for good and comprehensive insurance for journalists to safeguard them.

He called on the NUJ to unite her members noting that a strong union and United press can withstand negative influence from the government.

He also called for constant training of Journalists to keep them abreast of development and be able to keep secret sources of information.

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