From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai has inaugurated the first Open Governance Partnership, (OGP) Steering Committee, making the state the first to achieve such feat among the 36 states of the Federation.
Speaking during the inauguration, Mallam El-Rufai said the decision to inaugurate the committee in the state was borne out of the desire of State Government to operate open and transparency government that will benefit the citizens.
According to him, when he came on board in 2015 he discovered that the people of the state did not trust the government neither have faith in any elected officers. So, as a way forward he said he has to establish a system that is all about the people.
He said Kaduna state decided to join OGP in order to give people the opportunity to participate in policy and decision making of the state government.
“To me, gone are the days where government is all about sitting in the comfort of the office without having the people participating in running their own affairs. That is why we establish the budget tracking system.
“The budget tracking system is an APP that can be accessed in any Android phones and immediately will give you any government’s project located within your vicinity and if you are not satisfied , you can send me message directly which I will receive. This is a very high technical system but it is proven to be a necessity in good governance,” he said.
Gov El-Rufai tasked the newly inaugurated members of the Kaduna State OGP Steering Committee to be team players. According to him, being a team is not only in equal numbers but also in equal sharing of responsibilities and duties.
In his own remarks, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said Kaduna State is leading the way as the first state to sign unto Open Government Partnership at the sub-national level.
Going down history lane, Abubakar Malami who is also the Co-Chair, OGP National Steering Committee, said the implementation of the OGP National Action Plan began in January 2017, and we’ve made remarkable achievements especially citizen’s participation in budget process.
“The Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) has recorded improvement in implementing open contracting principles and has recently won an international innovation award in recognition of their efforts,” he said.
Speaking earlier, Kaduna Commissioner for Planning and Budget, Mr. Muhammad Sani Abdullahi, said the state has open system where citizens via town hall meetings contributes to the state’s budget by selecting projects that are important to them.