Why we signed into the OGP- Bauchi Govt.

By Suru Charles 

The Bauchi State Government has said they signed into the Open Government Partnership (OGP), to enjoy the full benefits attached to it.

This was made known by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Barrister Ibrahim Kashim. He said the move has become necessary for the state to enjoy the full portfolio of OGP processes, capacities and other benefits attached to it.

He stated this while inaugurating the state’s Steering Committee on OGP in Government House with members from Government and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).

The inauguration of the State Steering Committee is a clear commitment of the present administration towards ensuring that Bauchi State joins other states in the country in the implementation of global best practices relating to OGP thus bringing the citizens closer to the government.

The SSG who is also the State Co-Chairman of the Steering Committee recalled that the OGP is an international multi-stakeholder initiative focused on improving transparency, accountability, citizen participation and responsiveness to citizens through technology and innovation.

OGP remains a viable platform for Civil Society Organizations to constructively engage government at all levels on a real-time basis, thereby ensuring more responsive governance.

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He also noted that the OGP engagements stand as a strategic sustainability pillar for the World Bank’s SFTAS grants to the states.

He said “Specific benefits of formalising OGP membership for Bauchi State and its citizens include, but are not limited to enabling government and civil society to work together to develop action plans with concrete steps and commitments across a broad range of issues.

The Open Government Partnership is based on the idea that an open government is more accessible, more responsive, and more accountable to citizens, and that improving the relationship between people and their government has long-term, exponential benefits for everyone” he stated

Being part of the OGP, he said, creates an opportunity for the Government together with the CSOs, Private Sector, the Media, and Citizens to raise the collective ambition and transformative power of the OGP to collectively tackle the biggest societal challenges facing the country at the moment.

Such challenges, as enumerated by him, include “poverty, inequality, exclusion, corruption, human rights violations, and poor service delivery” adding that “OGP offers a platform that allows fairness, equity, and opportunities for citizens in policy-making, including those from marginalised groups, and an ongoing voice in political processes beyond that of voting in elections.”

Aligning her weight to that of the SSG, the Co-Chair of Non-State Actors, Maryam Garba commended the state government for the inauguration of the committee and assured that Civil Society Organizations in the state will support the initiative for its effective implementation.

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